For immediate release | June 7, 2011

ALCTS Forum features Ithaka Library Survey 2010: "Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors"

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services is pleased to feature the recently published Ithaka survey "Library Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors," offering a strategic analysis on the state of the library to help library leadership plan for the future.

Ithaka S+R, a not-for-profit strategic consulting and research service for the academic and cultural heritage community, surveyed more than 200 library administrators from U.S.-based four-year colleges and institutions that weighed in on issues related to the strategies they are pursuing for their libraries, the management of library collections, the development of new digital collections and the creation of new services to meet changing user needs.

Roger C. Schonfeld, director of research, for Ithaka S+R and co-author of the report with Mathew Long, will discuss the findings. The ALCTS Forum takes place beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, June 27 in the Morial Convention Center, Room 388-390. Immediately following the forum, the ALCTS President’s Program will feature Paul Courant, university librarian at the University of Michigan, speaking on the Economics of Libraries.

“The survey is genuinely revelatory,” commented Charles Henry, president of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). “And, I also hope it will serve as a catalyst for the kind of thoughtful discussion on library strategy and leadership that is urgently needed.“

The survey findings indicated that there is a consensus on key strategic issues, including the clear shift away from print to digital journals and the prioritization of teaching and instruction as core library functions. But, some findings suggest broad divergences not only among library directors, but also among library directors and faculty members, as made evident through a comparison with data from the "Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey 2009."

“We hope that this survey can provide the community with a way to assess trends broadly and to help generate discussion at the local level,” commented Schonfeld. “Today’s library needs to respond to rapid demand for change in information services, and we hope that this survey can help libraries understand how their peers are engaging in this process.”

Library directors as well as faculty members continue to emphasize the library’s role as a buyer of materials, as seen in the way library directors prioritize their spending and how faculty members view the library. However, the survey findings also reveal that many library directors are not confident they have conducted sufficient strategic planning to meet changing user needs and to optimally manage collections.

The "Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors" is available for free download at

About Ithaka S+R

Ithaka S+R ( is a strategic consulting and research service that focuses on the transformation of scholarship and teaching in an online environment, with the goal of identifying the critical issues facing our community and acting as a catalyst for change. Ithaka S+R is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes JSTOR and Portico.


ALCTS, the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, is a division of the American Library Association. ALCTS main areas of interests are collections and technical services including collection management, continuing resources, preservation, cataloging, and acquisitions. For more about ALCTS, visit the website at:


Charles Wilt