Purpose of Component
The purpose of the Academic Libraries (AL) component of IPEDS is to collect information on library collections, expenses, and services for degree-granting postsecondary institutions.
Changes In Reporting
There are a few changes to the 2015-16 Academic Libraries component from the 2014-15 collection. Visit the Academic Libraries Resource page for a list of the changes and additional reporting resources.
Please respond to each item in this survey. If the appropriate answer for an item is zero or none, or if a material is provided and counts are not measurable, use "0." If a material is not provided or not applicable, leave the item blank.
Reporting Period Covered
Report all data for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Fiscal year 2015 is defined as the most recent 12-month period that ends before October 1, 2015, that corresponds to the institution’s fiscal year.
Context boxes are provided to allow institutions to provide more information regarding survey component items. Note that some context boxes are posted on the College Navigator Website, which is the college search tool offered by NCES. NCES will review entries in these context boxes for applicability and appropriateness before posting them on the College Navigator Website; institutions should check grammar and spelling of their entries.
Include data for the main or central academic library and all branch and independent libraries that were open all or part of the fiscal year 2015. Branch and independent libraries are defined as auxiliary library service outlets with quarters separate from the central library that houses the basic collection. The central library administers the branches. Libraries on branch campuses that have separate IPEDS unit identification numbers are reported as separate libraries.
Where to Get Help with Reporting
IPEDS Help Desk
You can also consult the IPEDS Website Trainings & Outreach page which contains several tutorials on IPEDS data collection, a self-paced overview of IPEDS tools, and other valuable resources.
IPEDS Resource Page
The IPEDS Website Reporting Tools page contains frequently asked questions, a link to data tip sheets, tutorials, taxonomies, information centers (e.g., academic libraries, average net price, human resources, race/ethnicity, etc.), and other valuable information.
Where the Reported Data Will Appear
Data collected through IPEDS will be accessible at the institution- and aggregate-levels.
At the institution-level, data will appear in the:
At the aggregate-level, data will appear in:
Before entering any data, a screening question will need to be answered.
Were your annual total library expenses for Fiscal Year 2015:
Indicate whether the annual total library expenses in Fiscal Year 2015 were less than $100,000 or equal to or greater than $100,000. Fiscal Year 2015 is defined as the most recent 12-month period that ends before October 1, 2015, that corresponds to the institution's fiscal year. Expenses include funds expended by the library (regardless of when received) from its regular budget and from all other sources; e.g., research grants, special projects, gifts and endowments, and fees for services. All expenses should be reported in whole dollars. Exclude expenses for new buildings and building renovation. Include fringe benefits only IF paid from the library budget. Other library expenses that should be included are:
•Salaries and wages (from the library budget and all other sources)
•One time purchases of books, serial back-files, and other materials
•Ongoing commitments to subscriptions
•Other materials/service costs
•All other operations and maintenance expenses
If annual total library expenses are less than $100,000, the institution will submit Section I of the AL component. If annual total library expenses are equal to or greater than $100,000, the institution will report Section I and additional expenses and interlibrary services information in Section II of the AL component.
Is the library collection entirely electronic
Select "Yes" if your library collection is comprised entirely of digital/electronic items. Select "No" if your library collection is comprised of both physical and digital/electronic items.
Section I: For all degree-granting institutions with library expenses > $0
NOTE - This section of the survey collects data on selected types of material. It does not cover all materials. Report the total number of each category held at the END OF Fiscal Year 2015.
Count only those materials that are considered part of your collection. Collections comprise of documents held locally and remote resources for which permanent or temporary access rights have been acquired. Access rights may be acquired by the library itself, by a consortium and/or through external funding. Acquisition is to be understood as securing access rights and including it in the library catalog, other library databases or discovery systems. Interlibrary lending and document delivery are excluded from the collection. Include government documents that are cataloged and/or searchable through the library catalog or discovery system.
