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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

Now more than ever, academic libraries are being asked to demonstrate value to their institutional stakeholders, funders, and governance boards. Academic Library Impact builds on ACRL’s 2010 Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report and the results of the subsequent Assessment in Action program. It demonstrates how libraries are now measuring library contributions to student learning and success, and recommends where more research is needed in areas critical to the higher education sector such as accreditation, student retention, and academic achievement.

This report is also available in an open access edition here:

This action-oriented research agenda includes:

All components were produced in partnership with OCLC Research and include analyses of library and information science (LIS) and higher education literature, focus group interviews and brainstorming sessions with academic library administrators at different institution types within the United States, and individual interviews with provosts. 

Building on established best practices and recent research, Academic Library Impact clearly identifies priority areas and suggests specific actions for academic librarians and administrators to take in developing programs, collections, and spaces focused on student learning and success. It includes effective practices, calls out exemplary studies, and indicates where more inquiry is needed, with proposed research designs. It identifies the next generation of necessary research to continue to testify to library value. This new report is a significant milestone for ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative and for the profession.

Introduction: Demonstrate the Library’s Value
Literature Review
Priority Areas for Future Research and Effective Practices
ACRL Research Agenda for Student Learning and Success
Visualizing Academic Library Impact: The ACRL/OCLC Literature Analysis Dashboard

  • Appendix A: Glossary
  • Appendix B: Provost Semi-structured Interview Protocol
  • Appendix C: Provosts’ Titles and Carnegie Class for Provosts’ Universities
  • Appendix D: Codebooks
  • Appendix E: Literature Analyzed Bibliography
  • Appendix F: Advisory Group Members’ Titles and Institutions’ Carnegie Class  
  • Appendix G: Library Administrator Focus Group Interview Protocol  
  • Appendix H: Further Description of the Coding Process for Data Analysis
  • Appendix I: Description of Post Hoc Techniques Used in Report
  • Appendix J: Examples of Research Questions That Can Be Addressed Using the Visualization Component, Organized by Priority Area
  • Appendix K: Detailed Scoring Scheme for Exemplary Research Designs and Practices
  • Appendix L: AiA Studies with Exemplary Design Elements


Lynn Silipigni Connaway

Lynn Silipigni Connaway is the Senior Research Scientist and Director of User Research at OCLC Research. 

William Harvey 

William Harvey is a Consulting Software Engineer for OCLC Research. 

Vanessa Kitzie

Vanessa Kitzie is an Assistant Professor for the School of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina.

Stephanie Mikitish

Stephanie Mikitish is the User Engagement and Assessment Librarian at Rutgers University.

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship.