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Academic Libraries Survey

Compare Academic Libraries allows users to compare one library (the library of interest) with similar libraries (the comparison group). For example, a user may wish to compare one library's total circulation with the total circulation of a group of libraries with similar total expenditures.

The steps involved in using Compare Academic Libraries are:

  1. Select the library of interest for which you want to find a comparison group.
  2. Choose the basis for identifying similar libraries (the “Comparison Group”): e.g. size of staff.
  3. Choose the information you would like displayed in the report.
  4. View the report, which compares your library of interest with its comparison group.


Fiscal Year 2012 data from the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) are used in Compare Public Libraries.

Missing Data:
These data have been reviewed and edited at the state and national levels, and verified as correct by each state’s data coordinator.  There have been no imputations for non-response, so some data may be missing, indicated as “N/A.”   This can result in some libraries not being selected for comparison groups.  Imputation is a statistical means for providing a valid value for missing data.

Note about confidentiality and removal of data:
Because public use data must protect the confidentiality of respondents, changes have been made in the public use file used by this tool.  For libraries where Librarians and Other Professional Staff is less than or equal to 2.00 FTE, expenditures data for Librarians and Other Professional Staff for those academic libraries have been removed.

Similarly, the expenditures data for All Other Paid Staff and Student Assistants have been removed for those libraries where All Other Paid Staff and Student Assistants respectively are less than or equal to 2.00 FTE.  Other Operating Expeditures have been removed to prevent infering these data.  In addition, expenditures data for Employee Fringe Benefits Paid by Library have been removed if any saleries data were suppressed.

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The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education