Biennial statistics on U.S. academic libraries are available from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Data are collected by NCES with the support of the American Library Association, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Division of Governments, and a network of state-level Library Representatives. The biennial NCES report on U.S. academic libraries provides data for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as the nation as a whole. It also summarizes these data for public and private institutions, by enrollment, degree-granting level, and Carnegie classification. Major data categories include: outlets, staffing, expenditures, collections, electronic services, library visits (gate count), circulation, reference questions, and resource sharing/interlibrary loan.
First Look: Academic Libraries
Ed Tabs: Academic Libraries in the United States
NCES also makes available computer files of annual data for about 9,000 administrative entities (i.e., jurisdictions) and about 16,000 outlets. Data files are available for 1992 to the present. Earlier files are available in both ASCII and .dbf formats, while more recent ones are available in both ASCII and MS Access (.mdb) formats. MS Access, SPSS, SAS, or similar statistical analysis software is recommended to users of these files. MS Excel and other spreadsheet applications are not recommended due to the structure and size of the files.
Academic Comparison Tools
Compare Academic Institutions
This tool from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Peer Analysis System is designed to enable a user to easily compare any postsecondary institution to a group of peer institutions selected by the user.
Compare Academic Libraries
Allows the user to get information on a particular library, or to customize a peer group by selecting the key variables that are used to define it.