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Assessment Practices and Metrics in a 21st Century Pandemic: A NISO Training Series

Training Series


To explore planning, management, and assessment practices in libraries during COVID-19. We will discuss effective practices for planning for library spaces, collections, services, and strategic innovations – a sequel to the 2018 and 2019 offerings. Participants will also have access to the 2018 webinar recordings.

Don't let a crisis get wasted is a popular saying these days. The world has been challenged this year with the COVID-19 pandemic; this well-known NISO Training Series will explore some new and some familiar topics on spaces, collections, services and strategic innovations through the lens of COVID-19. Guest lecturers this year will focus on the transformations happening in today’s 21st century library, the planning overkill we are experiencing, the ways in which we are succeeding, and how we can emerge resilient and sane at the end of the tunnel.  What do the shifts that we are going through mean for the 21st Century Library and the way we assess and measure our success?

Dates and confirmed guest lecturers appear below:

September 18:  Joyce Chapman, Assessment Analyst and Consultant, Duke University & Emily Daly, Head, Assessment and User Experience Department, Duke University

September 25:  Lorraine J. Haricombe, Vice Provost and Director of the University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas

October 2:  Bob Fox, Dean of Libraries, University of Louisville and Elaine Westbrooks, Vice Provost of University Libraries & University Librarian, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

October 9: Denise Stephens, Vice Provost and University Librarian, Washington University at St Louis

October 16: Maurini Strub, Director of Library Assessment, University of Rochester

October 23: Keren Stiles, Senior Library Manager, Engagement and Insight, Open University, and Caroline Barratt, Engagement and Insight Officer, Open University, (UK)

October 30: Colleen Cook, Trenholme Dean of Libraries, McGill University (Canada)

November 6: Joan Lippincott (Emeritus, CNI)

Registration for this event includes access to the archived recordings the 2018 Training Series on Assessment Practices and Metrics in the 21st Century

Course Moderator

Course Moderator: Martha Kyrillidou of QualityMetrics, LLC

Martha Kyrillidou consults in management, evaluation, assessment and R&D activities. She helps libraries respond to customer needs through the development of user-focused services and culture that enhance the user-experience. With an understanding of trends in services, collections, facilities, and personnel she can help a library tell their story through narratives, visuals and numbers. Martha can help you with accreditation, grant writing, evaluation plans or serve as your external evaluator and data analyst for your grant and sponsored activities. As the original architect of the StatsQUAL suite of services at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Martha is well positioned to consult and help you maximize the benefits you derive from LibQUAL+ClimateQUAL and MINES for Libraries.  She has also worked on digital library as well as special collections assessment and evaluation methods. Her work has defined the growing and dynamic library assessment community of practice across the globe.

Martha is a Research Associate at the iSchool at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, bridging research and practice.  She teaches Research Methods at Kent State University and is leading the redesign of this course for the SLIS core curriculum team. She is on the planning committee of the 2016 Library Assessment Conference, a member of the Board of the Northumbria International Conference of Performance Measurement and Metrics in Library and Information Services, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the International Conference on Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries. She serves as the chair of the NISO Z39.7 Information Services and Use: Metrics & Statistics for Libraries and Information Providers – Data Dictionary. She is a volunteer for the Organization Model Task Force for the Coalition to Advance Learning. Martha is also affiliated with the Library Management Consulting (LMC) practice.

Course Duration and Dates

Friday, September 18, 2020 – Friday, November 6, 2020. The series consists of eight (8) segments, one per week and each lasting approximately 60-90 minutes. Each segment is intended to cover a Friday lunch period (11:30am - 1:00pm, US. Eastern).

Guest lecturers will be featured in specific segments, as the course moderator deems appropriate. 

Each session will be recorded and links to that archived recording will be disseminated to course registrants within 2 business days of the close of the specific session. 

Event Sessions

September 18: Partnering with Black students to learn about their library and campus experiences


Emily Daly

Head of Assessment & User Experience
Duke University

Research indicates that students from underrepresented minority groups experience unique challenges in a university setting. A team of Duke University Libraries staff interested in understanding the Black student experience conducted an environmental scan to learn about existing campus services for this population. They recruited Black graduate students to moderate Photovoice sessions and discussion groups with Black undergraduate and graduate students. The team analyzed discussion group transcripts and Black students’ responses to the library’s biennial user survey and developed recommendations for improvements based on findings. This mixed methods study revealed challenges Black students face and provided context for their experiences. Findings were shared with campus stakeholders and library donors interested in improving services for Black students. This presentation describes the research team’s methodology and ways they have used study findings to improve library services and access for Black students at Duke University.