Physical Books (include government documents and serial backfiles) - Report the number of volumes using the ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2013 definition for volume, which is as follows: A single physical unit of any printed, typewritten, handwritten, mimeographed, or processed work, distinguished from other units by a separate binding, encasement, portfolio, or other clear distinction, which has been cataloged, classified, and made ready for use, and which is typically the unit used to charge circulation transactions. Include print photographs, duplicates and bound volumes of periodicals and music scores. For purposes of this questionnaire, unclassified bound serials arranged in alphabetical order are considered classified. Exclude microfilms, maps, nonprint materials, and uncataloged items. Include Government document volumes that are accessible through the library's catalogs regardless of whether they are separately shelved. "Classified" includes documents arranged by Superintendent of Documents, CODOC, or similar numbers. "Cataloged" includes documents for which records are provided by the library or downloaded from other sources into the library's card or online catalogs.
Physical Media – Report the number of titles of media materials that are displayed by visual projection or magnification, or through sound reproduction, or both, including sound recordings, motion pictures and video recordings, microforms, cartographic and graphic materials. Items packaged together as a unit (e.g. two CD-ROMs for one record book) and checked out as a unit are counted as one physical unit.
Total Physical Collection – This line will automatically be calculated for you.
Total Physical Circulation - Report the total number of times physical items are checked out from the general collections. Include only initial checkouts (circulation), not renewals. Exclude interlibrary loan lending and borrowing. Include transactions of books and media. Do not include transactions of equipment or computers. However, circulation of electronic reading devices (e.g., Kindles) can be included if the device is pre-loaded with e-books. For example, if a customer checks out a Kindle that is pre-loaded with 20 e-books, then that transaction counts as 1 physical circulation, not 20 electronic/digital circulation.
Digital/Electronic Books, (include government documents) – Report e-book titles owned or leased by the library if individual titles are cataloged and/or searchable through the library catalog or discovery system. Examples of discovery systems can be found at http://librarytechnology.org/discovery/. E-books are digital documents (including those digitized by the library), licensed or not, where searchable text is prevalent, and which can be seen in analogy to a printed book (monograph). Include e-book titles in aggregated sets in which the library selected the aggregator even if not each individual e-book title. Report the number at the administrative entity level; do not duplicate unit count for each branch. Include government documents, locally digitized electronic books and electronic theses and dissertations. Do not include titles in Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) or Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) collections until they have been purchased or leased by the library.
Digital/Electronic Databases -Report the total number of licensed digital/electronic databases in your collection if there is bibliographic or discovery access at the database level. Each database is counted individually even if access to several databases is supported through the same vendor interface.
A database is collection of electronically stored data or unit records (facts, bibliographic data, and texts) with a common user interface and software for the retrieval and manipulation of the data. The data or records are usually collected with a particular intent and relate to a defined topic.
Do not include discovery systems in the count of databases. Do not include "individual releases" such as annual updates of content or the migration of the user interface to the next vendor-release (i.e., interface version 3.0 replaces version 2.0) as separate databases.
Digital/Electronic Media -
Report titles of e-media materials owned or leased by the library if the individual titles are cataloged and/or searchable through the library catalog or discovery system. E-media materials are media materials that are in digital format and are available for download or streaming. For example, titles from Films on Demand or Alexander Street Press should be reported. Include digital graphic materials and cartographic materials. Include e-media titles in aggregated sets in which the library selected the aggregator even if not each individual title. Report the number at the administrative entity level; do not duplicate unit count for each branch. Do not count image databases (ARTStor, AP Photo Archives) in this category--count as databases. Do not include titles in Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) or Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) collections until they have been purchased or leased by the library.
Total Digital/Electronic Collection - This line will automatically be calculated for you.
Total Digital/Electronic Circulation or Usage – Report usage of digital/electronic titles whether viewed, downloaded, or streamed.
Include usage for e-books and e-media titles only, even if the title was purchased as part of a database. Do not include usage of titles in Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) or Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) collections until they have been purchased or leased by the library. Do not include transactions of VHS, CDs, or DVDs, as the transactions of these materials are reported under "physical circulation".
Many vendors will provide usage statistics in COUNTER reports. Project COUNTER Code of Practice is available here. Relevant COUNTER reports for e-books are: BR1-Number of Successful Title Requests by Month and Title; and BR2-Number of Successful Section Requests by Month and Title. For media, the report MR1-Number of Successful Multimedia Full Content Unit Requests by Month and Collection, is most relevant.
