The ARL Statistics and Assessment program focuses on describing and measuring the performance of research libraries and their contributions to research, scholarship, and community service. ARL serves a leadership role in the development, testing, and application of academic library performance measures, statistics, and management tools. Grounded in the tradition of the North American research library environment, the program provides analysis and reports of quantitative and qualitative indicators of library collections, personnel, and services by using a variety of evidence gathering mechanisms, and tools.
Library assessment is gaining in prominence as institutional calls for greater accountability abound. The Library Assessment Conference is a biennial event gathering a vibrant community of practitioners and researchers engaged with the noble mission of demonstrating the value of the library in today's ever-changing environment. The next conference is planned to take place summer 2014 in Seattle, WA. Online communities are available through the Library Assessment Blog and the ARL-ASSESS e-mail list. Building Effective, Sustainable, and Practical Library Assessment and the Organizational Performance Assessment for Libraries (OPAL) are ongoing ARL-sponsored consulting services assisting libraries in strengthening their performance. ARL also offers training in relevant skills and methods through such events as the Service Quality Evaluation Academy.