Understanding the Experiences and Needs of Black Students at Duke

Black Students at Duke: Qualitative Analysis of Focus Group Data - December 2019

The Agony of Education. Black Students at White Colleges and Universities

1G Needs Are Student Needs: Understanding the Experiences Of First-Generation College Students

September 25: Managing the crisis or leading out of the crisis?


The COVID-19 pandemic, the radical shift in higher education to remote teaching and learning and the awakening of a country to social injustices to BIPOCs creates a watershed moment for libraries to assess and position themselves as strategic institutions to evolve for today and plan for future change on their campuses. What are the opportunities for transformation, where are we succeeding? This presentation shares feedback from the ARL/CNI workshop “Research Libraries as Catalytic Leaders in a Society in Constant Flux”

October 2: How Research Leaders Use Assessment Data During a Pandemic


Bob Fox

Dean, University Libraries
University of Louisville

Elaine Westbrooks

Vice Provost of University Libraries and University Librarian
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In a rapidly changing environment what are the precedents that have helped our libraries cope effectively with the turmoil of COVID-19? We will hear from two publicly funded research libraries that are facing different environments and choices.  The speakers will discuss how the presence and absence of data have helped them and hindered them in planning and making decisions, share lessons learned, and how they see leading their organizations into the future.  We will discuss the impact on library staff and services and how the COVID-19 challenges have also provided opportunities for new ways to engage and innovate. We will discuss how data and evidence can help us answer emerging questions like: What does it mean to have a strong 'Work from Home' program and what are the implications for reimagining work, roles and responsibilities?  What does COVID-19 mean for the library of the 21st century, its staff, its interactions with library users, and its collections? How people interact with information, content, and the creation of knowledge in universities?

October 9: Planning, Managing, and Assessing Library Needs During COVID-19


Denise Stephens

Vice Provost and University Librarian
Washington University at St. Louis

As provided by our course moderator, Martha Kyrillidou please visit this link for information on registering for the 2020 Library Assessment Conference. The session on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will take place on October 27, and the full program may be viewed here.

Shared Resources:

The Loss Of Public Goods To Big Tech

Social Inequality Will Not Be Solved By an App

October 16: Assessment and COVID-19


Maurini Strub

Director of Organization Performance and User Engagement
University of Rochester



University of Rochester: Nancy Fried Foster honored for research on library culture

**ALA Techsource Article by Jason Griffey: Chapter 2. How to Measure the Future 

Assessment Improvement with AEFIS

Leveraging Regret: Maximizing Survey Participation at the Duke University Libraries 



**(Note: users may encounter a paywall upon accessing this content)

October 23: UX and usability at a distance


Caroline Barratt

Engagement & Insight Officer, Library Services
The Open University

Keren Stiles

Senior Library Manager (Engagement & Insight), Library Services
The Open University

The Open University is an entirely distance learning institution, so our students are located all over the UK and in Europe, and most never visit the campus. Our Library is focussed on online provision of resources and support. User experience research and usability testing are essential to understanding how best to deliver and improve student satisfaction and success and we conduct the majority of our studies remotely.

We will talk about the methods, techniques and tools we have used to carry out our UX studies, as well as how to gain informed consent, make your remote participants comfortable with the technology you’re asking them to use; and how to facilitate remote interviews. Methods covered will include interviews, diary studies, touch stone tours, mystery shoppers, usability interview with screensharing, and un-moderated usability testing such as first click and tree-testing.


Blue Planet II

Photovoice: Concept, Methodology, and Use for Participatory Needs Assessment

Indeemo Research Platform

NVivo Qualitative Data Analysis Software


:Padlet App

Otter: AI-Powered Assistant

MURAL Digital Workspace

October 30: Using Library Assessment Data in Senior Decision Making: A Perspective from the Trenches


November 6: Library Spaces: The Pandemic's Final Frontier


Joan Lippincott

Associate Executive Director Emerita
Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)


Redesigning the Researcher Library Experience: Case Studies, Key Questions

Making Library Contributions Visible: The “Grants Menu” at UVic Libraries


Additional Information

  • Cancellations made by September 4, 2020 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.

  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing each session via e-mail the Tuesday prior to the live broadcast. (Any subsequent registrations between Wednesday and Friday morning prior to Session One will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions before the start of the session.

  • If you have not received your Login Instruction e-mail by 10:30 a.m. (ET) on the day before the session, please contact the NISO office at for immediate assistance.

  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the sessions. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the sessions from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.

  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact to provide alternate contact information.

  • Conference presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to this event webpage following the live events.

  • Registrants will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived session recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.

For Online Events

  • You will need a computer for the presentation and Q&A.

  • Audio is available through the computer (broadcast) and by telephone. We recommend you have a set-up for telephone audio as back-up even if you plan to use the broadcast audio as the voice over Internet isn't always 100% reliable.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is properly set up before each virtual conference begins.