Benchmark: Library Metrics and Trends

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Benchmark: Library Metrics & Trends is the newest tool for data-driven planning and advocacy in academic libraries. Launched by ACRL in late 2021, Benchmark provides enhanced access to ACRL annual survey data from 1998-2020.

Access Benchmark Become a Subscriber!

ACRL Presents: Introduction to Benchmark

ACRL Presents - Intro to Benchmark

Learn more about Benchmark in this free webcast.

View the recording!

Using Benchmark is easy!

Student Enrollment Bar graph

With Benchmark, you can:

  • Benchmark and analyze expenditures, staffing, collections, services, and other trend data over time using customized comparison groups.
  • Examine key ratios (e.g., staff per FTE student or library budget as a percentage of institutional expenditures).
  • Quickly generate key metrics for self-studies, budget justifications, annual reports, fundraising, and more.
  • Illustrate ongoing activities and usage in an engaging and compelling fashion for different audiences.
  • Easily access dynamic charts and graphs to see the data in a new way and make more strategic decisions.

How It Works

Peer comparisons, or benchmarking, can help libraries better understand their performance and can support everyday decision making, such as establishing baselines and identifying opportunities to improve services. The data dashboards and comparison tools are robust, interactive, and user-friendly. Each visualization can be filtered by Carnegie classification (both general and detailed), country, state, survey year, and custom peer group.

Collections Summary bar graph
Gate Count bar graph

Visualizations also correspond to the principles in the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education allowing users to use Benchmark data to demonstrate their contributions to advancing the institutional mission, and position libraries as leaders in assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses.


All academic libraries...

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...have complimentary access to ACRL Benchmark, including the ability to:

  • View and complete open surveys.
  • Review responses to past ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics surveys and provide corrections or missing data.
  • View a summary page with selected metrics and visualizations for the library, its Carnegie classification, and all libraries nationwide.
  • Manage the library's contact information and preferences to ensure your institution receives an invitation to participate in future surveys.
  • Access resources about the data, the annual survey, and how to use Benchmark.


Benchmark subscriber benefits

...have access to additional features, including:

  • A robust set of interactive data dashboards with visualizations and filters.
  • A custom report builder that includes access to longitudinal data (back to 1998).
  • The ability to create custom peer groups for benchmarking.

Subscription Types

Subscriptions are available for academic libraries, consortia, and corporations. Discounts are available for organizational members of ACRL, and for institutions which have contributed to the most recent ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey.

Academic Libraries

Subscriptions and surveys are handled at the institutional level. An instituion may include multiple library locations.

$600. 10% discount available for ACRL organizational members and survey participants (for a combined 20% off!)


Companies or other organizations.

$1,800. 10% discount available for ACRL organizational members.


A consortium other group may purchase a subscription that provides access for up to 10 libraries. Additional libraries can be added at a discounted rate.

$3,000 for up to 10 libraries, $200 for each additional library

Individual Consultant / Researcher

A short-term subscription for a single consultant or researcher.

$99 for 30 days of access


For questions about ACRL Benchmark, please contact