If COUNTER reports are available, IPEDS suggest that libraries report counts from BR1 and MR1. If BR1 and MR1 statistics are not available, BR2 and MR2 statistics can be used. In cases where vendors do not provide COUNTER reports, libraries may report using other means for monitoring digital/electronic circulation/usage (downloads, session views, transaction logs, etc.).
Notes for Library Consortia
A library consortium is any local, statewide, regional, or interstate cooperative association of libraries that provides for the systematic and effective coordination of the resources of schools, public, academic, and special libraries and information centers, for improving services to the clientele of such libraries. (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Sect. 54.500)
The purpose of library consortia can include:
For IPEDS purposes, academic libraries that share an administrative unit are NOT considered a consortium (see definition of branch and independent libraries ). There are two cases of consortium: one in which members share ALL library resources or one in which they share PARTIAL resources. Refer below for specific instructions in each case.
Consortium Members Sharing ALL Resources
In the case of consortia where individual library members share ALL the same library resources and library budget, a parent/child relationship for reporting Academic Libraries data may be established if certain criteria are met. Parent/child relationships can be established for institutions if: (1) the child institution is in the same institutional control as the parent, and (2) the child institution is not set up to report its own academic libraries expenses or collections data. Once a parent/child relationship has been established, the parent institution will report all data for the child institution. Shared resources are to be reported at the system level. For example, if 20,000 e-book titles were purchased by two institutions in a parent/child relationship to be shared, the parent institution will report 20,000 e-book titles and not 40,000 e-book titles. Institutions wishing to establish a parent/child relationship must contact the Help Desk. See the resource guide for more details on parent/child reporting.
Consortium Members Sharing PARTIAL Resources
In the case where individual library members of the consortia share PARTIAL resources and/or set up to report their own academic libraries expenses or collections data, they must do so for their individual institution. Please note the instructions below.
Reporting digital/electronic collection
If your library is part of a consortium of independent libraries and shares a common e-service (e.g., Overdrive), then your library should report the number of digital/electronic titles it has access to as part of its collection. For example, if your library pays a set annual fee, as part of a consortium, for access rights to 1200 e-books that are shared across all members of the consortium, then your library should count the 1200 titles as part of its e-book collection.
Reporting digital/electronic circulation or usage
If your library is part of a consortium of independent libraries and shares a common e-service (e.g., Overdrive), then count the number of digital/electronic usage for your library’s e-books and e-media collection only. If the usage count for only your institution is not available from the e-service provider, you may allocate the total usage based on characteristics of the institutions in the consortia (e.g, based on percentage Full Time Equivalent students, based on percentage of consortial fees, etc.). Do not include counts from other members of the consortium.
Reporting ongoing expenses for electronic/digital materials or database purchased through a set annual consortium fee
Report them under ‘All other operations and maintenance expenses’. Do not include under ‘Ongoing commitments to subscriptions.'
Section II: For degree-granting institutions with library expenses >= $100,000
Level of library expenses that determines applicability of Section II is based on the institution's response to the screening question.
Branch and Independent Libraries
Branch and independent libraries - Report the number of branch and independent libraries at your institution that were open all or part of fiscal year 2015. EXCLUDE THE MAIN OR CENTRAL LIBRARY. Branch and independent libraries are defined as auxiliary library service outlets with quarters separate from the central library of an institution, which have a basic collection of books and other materials, a regular staffing level, and an established schedule. Include virtual/digital-based branch and independent libraries.
Branch and independent libraries are administered either by the central library, or as in the case of some libraries (such as law, medical, etc.), through the administrative structure of the other units within the university. Departmental study/reading rooms are not included. Please note that data for libraries on branch campuses (i.e., located in another community) are included if those campuses are registered under the same NCES Unit ID number as the main campus.
NOTE- For schools in parent/child relationships, do not report the child institutions as branch libraries. However, if the child institutions have branches, the parent institution should report the combined branch libraries for itself and child institutions.
