ARL Statistics & Assessment Committee

The ARL Statistics & Assessment Committee guides the work of the ARL Statistics & Assessment Program staff. This section of the site provides information about the committee, the The ARL Task Force on New Ways of Measuring Collections, and The ARL Library Profiles, and includes a links to committee materials.

The ARL Statistics and Assessment Committee focuses on measuring the continuing and the emerging realities of the modern research library. The committee advises the Statistics and Measurement Program on the traditional measures of collections, budgets, and staffing while also seeking credible indicators for research library performance, new services, consortial arrangements, electronic information, the influence of the Internet, and the ways in which students and faculty interact with each other and with research libraries.  The committee was previously known as the ARL Statistics and Measurement Committee, and reorganized as part of the 2005–06 ARL Strategic Planning process. The ARL Board established the ARL Statistics and Assessment committee between July 2005 to March 2006, and the new ARL Statistics and Assessment Committee met for the first time in May 2006.

The ARL Task Force on New Ways of Measuring Collections worked from December 2004 through October 2006 to articulate current issues associated with the ARL Statistics and to propose changes for how ARL measures research library collections. The work of the task force led to ARL revising the quantitative index and developing the ARL Library Investment Index, as well as engaging in qualitative work that culminated with the collection of a five-page narrative profile from each ARL library describing its collections, services, and collaborative relations as a way of expanding and accompanying the annual quantitative data collection.

The ARL library profiles collected between 2008 and 2010 were analyzed through an extensive iterative coding process by a number of key collaborators. Ultimately this work informs the activities of the Task Force on Reviewing the ARL Statistics, the ARL Supplementary Statistics, and the ARL Annual Salary Survey that was established to operate over a two year period from 2010 to 2012. For more on the profiles, see the report, "ARL Profiles: Emerging Themes," by Robert Fox, Patrick Reakes, Bryan Skib, Ann Snowman.