National Statistics

Statistics on U.S. academic libraries are available from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Data are collected by NCES via the Academic Library Survey (ALS) 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.

Beginning in 2014-15, the ALS is being integrated into data collection for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Spring Collection. Information about the transition is available here ( Data is anticipated to be available in fall 2015.

Academic Library Survey

  • Publications – View biennial NCES reports on U.S. academic libraries data for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia as well as the nation as a whole.
  • NCES Data File Download – Access 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 2012.

Comparison Tools

  • IPEDS Executive Peer Tool and Peer Analysis System – This tool from 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.