NOTE – expenses should be reported for the most recent 12-month period that corresponds to your institution's fiscal year that ends before October 1, 2015. Report funds expended by the library (regardless of when received) from its regular budget and from all other sources; e.g., research grants, special projects, gifts and endowments, and fees for services. If items in this section are not paid from the library budget but can be easily identified in other parts of the institution's budget, report them here. The exception is fringe benefits -- report fringe benefits only IF it's paid from the library budget. All expenses should be reported in whole dollars in the most appropriate category to provide an unduplicated count of expenses. Exclude expenses for new buildings and building renovation.
Total salaries and wages from the library budget – Report salaries and wages before deductions for all full-time and part-time library staff, including student assistant wage and Federal Work-Study students' wage, from the library budget or all other institutional sources that are identifiable.
Staff fringe benefits– If benefits are paid from the library budget, select ‘yes’ and report the amount. If benefits are not paid from the library budget, select ‘no’ and report ‘0’ for the amount.
Total amount of fringe benefits (if paid by library budget) – If fringe benefits are paid by the library budget, report all cash contributions in the form of supplementary or deferred compensation other than salary. Do not include the employee's contribution. Employee fringe benefits include retirement plans, social security taxes, medical/dental plans, unemployment compensation plans, group life insurance plans, worker's compensation plans, and other benefits in-kind with cash options. Exclude employee fringe benefits if not paid from the library budget.
One-time purchases of books, serial back-files, and other materials - Provide the cost of one-time purchases of books, serial backfiles, and other materials. Report expenses for published materials in all formats including archives and special collections, except current subscriptions to serials. Include one-time acquisitions of access rights for digital/electronic materials held locally and for remote materials for which permanent or temporary access rights have been acquired. Include expenses for database licenses only if it’s not a subscription or part of an annual consortium fee. Do not include expenses for computer software used to support library operations or to link external networks, including the Internet. This is reported under other operations and maintenance expenses.
Ongoing commitments to subscriptions - Report expenses for ongoing subscriptions to serials in all formats, including duplicates, for all outlets. These are publications issued in successive parts, usually at regular intervals, and, as a rule, intended to be continued indefinitely. Serial subscriptions include periodicals, newspapers, annuals (reports, yearbooks, etc.), memoirs, proceedings, and transactions of societies. Include the costs of electronic serials bought in aggregations and serial packages. Include abstracting and indexing services and any database that requires an annual subscription fee. Include annual electronic platform or access fees. Do not include subscription fees if it’s part of an annual consortium fee. Government documents received serially are included if they are accessible through the library's catalog.
Other materials/service cost – Report additional materials/service costs that have not already been reported in this section. Other materials may include:
Total materials/services cost calculated – This line will automatically be calculated for you.
Operations and Maintenance Expenses
Preservation services - Report expenses associated with maintaining library and archival materials for use either in their original physical form or in some other usable way. This includes but is not limited to binding and rebinding, materials conservation, de-acidification, lamination, and restoration. Also, include preservation-related contracts for services (e.g. digitization). Do not include staff salaries and wages.
All other operations and maintenance expenses - Report any other maintenance expenses that have not already been reported in this section. Include:
Total operations and maintenance expenses - This line will automatically be calculated for you.
Total Expenses – This amount will be calculated for you. It is the sum of salaries and wages, fringe benefits, total materials/services, and total operations and maintenance.
Total Expenses (minus Fringe Benefits) – This amount will be calculated for you. It is total expenses minus fringe benefits. If fringe benefits was not paid out of the library budget, this line should be equal to Total Expenses.
Total interlibrary loans and documents provided to other libraries – Report the number of filled requests for material provided to other libraries. Include all returnable and non-returnable interlibrary loans and documents. Do not include transactions between the main or central library and branches, or transactions between branches.
Total interlibrary loans and documents received – Report the number of filled requests for material received from other libraries. Include all returnable and non-returnable interlibrary loans and documents received from commercial services. Documents delivered from commercial services are all transactions for which the library pays even if library staff is not involved in the transaction. This includes documents received by regular or express mail, by fax, or in electronic form. Exclude transactions between the main or central library and branches and transactions between branches.
Virtual reference services – Respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question about whether or not your library supports virtual reference services. Virtual reference services may be provided by email or the Web, and include information and referral services that take less than 20 minutes of a staff person's time.