ACRL Consulting Services

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Move your library forward.

ACRL's Consulting Services can help your library realize its full potential.

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Is your library well positioned to leverage its services, programs, and resources at your institution? Are you thinking creatively and planning strategically to innovate and advance your library’s role on campus? ACRL can help your library prepare for a dynamic, positive, and successful future through our consulting and facilitation services. Delivered by a knowledgeable, experienced team of consultants, ACRL Consulting Services works with you to design and assist with library reviews and planning activities, organizational change and development initiatives, staff retreats, and campus collaborations.

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Projects and Services

From external library reviews and preparing accreditation reports to facilitating library staff retreats and strategic planning, our consultants provide a wide array of services to help academic libraries grow and succeed.

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Meet Our Consultants

Our consulting team is here to collaborate with your library and develop custom plans and training for your unique institutional situation. Get to know our experts!

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Don't take our word for it. See what past clients have to say about ACRL's consulting services.

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Further Resources

Check out some sample publications and webinar recordings to help you understand the work of our consultants and what's involved with reviewing and advancing academic libraries.

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Our Approach

ACRL sees its consulting services as a collaborative and helping relationship, not a prescriptive relationship. We work in conversation and dialogue with you to understand your needs. We don’t tell organizations what to do and, while we may offer suggestions and recommendations, we believe that people most likely commit to that which they create themselves.


"Our work with the ACRL consultants on creating vision/values statements and strategic directions could not have gone better, even with the curveballs that were thrown our way, including a major hurricane. From the very first meeting, they listened and reflected back our goals, then devised strategies for helping us achieve those goals. We were praised by the provost for our beautifully collaborative process, but that all came from Karen and Janice and the process that they put together for us and with us. Our new leadership team came together to craft the final documents, with care and direction from our consultants, and the outcome is even better than we could have expected. We were told by the academic planning committee and the provost that this was exactly what they were looking for from us - clear, concise, meaningful, and ambitious. Thank you to Karen and Janice for getting us to the finish line!"

~ Laurie Phillips, Interim Dean of Libraries, Loyola University New Orleans

"The consultant team from ACRL provided us with a thorough analysis of our library’s potential, but even more importantly gave us ideas that we can act on immediately. I find myself referring to their report almost every week as we plan new programs and initiatives."
~ Catherine Kelley, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Educational Resources and Assessment, Fairleigh Dickinson University

"Northeastern Illinois University recently engaged Kara Malenfant, Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives for ACRL, to create and facilitate a visioning program in our library as part of the University’s Innovation Roundtable series. ACRL had provided the Library with similar services in the past and I felt that they were the perfect choice for our program. Intended as a “kickoff” for our master space plan the event managed to generate the necessary discussion to begin engaging the library staff and our campus in this initiative. The report written by Ms. Malenfant also provided me with the necessary document in support of our Roundtable and additional rationale for our space plan."
~ Carlos Melian, Dean of Libraries and Learning Resources, Northeastern Illinois University

"The role ACRL plays as the primary professional association for academic and research libraries adds an additional level of legitimacy to our initiatives for university administrators and other campus stakeholders. We are updating the Library’s Strategic Plan in the fall and I will be contacting ACRL again to assist us with the process."
~ ACRL Consulting Client

"Whether it’s strategic planning, creating collaborative staff environments, or developing strategies for implementing the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education, ACRL consultants bring a high level of expertise and a neutral point of view to facilitate change. "
~ ACRL Consulting Client

"ACRL's consultants bring much to their role as consultants, derived from their own backgrounds in libraries of all sizes serving all manner of constituents, their ability to listen, see and encourage creative and strategic thinking, and a broad and international knowledge-base of library developments and trends."
~ ACRL Consulting Client

Further Resources


Reviewing the Academic Library

Reviewing the Academic Library: A Guide to Self-Study and External Review is an edited volume of sixteen chapters by leaders in the field. Whether the library assessment is driven by external pressure or by an organizationally inspired desire to improve, library managers are expected to be able to plan and implement both comprehensive and targeted evaluations of their impact, services, resources, programs, virtual and physical spaces, and partnerships. In this volume, the reader will find essays by key thinkers and leaders that address the major aspects of the formal assessment and review of academic libraries. This volume offers practical and applicable information, contextualized through current theory and approaches.

Check out a sample chapter: "Successful External Reviews: Process and Practicalities"

Get your copy

Video: Consulting Services for Academic Libraries

Watch a 1 hour recorded webcast to learn more about how ACRL can help your library prepare for a dynamic, positive, and successful future through its consulting and facilitation services. Hear from librarians who have used ACRL Consulting Services to enhance their library’s programs and collections on their campuses.

Recorded July 2, 2019


NOTE: ACRL has suspended consulting services as of June 2023. Because many of our consultants also work independently, interested parties may wish to contact them directly.

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