Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2016 (ICPSR 37027)

Version Date: Apr 16, 2018 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Christine Wolff-Eisenberg, Ithaka S+R


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The Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2016 examines strategy and leadership issues from the perspective of academic library deans and directors. Respondents were asked about their strategies related to services, collections, and discovery, their leadership roles within and outside of the library, and their vision for the role of the library. Demographic variables include respondents' number of years in their position, and their institution type (public/private) and Carnegie Classification.

Wolff-Eisenberg, Christine. Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2016 . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-04-16.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2016-11-16 -- 2016-12-16
2016-11-16 -- 2016-12-16
For additional information, please see the full report from the Ithaka S+R website.

The project aimed to provide academic librarians and higher education leaders with information about chief librarians' visions and the opportunities and challenges they face in leading their organizations.

The list of institutions that Ithaka S+R used as a base for the 2016 sample in the U.S. was taken from the Carnegie Foundation's database of institutions. Nine of the Foundation's "Basic" classifications were used as the population for the survey:

  • Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges
  • Baccalaureate Colleges: Diverse Fields
  • Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts and Sciences
  • M3: Master's Colleges and Universities - Smaller programs
  • M2: Master's Colleges and Universities - Medium programs
  • M1: Master's Colleges and Universities - Larger programs
  • R3: Doctoral/Research Universities - Moderate research activity
  • R2: Research Universities - Higher research activity
  • R1: Research Universities - Highest research activity

The list of all not-for-profit institutions from these classifications contained 1,525 colleges and universities in the United States. From this list of 1,525, 37 institutions were excluded from the survey population. These institutions were excluded for a variety of reasons: many of them do not operate their own library, some had no active library director, and some institutions had either closed or lost their accreditation.

One individual from each institution was identified who had oversight over the library and its staff. The final list of contacts included 1,488 people in the United States. This list actually represents 1,501 institutions, because 13 of the "excluded" institutions share their library services with other members of a consortium, and therefore their library directors were in fact included in the survey.


Library deans and directors at 4-year colleges and universities in the United States.

Individual, Academic Institution
survey data

The overall response rate was 49 percent, and response rates varied by Carnegie Classification.


2018-04-16 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data are not weighted.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.