ALA Research Initiatives
American Library Association Surveys/ Reports
Studies show that libraries are vital digital hubs that provide access to public access technologies and digital content. Millions of people use those technologies for education, employment, civic engagement and health purposes and to enhance their digital literacy skills. The Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded study conducted a national survey of public libraries that explores the digital inclusion roles of public libraries in key areas. Find out more!
COSLA Survey (.pdf)
To continue to gauge the currents in the world of public library funding and broadband access, the American Library Association (ALA) conducts a yearly survey of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) for feedback on levels of state funding for libraries, bandwidth needs, closures and reductions in hours. Linked above is the 2013-14 survey.
The ongoing member survey helps ALA better understand the demographics of its membership. Over 40,000 current members have taken the survey. If you have not, join them today! The link also features comparisons between the ALA Membership and National counts of US Librarians.
The Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study was a six-year project that assesses public access to computers, the Internet and Internet-related services in U.S. public libraries, as well as the impact of library funding changes on connectivity, technology deployment and sustainability.
Built on the longest-running and largest study of Internet connectivity in public libraries, the PLFTAS provides information that can help library directors and library IT staff benchmark and advocate for technology resources in communities across the nation.
The American Library Association's biennial Salary Survey was administered by the ALA's Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). The APA's Library Salary Database has current aggregated salary data for 68 library positions from more than 35,000 individual salaries of actual employees in academic and public libraries in the United States. The Salary Survey is available in different formats. For purchase information, free yearly salary summaries, a salary database and more, see the ALA-APA home page.
Initially created in 2003, the updated edition of the pay bibliography is an easy-to-use resource aimed at helping librarians and library workers understand what they are worth and then use that information to advocate for better pay in an effort to close the wage gap.
The bibliography includes extensive resources on pay equity with a focus on pay equity in libraries. Attention is also paid to issues that are related to pay equity, including certification, faculty status, gender, unions and worker competencies.
The report highlights US economic trends and summarizes trends in public, school and academic libraries during the decade for: Number of Libraries and Population Served, Expenditures, Staffing and Services.