What is the Association of College & Research Libraries?

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, is a professional association of academic librarians and other interested individuals. It is dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching, and research.

ACRL is the largest division of the American Library Association (ALA). ACRL currently has a membership of more than 12,000 members, accounting for nearly 20% of the total ALA membership.

History of ACRL


ACRL Strategic Plan

ACRL Plan for Excellence

On April 20, 2011, the Board of Directors adopted the ACRL Plan for Excellence effective July 1, 2011, and rescinded Charting Our Future: ACRL Strategic Plan 2020 (PDF).

Development of the strategic plan

The ACRL Plan for Excellence was developed with significant member input and informed by the latest available trend data. At the ALA Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference in 2010, the ACRL Leadership Council identified challenges facing academic librarianship and prioritized areas for action. These conversations along with Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians, the 2010 Top Ten Trends in Academic Libraries and The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report, as well as the 2010 Strategic Plan Activities Report, informed the strategic plan development process.

The ACRL Board of Directors dedicated its fall 2010 Strategic Planning and Orientation Session to drafting a new strategic plan. The ACRL Board accomplished the goal of creating a focused and streamlined plan in drafting the ACRL Plan for Excellence. ACRL members were invited to provide feedback to the ACRL Board of Directors via an online survey and during table discussions at the 2011 Midwinter Leadership Council Session. The Board adopted the ACRL Plan for Excellence on April 20, 2011, to be effective July 1, 2011. 

Implementation and Assessment

ACRL's stratgeic planning process contines with the development of annual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each of the strategic goal areas, Value of Academic Libraries, Student Learning, and Research and Scholarly Environment, as well as the enabling programs and services in order to provide the metrics the Board needs to assess progress achieving the goals detailed in the Plan for Excellence.

All ACRL Division-level committees are charged by the Board with advancing ACRL's strategic goal areas or enabling programs and services. Through the Annual Work Plan Process, the Board guides and assesses ACRL's progress in implementing the ACRL Plan for Excellence.

Previous strategic plan

Documents related to ACRL's previous strategic planning process (some of these items are availabe to ACRL members only acrl members only ) include:


Member Research


Annual Reports

2009-2010 Annual Report

2008-2009 / 2007-2008 / 2006-2007  / 2005-2006 / 2004-2005 / 2003-2004 / 2002-2003 / 2001-2002   


ACRL President's Page
Staff Listing