Registration is now open for Accreditation, Assessment, and Advocacy: What Every Librarian Needs to Know


ACRL/NEC Leadership Development Committee's Spring Program: Accreditation, Assessment, and Advocacy: What Every Librarian Needs to Know
Monday, April 4, 2016, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, Hogan Center, Suite A/B/C - 4th Floor

[Notes and PowerPoint Slides from this program are now available at]

Revised regional accreditation standards parallel a transitional time for libraries in higher ed.  Librarians may be unaware of the process and need to know evaluation criteria for library effectiveness to promote student success. 

Join us as Dr. Barbara Brittingham, president of NEASC-CIHE, presents an overview of changes in the accreditation process and answers questions on how libraries may respond. A following panel will include Dean Ruth Sullivan of CCRI offering the perspective of an academic officer;  Dr. Laura Saunders, faculty member at the Simmons SLIS, and an expert on libraries and accreditation; Alan Carberry of Champlain College who will describe a successful accreditation review highlighted by his institution’s progress in information literacy assessment, and Dr. Tom Abbott, formerly dean of the libraries at University of Maine, who will bring expertise from accreditation assessment for his own institution and as a visiting team member evaluating peer institutions. The day will wrap up with in exercise designed to give you tools to engage your campus community in conversations about libraries’ ongoing relevance in the changing world of standards and student outcomes.

Member input: As part of the program, the committee invites questions from Chapter members and program attendees. These questions will be shared with panelists in advance and a summary of the discussion posted to the Chapter website. Please submit your questions here:

Registration fee: $40.00 members (Chapter and National ACRL members), $60.00 non-members, $10.00 students. Includes morning coffee/tea and lunch

Register at:


Schedule (tentative):


9:00 – 9:30 coffee and registration


9:30 – 10:30 keynote speaker with Q & A

10:30 – 10:45 break

10:45 – 12:00 panel discussion

12:00 – 1:00 lunch

1:00 –2:30 discussion/small group work on advocacy



Barbara Brittingham is President of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) where she has worked since 2000. NEASC accredits 238 colleges and universities in the six New England States and eight in other countries. Previously she served as a member and chair of the Commission.

She was founding dean of the College of Education at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates and worked in Ankara, Turkey, while on a World Bank project. She was Dean of the College of Human Science and Services at the University of Rhode Island where she also served as Interim Dean of University Libraries, Director of the Curriculum Research and Development Center, and Professor of Education. Currently she serves on the Committee on Recognition for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA); on the board of Quality and Qualifications Ireland; and on the Quality Council in Iceland.

She has served on the boards of six national accreditation organizations and has worked with ministries and universities in over twenty-five countries, sponsored by the Fulbright Commission, the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, and local governments and universities.


Tom Abbott, Ph.D. recently retired from his position as Dean of Libraries and Distance Learning and currently serves as Associate for Institutional Effectiveness & Special Projects at the University of Maine at Augusta. Tom has worked with the president of the university on accreditation matters including guiding the self-study process and served as campus liaison to NEASC. Read more about him in this ACRL Insider bio.


Susan V. Wawrzaszek, Currently the Associate Vice President for Library and Information Services at Wheaton College (MA), Susan has enjoyed a varied career in libraries and higher education.  With experience in public libraries, special libraries, and academic libraries, Wawrzaszek views the role of library director as a CIO (Chief Information Officer), with primary responsibility for ensuring access to data and information.


Laura Saunders is Assistant Professor at Simmons College School of Library and Information Science. She received her master's from Simmons College GSLIS in 2001, and after working as a reference and instruction librarian for several years returned to Simmons College and completed her PhD in 2010. She teaches courses in reference and information services, user instruction, services to diverse users, intellectual freedom and censorship and academic libraries. Her book publications include Information Literacy as a Student Learning Outcome: The Perspective of Institutional Accreditation, published by Libraries Unlimited in 2011, and Repositioning Reference: New Methods and New Services for a New Age, written with Lily Rozaklis and Eileen Abels, and published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2014. She has articles published in journals such as Journal of Academic Librarians, College & Research Libraries, and portal Libraries and the Academy on the topics of information literacy, learning outcomes assessment, accreditation, and government documents. 


Original presenters were also to include:

Alan Carbery is the Associate Library Director at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, where he has responsibility for the College’s award-winning, blended, information literacy program. His interests include reflective practice, teacher development, active learning pedagogies, assessment, blended learning and inquiry-based learning in information literacy instruction. Prior to joining Champlain College in 2013, Alan worked in a number of specialist and academic libraries in Ireland, where he originates.


Ruth Sullivan is Dean of Learning Resources at Community College of Rhode Island. In this role, Ruth oversees both an academic department within the Academic Affairs Division that provides credit courses designed to strengthen students' skills, enhance learning, and promote success in college as well as the libraries and library services on each of the four CCRI campuses. She was a key member of the team that developed the college’s self-study for the NEASC reaccreditation in 2014.