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Academic Library Trends and Statistics: Home

Information to assist libraries in gathering and reporting statistics for the ACRL survey.

ACRL 2017 Survey

The ACRL Annual Survey is administered by the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board and is designed to gather information at the national levels from all types of academic libraries.  

The ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey has three objectives.

  • The first objective is to offer participants the opportunity to provide one response for two surveys. Completing this survey will provide responses required for the IPEDS Academic Library (AL) component including Section I for institutions with library expenditures over $0, and Section II for institutions with library expenditures exceeding $100,000. Survey participants may download a file which can then be used to upload the required IPEDS responses by the institutional key holder or the library if designated by the institutional key holder as an IPEDS user.
  • A second objective is timeliness: the responses to this survey will be available for use within months of the closing date.  A third objective is to restore measures once formerly collected through the biennial NCES Academic Library Survey (discontinued 2012) that have proved over the years to facilitate benchmarking and best practices studies.

 

ACRL 2016-2017 Annual Survey Form, Instructions, and Trends Questions

Questions and Answers Concerning the 2017 ACRL Survey

I'm at an ARL Library and we collect our own statistics. Why should my library participate in this survey?  Why participate? The value of the survey data is enhanced by the participation of all libraries representing all Carnegie Classifications and, as members of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Editorial Board, we need your help to meet this goal. We know that compiling statistics takes time, but the contribution of your data is essential and extremely valuable for your colleagues. We are asking for your help to ensure that we have the data to assess trends in 21st-century academic libraries, and, more importantly, to compile a national overview of the overall resources and impact of academic libraries. 

We all face stiff competition on our campuses for funding, and in these times of limited resources, more and more academic libraries must include data in their funding and program requests. This is especially true for requests for outside funding. By participating in the 2016 survey, you are not only providing the profession with timely data to inform decision making at a wide variety of institutions, but you also help colleagues and researchers facilitate comparisons through benchmarking within peer groups, as well as helping libraries present data that demonstrate the value we provide to our institutions and beyond. The data may help make a case in a research study or inform the academic library profession globally. The requests for this type of data and possible uses are endless.

I’ve already submitted my data to IPEDS so why should I complete the ACRL survey? If enough participating libraries are doing the two surveys in the reverse order we can investigate reverse engineering the process so that IPEDS data could be downloaded and filled into the ACRL survey. The ACRL  Trends & Statistics Editorial Board had thought through a process whereby the ACRL data could be easily uploaded to IPEDs and had not considered the alternate work flow. Our goal had been to reduce duplicate manual entry. 

We had anticipated that respondents would fill out the ACRL survey and then download the IPEDS portion for easy submission. This year we opened the survey in early September (and are closing it earlier) to better align with the IPEDS data collection period.  We want people to complete the IPEDS Academic Component of our survey early so as to be able to download and send along the institutional keyholder in advance of the deadline. Respondents who complete the ACRL survey have, in fact, completed the IPEDS survey IF they download the data and email over to the IR keyholder on campus. 

Are the participating libraries, and their responses, identified? te the The annual survey results are published in summary form along with the responses for each participating institution. Access to the summary results is freely available to all participating institutions. The individual survey responses are published by Carnegie Classification (Associates of Arts Colleges, Baccalaureate Colleges, Master's Colleges and institutions, and Doctorate Granting Institutions) in the print edition of ACRL Academic Library Trends & Statistics. The individual responses (and summary data) are also available in ACRL Metrics (www.acrlmetrics.com).

How are the trends questions developed? The ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board develops the trends questions each year in response to perceived needs. Survey participants  can also help us develop future surveys by providing suggestions for future trends to explore on the annual survey. 

I have suggestions for future surveys. Where can I send them? Participating libraries can submit suggestions for future surveys as part of the annual ACRL Academic Library Trends & Statistics Survey. You may also email suggestions to the chair of the Editorial Board.  The current roster for the editorial board is available at http://www.ala.org/acrl/aboutacrl/directoryofleadership/editorialboards/acr-stats. Once you login, the contact information for the editorial board members will display.

Why isn’t the survey data free to participating institutions? ACRL does incur expenses in connection with the annual data collection and recovers some of the costs through subscriptions to ACRL Metrics (which provides access to all ACRL survey data back to 1998 as well as NCES Academic Library Survey data from 2000-2012).

Links to Print and Electronic Copies of Survey

ACRL Associate Director

Mary Jane Petrowski's picture
Mary Jane Petrowski
Contact:
50 E Huron Street
312-280-2523
Website

TOP TEN REASONS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SURVEY

 

  1. Contribution of your data is extremely valuable for your colleagues
  2. Help to ensure that we have the data to assess trends in 21st-century academic libraries
  3. Compile a national overview of the overall resources and impact of academic libraries 
  4. Provide the profession with timely data to inform decision making at a wide variety of institutions
  5. Help colleagues and researchers facilitate comparisons through benchmarking within peer groups
  6. Help libraries present data that demonstrate the value we provide to our institutions and beyond
  7. Help make a case in a research study
  8. Inform the academic library profession globally
  9. Complete two surveys in one: if you complete the ACRL survey first, your ACRL data can be easily uploaded to IPEDs