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Survey Season: What to Expect from the ACRL Survey

It’s November, which means reporting season for the annual ACRL Academic Library Trends & Statistics Survey is in full swing. Invitations should have gone out in late October. If you’ve responded in the past but didn’t receive an email this year, contact acrlbenchmark@ala.org. ACRL is using a new data collection tool, and not everyone got their invitation.

If you’ve never responded to the ACRL survey, it’s an annual survey that collects data on academic libraries’ staffing, expenses, collections, and services. The survey also asks questions about a different trend in librarianship every year. This year’s trend focuses on instruction and group presentations, particularly how those services changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the survey had a record response rate of 52.1%. High participation creates the best possible picture of academic libraries’ resources and impact, which aids in benchmarking, advocacy, and decision-making. Participating institutions get free access to summary results. View more of ACRL’s reasons to participate.

Depending on your library’s workflow and data collection habits, participating in the survey may be simple or time-consuming. ACRL encourages libraries to at least submit the data they are required to collect for IPEDS and offers a way to export those responses to make IPEDS reporting easier.

Curious about the results? ACRL publishes the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics report every year. The book can be purchased through the ALA store.

Does your library respond to the ACRL survey? Have you ever used ACRL’s metrics for benchmarking and advocacy?

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