Clever librarians have been conducting research studies to gather evidence that academic libraries do, in fact, contribute to student success. Here is the current round-up . . .
The Association of College and Research Libraries, part of the American Library Association, received a grant and conducted the project: Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success. The final report in 2017, discusses these positive connections between the library and student learning:
- Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework.
- Library use increases student success.
- Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning.
- Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes.
- Library research consultations boost student learning.
They also mention that there is promising evidence here:
- The library contributes to improved student retention.
- Library instruction adds value to a student’s long-term academic experience.
- The library promotes academic rapport and student engagement.
- Use of library space relates positively to student learning and success.
In addition, other relevant articles found correlations between library use, instruction and expenditures and higher GPA, retention and graduation:
- 2021 (Rowe) – Library instruction correlates to student success (large sample over four years).
- 2020 (Newton) – Research consultations correlate with better grades.
- 2020 (Mayer) – Correlation between use of library resources and student persistence.
- 2020 (Beile) – Students who used one or more library services had higher end-of-semester GPAs.
- 2019 (Marineo) – Participation with the online information literacy module correlated with better GPA and retention.
- 2018 (LeMaistre) – Use of online library resources correlated with better GPA and retention.
- 2017 (Gaha) – GPAs are higher for students who have had library instruction.
- 2016 (Thorpe) – Library use correlates with higher GPA and retention.
- 2016 (Massengale) – Library use correlates with higher GPA.
- 2013 (Stone) – Library activity correlates with better student attainment.
- 2013 (Soria) – Library users have higher GPA and retention.
- 2013 (Cherry) – Use of electronic resources correlated with higher GPA.
- 2012 (Bowles) – There is a correlation between library instruction and higher GPA.
- 2011 (Emmons) – There is a relationship between library professional staffing and retention and graduation.
- 2007 (Mezick) – There is a correlation between library expenditures and retention.
Association of College and Research Libraries. Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Findings from Assessment in Action Team Projects. Prepared by Karen Brown with contributions by Kara J. Malenfant. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2017. http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/issues/value/findings_y3.pdf
Beile, P., Choudhury, K., Mulvihill, R., & Wang, M. (2020). Aligning Library Assessment with Institutional Priorities: A Study of Student Academic Performance and Use of Five Library Services. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 435–458. https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/24369/32194
Bowles, T. M. (2012). Library instruction and academic success: A mixed-methods assessment of a library instruction program. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 7(1), 82-95. https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/eblip/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/12373/13256
Cherry, E. (2013) Proving Our Worth: The Impact of Electronic Resource Usage on Academic Achievement, College & Undergraduate Libraries, 20:3-4, 386-398.
Emmons, M., & Wilkinson, F. (2011). The Academic Library Impact on Student Persistence. College & Research Libraries, 72(2), 128-149. https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16142/17588
Gaha, U., Hinnefeld, S., & Pellegrino, C. (2018). The Academic Library’s Contribution to Student Success: Library Instruction and GPA. College & Research Libraries, 79(6), 737–746. https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16824
LeMaistre, T., Qingmin, S., & Thanki, S. (2018). Connecting Library Use to Student Success. Portal: Libraries & The Academy, 18(1), 117-140.
Marineo, F. (2019). Supporting Student Success in the First-Year Experience: Library Instruction in the Learning Management System. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 13(1-2), 40-55.
Massengale, L., Piotrowski, P., & Savage, D. (2016). Identifying and Articulating Library Connections to Student Success. College & Research Libraries, 77(2), 227-235. https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16506/17952
Mayer, J., Dineen, R., Rockwell, A., & Blodgett, J. (2020). Undergraduate Student Success and Library Use: A Multimethod Approach. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 378–398. https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/24367/32180
Mezick, E. M. (2007). Return on Investment: Libraries and Student Retention. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 33(5), 561-566.
Newton, L. (2020). Assisting, Instructing, Assessing: 21st Century Student Centered Librarianship. The Reference Librarian, 61(1), 25-41.
Rowe, J. (2021). The Impact of Library Instruction on Undergraduate Student Success: A Four-Year Study. College & Research Libraries. 82(1), 7-18. https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/24750/32586
Stone, G. & Ramsden, B. (2013). Library Impact Data Project: Looking for the Link between Library Usage and Student Attainment. College & Research Libraries, 74 (6): 546. https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/article/view/16337/17783
Soria, K. M. Fransen, J., & Nackerud, S. (2013). Library Use and Undergraduate Student Outcomes: New Evidence for Students’ Retention and Academic Success. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 13(2), 147–164.
Thorpe, A. Lukes, R., Bever, D. J., & Yan, H. (2016). The Impact of the Academic Library on Student Success: Connecting the Dots. Portal: Libraries & The Academy, 16(2), 373-392.