Any recent attendee at an academic library conference would likely note the large number of panels, posters, presentations, and roundtables that focus on libraries partnering and collaborating with other campus stakeholders, such as admissions, international student services, the writing center, and so on. Our library is no different.
Gettysburg College is a four-year liberal arts institution located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with an enrollment of 2,600 students. Musselman Library serves its campus population with thirteen librarians and nineteen staff members. In a small college environment, collaborating with other campus stakeholders is not only desirable, it is essential if the library wants to move forward with any service or initiative.
After decades of carefully developing relationships, cross-department and cross-division collaboration is an expectation and the norm, and the library has a reputation of being a strong partner. Colleagues across campus are open and receptive to new ideas that mean better serving students. Indeed, forming partnerships with stakeholders is part of the library’s current strategic plan.2 It is only through strategic partnerships with faculty and other administrators on campus that the library will be able to gain traction on its own goals around information literacy, diversity and inclusion, and communicating the library’s value with assessment data.
The library’s participation in the third cohort (2015–16) of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Assessment in Action (AiA) program enabled the library to partner with colleagues in our Office of Institutional Analysis and the Center for Career Development in order to assess the library’s long-standing, but never formally assessed, undergraduate library internship program. Through this distinctive program, the library has provided internships since 1998 for over 100 participants who have gone on to careers in libraries, archives, museums, and related fields.
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Baugess, C. K. & Martin, K. S. (2018). Becoming part of the conversation through assessment of undergraduate library internships. In K. Brown, D. Gilchrist, S. Goek, L. J. Hinchliffe, K. Malenfant, C. Ollis, & A. Payne (Eds.), Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience: Activating the Results of Assessment in Action (pp. 161-168). Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries.