Category Archives: About ACRL

ACRL/ALA/ARL Joint Task Force for IPEDS Academic Library Survey Component – Draft Recommendations Available for Comment

ACRL, ALA, and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and have formed a joint advisory task force to suggest changes to the current definitions and instructions accompanying the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Academic Libraries (AL) Component for FY 2015. The ACRL/ALA/ARL task force worked through a series of phone calls and an in-person meeting on June 19 and has drafted the following recommendations to be presented to National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the IPEDS AL component.

The Task Force is seeking feedback on the recommendations by July 9. Please provide your feedback as comments to the Google Doc or email if you cannot comment on the document.

There will be two presentations on the work of this joint task force at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco:

ARL Library Assessment Forum: Friday, June 26 from 1:00 –2:30 p.m. – InterContinental San Francisco, Laurel Hill Room. A recorded version of this presentation will be made available after the event.

ACRL Update on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Academic Library Survey: Saturday, June 27 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Moscone Convention Center, N132

ACRL 101 Annual Conference Webcast Recording Now Available

Going to ALA Annual for the first time this summer? Not sure what to expect? Check out the ACRL 101 recorded webcast (with slides) on our website to help first-time ALA Annual Conference attendees make the most of their first ALA Annual Conference experience. This one-hour interactive session provides tips and personal recommendations on how to prepare for your trip to San Francisco, what to bring, planning your schedule, networking, conference etiquette, ACRL programs of interest, and more!

We look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

ARL, ACRL, ALA Form Joint Advisory Task Force to Clarify Academic Library Definitions in IPEDS Survey

ACRL and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have formed a joint advisory task force to suggest changes to the current definitions and instructions accompanying the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Academic Libraries Component for FY 2015. The ARL/ACRL task force will work to provide formal recommendations to IPEDS by early July 2015. The task force will offer virtual opportunities to engage and inform the larger community of this work.

Since October 2014 the IPEDS Academic Libraries Component coordinator, Bao Le, has been monitoring questions and discussions on the ARL-Assess e-mail list and working with Robert Dugan, chair of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board and dean of libraries at University of West Florida. Dugan has also developed and maintains a LibGuide that serves as an unofficial FAQ regarding the IPEDS Academic Libraries Component. David Larsen and Elizabeth Edwards of University of Chicago offered analysis of the IPEDS survey challenges during the ARL Library Assessment Forum at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting this January. A video of their presentation is available on the ARL YouTube channel (starting at 49:58 “IPEDS: Academic Libraries Component”).

ARL and ACRL are providing leadership by establishing a task force to formalize the advice offered by the academic library community and to ensure that advice is communicated to the IPEDS Academic Libraries coordinator.

“It is important to develop a robust national survey form useful to all types of academic libraries and in sync with national and international standards,” said Mary Ellen Davis, ACRL executive director.

ARL executive director Elliott Shore called for “taking a collaborative approach to shared understandings of academic libraries and their work, being cost effective and efficient as we streamline this effort to improve our national education statistics, and leveraging our collective wisdom in developing guidance for the community.”

Historically the US National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collected academic library statistics as part of the library statistics program every two years with National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) oversight so that all library sectors were included (academic, public, state library agencies and school libraries).  Due to the closure of NCLIS in 2008 and reorganization within NCES, the public and state library statistics of NCES were transferred to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) while the academic and school library statistics remained with NCES.  The Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) was moved into the IPEDS data collection system and underwent major revisions. The new Academic Libraries Component became part of the annual IPEDS data collection activities, beginning with FY 2014.

Members of the ARL/ACRL Joint Advisory Task Force on the IPEDS Academic Libraries Component include:


Robert Dugan, Chair of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board; University of West Florida;

Robert Fox, Chair of the ARL Assessment Committee; University of Louisville;


Elizabeth Edwards, University of Chicago,

Terri Fishel, Macalester College,

Steve Hiller, University of Washington,

Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries; Chair of the NISO Z39.7 Data Dictionary;

David Larsen, University of Chicago,

Bao Le, National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS Academic Libraries Contact,

Bede Mitchell, Georgia Southern University,

Kenley Neufeld, Santa Barbara City College,

Mary Jane Petrowski, Association of College & Research Libraries,

Kathy Rosa, Office of Research & Statistics, American Library Association,

For more information, contact Martha Kyrillidou, Senior Director of ARL Statistics and Service Quality Programs, at 202-296-2296 or, or ACRL Associate Director Mary Jane Petrowski at 312-280-2523 or

ACRL Releases New Roles for the Road Ahead

Media KitAs part of its 75th anniversary celebration, ACRL announces the release of “New Roles for the Road Ahead: Essays Commissioned for ACRL’s 75th Anniversary” authored by well-known bloggers and thought leaders Steven J. Bell, associate university librarian at Temple University, Lorcan Dempsey, vice-president of OCLC research and chief strategist, and Barbara Fister, academic librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College. The collection also includes an introduction by Nancy H. Allen, dean and director at the University of Denver; and an afterward by Lizabeth Wilson, vice provost for digital initiatives and dean of university libraries at the University of Washington in Seattle.

In a series of twenty essays in three sections, “Framing the Road Ahead,” “Shifts in Positioning,” and “Responding to Opportunity: Creating a New Library Landscape,” Bell, Dempsey, and Fister share their thoughts on the world in which academic libraries will thrive, ways libraries are responding to change, and new roles for libraries and librarians. The essays include reflections on ways academic libraries can succeed in a changing higher education environment, take advantage of opportunities, and think about the best ways to deliver both ongoing and innovative services to students and faculty.

ACRL members provided commentary on the draft of the report, much of which was incorporated into the final work. Bell states that “just like this publication, which is something that was made better by a group of people coming together to achieve much more than we could have as individuals, ACRL depends on academic librarians working together to make sure the generations that follow us will be doing great things for higher education many years from now.”

The authors will discuss “New Roles for the Road Ahead” at their ACRL 75th Anniversary Invited Panel to be held at the ACRL 2015 conference from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., on March 26, in the Oregon Convention Center Portland Ballroom 251/258.

“New Roles for the Road Ahead:  Essays Commissioned for ACRL’s 75th Anniversary” is freely available on the ACRL website.

ACRL Plan for Excellence Updates

After conversations with the three goal-area committee chairs and vice-chairs at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the ACRL Board of Directors approved some editorial revisions to each of the three goal areas for the ACRL Plan for Excellence. The full Plan for Excellence can be found on the ACRL website, and the approved revisions are as follows:

  • For the Value of Academic Libraries goal area, the Board approved the revision of objective three as follows, “to improve outreach to higher education organizations in order to articulate the value of libraries in higher education.”
  • For the Student Learning goal area, the Board approved the removal of objective four, “build capacity for the librarians’ role in supporting faculty and future faculty as they work to develop information literate students.”
  • For the Research and Scholarly Environment goal area, the Board approved the removal of objective four, “create and promote new mechanisms that reward and value open scholarship.”

Complete Board actions from Midwinter can be found in the March issue of C&RL News.

1 2 3 20