Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)

Publication Profiles > Book Publishers > Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)


Publisher analysis

About the publisher

Name: Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)


Purpose, objective, or mission: From the About page: ACRL is a professional association dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching and research.”1 From the ACRL Guidelines & Standards, “ACRL is the source that the higher education community looks to for standards, guidelines and frameworks on academic libraries.”2

Target audience: Academic Libraries and the LIS field practitioners.3

Owner: Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the ALA.4

Are published books peer reviewed? ACRL Publications in Librarianship is a peer reviewed series of monographic volumes.5

Types of books published: LIS Professional Development. Monographs of interest to the LIS field and academic libraries: books are research studies, theoretical monographs, or practical tools-based volumes for the practitioner. These are primarily to assist academic librarians in career development, managing their institutions, and keeping abreast of developments in librarianship.6

Medium: Print. There are currently a handful of digital publications available in pdf format, but that is not ACRL’s primary publishing method.7

Topics covered: Information literacy, copyright and scholarly communication, research in academic librarianship, trends in academic libraries, leadership and organizational development, management, collection development, information access, and information literacy.8

Number of titles published per year: 8–169

About the publisher’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines

Types of submissions accepted: Proposals, completed manuscripts, or dissertations, accompanied by a Publication Proposal Form. See the Call for Book Proposals for specifics on suggested topics.10

Submission and review process: From the guidelines: “Ideally authors/editors will send one or more chapters with a proposal. Each proposal is then read by the editorial board and ACRL staff.”11 The review process takes around two months, and reviewers will send comments back to the author if they would like to move forward with the project. “The editor will then work with authors or editors to establish a timetable for development and publication.”12

Editorial tone: Professional and, where warranted, more immediate and casual.13

Style guide usedWebster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition, for spelling, and The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, for style.14

Conclusion: Evaluation of publisher’s potential for LIS authors

Authors with a proposal for an academic library topic, or a proposal for furthering the professional development of any librarian or information professional would do well to consider ACRL for publication. The group is an outstanding ALA group with a large member base,15 and reaches hundreds of libraries. In addition, the editorial staff is able to provide dedicated support and editing assistance to authors to ensure the most professional product possible.16 ACRL publications are promoted through its catalog,17 and at the ALA store,18 meetings and conferences, with articles and promotional notices appearing in C&RL at the time of publication. ACRL is a trusted organization, excellent to consider for publication.


Audience analysis

About the publisher’s audience

Size: Smallish, with 15 new books published in 2016-17, per the Annual Report.19

ACRL has a large automatic audience: “hundreds of libraries have blanket ACRL acquisition orders and many librarians order their own copies, or buy them at conferences.”20

In addition, ACRL is the largest division of the ALA, with more than 11,000 members.21

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: National and, on occasion, global. ACRL is based, like ALA, in Chicago, IL.22 American English, leaning towards issues in American academic libraries.

Reader characteristics: The association, as an ALA organization and publisher, is interested in continuing the education and providing professional development for academic librarians and information professionals.23 Academic libraries and scholarly research. Strongly dedicated to providing high quality LIS information.24

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Strong. Not only is ACRL devoted to academic libraries, but it is part of the ALA.25 Expect editors and eventual readers to be very knowledgeable about LIS topics.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Any publishing group that calls the ALA home is a good place to query your LIS proposal, and ACRL is no exception. The largest division of the ALA,  ACRL currently has a membership of more than 11,000 members, accounting for nearly 20% of the total ALA membership.26 Readers will be keen to hear of new titles from this small, discriminating imprint.

Last updated: January 28, 2018


Show 26 footnotes

  1. “About”,, accessed January 28, 2018,
  2. “Standards,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  3. “About.”
  4. “About.”
  5. “Publications,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  6. “Publications.”
  7. “Digital Publications,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  8. Publications.”
  9. “Publications.”
  10. “Proposals,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  11. “Publications”
  12. “Publications”
  13. “Publications”
  14. “Publications”
  15. “About.”
  16. “Publications.”
  17. “Digital Publications”
  18. “ALA Store,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  19. “Annual Report,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  20. “Book Proposals,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  21. “About”
  22. “About”
  23. “About.”
  24. “About.”
  25. “About.”
  26. “About.”
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