March 19, 2000
Art Libraries Soceity of North America 28th Annual Conference, Pittsburgh,
Approximately 15 members met to discuss library accreditation standards.
David Austin attended as a representative of the Standards Committee.
Attendees expressed an interest in ARLIS/NA becoming involved in drawing
up standards criteria for the various library types and subjects represented
by our membership: art education, architecture and building, landscape
architecture, design schools, museum libraries, etc. Models for such
professional involvement include the Music Library Association's "Standard
Members discussed using accreditation as a leveraging and mediation
tool for collection development and when implementing changes. Standards
also guide our data gathering, enabling data sharing and comparison.
It was suggested that a special issue of Art Documentation could be devoted
accreditation standards and related issues.
The rest of the meeting was devoted to the proposed revisions of the
National Architectural Accreditating Board's (NAAB) library accreditation
criteria. Suggestions included:
Stress the responsibility of librarians for the assessment.
Provide training (a booklet?) to the NAAB Team for what to ask librarians
during visits & how to evaluate the library.
Suggest changes in annual NAAB statistics reporting and compile our statistics
on a web site. (Create a statistics clearinghouse. Look at categories within
the LC NA class?
Report dollars spent per student & per faculty?
Look at the percentage of the architecture acquisition budget vs. the total
acquisition budget?---are these going up or down over time?)
Consider different volume count minimums for B.Arch & M.Arch programs
and depending on the age and depth of the program? (Remember the
role of standards as an important leverage.)
Stress the concept of balanced collections (subject-wise & format-wise).
Consider outcomes measures vs. input measures: circulation statistics/internal
use/number of students receiving bibliographic instruction.
Consider creating and maintaining a "guide to best sources" in addition
to the Association of Architecture School Librarians' serials list.
Reinstate a statement about the need for onsite collections (base level
or undergraduate teaching level collections should be onsite).
Be aware of possible confusion between library as a place and library collections.
Consider reporting strengths and weaknesses of collections and services
by category on a Lichert Scale (long documents are not read: reports need
to be more graphic).
How responsive are we to the communities we serve?
Are we implementing changes?
Encourage librarians to volunteer as representatives of "society at large"
on NAAB review teams.
Work with Chapters or Regions to find volunteers willing to look at other
Janine J. Henri
Moderator, Accreditation Standards Discussion Group