We are excited to announce the launch of the 2022 Ithaka S+R Library Director Survey. In order to track high-level strategic and leadership perspectives across the field, we conduct a national survey of academic library deans and directors every three years. Consistent with previous survey cycles, this iteration of the study will provide insights into issues of strategic priorities, budgeting, staffing, and collections, as well as introduce new questions designed to track emerging trends in the field.

Against the backdrop of the Great Resignation/Reshuffle, we are beginning to explore key areas where libraries struggle with retaining, recruiting, or outsourcing talent, as well as navigating remote/hybrid work arrangements. In this survey, as well as in recent surveys of museum and archives professionals, we are tracking talent management and staffing issues, as well as equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility priorities, in order to highlight common and differing trends across the three professions.

In light of new federal funding requirements, in this iteration of the library director’s survey we have also introduced a new battery of questions on research data management services to complement a new S+R cohort-based research and consulting project on the topic. We are also interested in library directors’ perspectives on the open access ecosystem and how they anticipate it will impact their services and budgets.

An overarching thread of the survey instrument comes down to the role of the library and how it defines its value proposition to other stakeholders, both on campus and within its community. How confident are library leaders in their ability to articulate their library’s value proposition? Where are the opportunities for strategic alignment with the larger institution and how do library deans and directors perceive and prioritize them in their own strategic planning?

We are grateful to the following advisors for their feedback, essential in revising the instrument:

Kristin Antelman – University Librarian, UC Santa Barbara
Rhea Ballard-Thrower – University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, University of Illinois-Chicago
Vanessa Beasley – President, Trinity University
Faye Chadwell – Dean of University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University
Emily Chan – Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship, San José State University
Emily Guhde – Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Planning, Georgetown University
Martha Sedgwick – VP for Product Innovation, Sage Publishing
John Sherer – Spangler Family Director, University Of North Carolina Press
Courtney Young – University Librarian and Professor in the University Libraries, Colgate University

Additionally, our survey benefited from testing from this group of library leaders:

Rick Anderson – University Librarian, Brigham Young University
Valeda Dent – Vice Provost of Libraries and Museum, Emory University
Jill Emery – Collection Development & Management Librarian, Professor, Portland State University
Kevin Garewal – Dean of Libraries, University of Rochester
Benjamin Harris – Interim University Librarian & Professor, Trinity University
Salwa Ismail – Associate University Librarian, UC Berkeley
Holly Jeffcoat – Dean of Libraries, Southern Methodist University
Krisellen Maloney – Distinguished Professor/University Librarian, Rutgers University
Michael Meth – Dean of Libraries, San Jose State University

On October 12th, we sent the survey to 1,508 library deans and directors at four-year colleges and universities across the US. The survey will remain open through December 2nd. If you are a library dean or director and did not receive the survey, please contact us at surveys@ithaka.org.