Specialized Accreditation and Academic Libraries

Stuart Frazer, Old Dominion University


Literature on academic libraries and the accrediting process has centered on regional accrediting agencies. Library guidelines from seventeen specialized accrediting bodies were evaluated and compared to guidelines from regional accreditors. Like the regional accrediting agencies, most specialized accrediting agencies stress input or process measures over output measures. A few specialized accreditors were found to be more prescriptive than the regional accreditors in their demands for collection inputs, particularly journal holdings. An overview of specific characteristics of the specialized accrediting process is offered, along with suggestions for improving the library's participation in the process.