Thursday, January 22, 2004

Effective Practices

As catalogers we have long known the value of sharing information. OCLC, RLG and before that the printed LC cards have all made our collections more available to our users and saved us time. Here is another method of sharing knowledge and saving time and effort, the ACRL Effective Practices Clearinghouse.
The Association of College & Research Libraries' (ACRL) Effective Practices Committee is accepting submissions for its web-based clearinghouse for effective practices in academic libraries. The Effective Practices web site can be found at The clearinghouse will document practices from all areas of academic libraries; we're looking for examples of procedures or tools that have been developed to (for example) streamline workflow, solve problems or improve services.

An effective practice is:

  • aligned with the library's and parent organization's mission
  • sustainable, cost-effective and has the potential for long-term impact on the library and its constituents
An effective practice has:
  • outcomes that are measurable
  • some degree of transferability
Effective practices can be submitted at Practices are then reviewed to see if they meet the criteria listed above. Once accepted, ACRL will post the practice on the web site and send the submitting library a letter acknowledging its contribution to the Effective Practices clearinghouse.

As more effective practices are submitted and the clearinghouse grows, academic librarians looking for ideas to improve specific practices in their own libraries or just shopping for good ideas will be able to browse by category and search by keyword.

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