The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, is a professional association of academic librarians and other interested individuals. It is dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improving learning, teaching, and research. The association serves librarians in all types of academic libraries at the community college, college, and university level and also serves librarians that work in comprehensive and specialized research libraries. The Association of College and Research Libraries is the largest division of the American Library Association. It has a membership of approximately 12,000, accounting for nearly 20% of the total American Library Association membership, and provides a broad range of professional services and programs for a diverse membership. The Association publishes an open access journal, ''College & Research Libraries''.


The Association of College and Research Libraries has its roots as the College Library section of the American Library Association, which first met in 1890, attended by 15 librarians representing major colleges located on the east coast of the United States. In 1897 the section was renamed the College and Reference Library Section in recognition of the participation of reference librarians. In 1923, the section established bylaws and began charging dues. In 1938, the section adopted new bylaws which moved the section to the Association of College and Reference Libraries and allowed for more autonomy and for the creation of subsections for college and junior college libraries, teachers college libraries, university libraries, and others. In 1940, Association of College and Research Libraries became the American Library Association's first division. In 1956, when the Library Reference Services Division was established as a separate division of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries changed the "Reference" to "Research" in its name and became the Association of College and Research Libraries. In 1978, they held their first standalone conference. On January 11, 2016, the ACRL adopted the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.


On April 11, 2019 Jon E. Cawthorne, dean of Detroit's Wayne State University Library System and the university's School of Information Sciences, was elected vice-president/president-elect of ACRL. In the autumn of 2019, Wayne State University provost Keith Whitfield announced that Wayne State University Press, the university's award-winning scholarly publishing arm founded in 1941, would shift from reporting to the provost to reporting to Jon Cawthorne. On February 7, 2020, Cawthorne directed that three long-time senior employees on its five-member management team be terminated. The following week, more than 60 authors and scholars who had worked with the press signed a letter demanding the reinstatement of the three. After two weeks of protests by the press's editorial board, authors, and readers, Wayne State University president M. Roy Wilson reversed the decision, reinstated the three, and shifted the press's reporting line to his own office. Cawthorne's actions at Wayne State University while vice-president/president-elect of ACRL led to questions about whether it marked a shift in the organization's stance toward university presses. ACRL would not respond to repeated offers to comment.


The Association of College and Research Libraries supports seventeen sections: * African American Studies Librarians Section * Anthropology and Sociology Section * Arts Section * Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section * College Libraries Section * Community and Junior College Libraries Section * Distance Learning Section * Education and Behavioral Sciences Section * Instruction Section * Law and Political Science Section * Literatures in English Section * Rare Books and Manuscripts Section * Science and Technology Section * Slavic and East European Section * University Libraries Section * Western European Studies Section * Women and Gender Studies Section


The Association of College and Research Libraries issues awards annually to honor academic and research librarians for significant achievements. These awards include a citation, and in some cases also a cash award. * Academic/Research Librarian of the Year * Excellence in Academic Libraries Awards * Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award * CLS Innovation in College Librarianship Award * CJCLS EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Program Award * CJCLS EBSCO Community College Library Achievement Award * Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award * EBSS Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award * Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award * Instruction Section Innovation Award * LPSS Marta Lange/SAGE-CQ Press Award * STS Innovation in Science and Technology Librarianship Award * WGSS Career Achievement in Women & Gender Studies Librarianship Award * WGSS Significant Achievement in Women & Gender Studies Librarianship Award

See also

*Association of Research Libraries


External links

History of the ACRLACRL Sections
{{Authority control Category:American Library Association Category:Library-related professional associations