acrl_2012

The 2012 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, an annual publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), examines services, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries at accredited colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada. In 2012, 1,495 academic libraries participated in this survey.

We were particularly interested to note the social media use portion of the survey, which shows that about 3 in 4 (76%) academic libraries reported using social media. To break this down a bit further, let’s look at the numbers by type of degree granted by the library’s institution: 91% of doctorate, 83% master’s, 76% bachelor’s, and 60% associate’s degree granting institutions use social media of some kind. The top 3 outlets? Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. Wikis, RSS feeds, and IM were also quite popular at doctorate-granting institutions, although much less so at the other types of institutions.

Libraries were also asked about the purpose of using social media and, as you might expect, promotion of library services, events marketing, and community building were the top choices. Institutions also used social media to communicate with patrons, both about problems (like database downtime) and to gather feedback or suggestions more broadly.

The full 2012 Academic Library Trends and Statistics report is available for purchase in print or online via ACRL Metrics. You can learn more about social media and libraries—here in Colorado and across the country—by perusing our biennial study on public libraries and web technologies.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.