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 American Library Association (ALA).4

Are published books peer reviewed? One subset of ACRL book publishing is their Publications in Librarianship (PIL) program, which is a peer reviewed series of monographic volumes.5

Types of books published: ACRL publishes books under three programs: ACRL general book imprint, Publications in Librarianship (PIL), and College Library Information on Policy and Practice (CLIPP).

Generally the book types is related to LItS Professional Development. This includes monographs of interest to the LIS field and academic libraries that are based on research, ideas, and scholarly thinking. They publish books that offer “practical, prescriptive advice” to help academic libraries worldwide function optimally; showcase “innovative research;” take on contemporary issues; and envision the future of libraries. are research studies, theoretical monographs, or practical tools-based volumes for the practitioner. 6 ACRL publishes monographs for academic librarians so they can advance in career development, effectively manage institutions, and stay tuned on what’s happening in librarianship.7

Medium: Print is their main medium. There are also currently a handful of digital publications available in pdf format, but that is not ACRL’s primary publishing method.8

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.9

Number of titles published per year: ACRL published 14 books during the two year period of 2018-201910

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 ACRL’s  Call for Book Proposals for specifics on suggested topics for Publications in Librarianship.11

Submission and review process: From the guidelines: “The first step in proposing your book is reaching out to ACRL Content Strategist Erin Nevius at to discuss your idea.”12 Then complete a proposal form. ACRL recommends to have an outline ready that shows organization of the proposed book and subjects covered.13 The ACRL Content Strategist will work with you fo clarify or add any additional information, until the proposal review is finalized which can take about 4 weeks. Then it will be submitted to the relevant editorial review board 14

Editorial tone: ACRL asks “that it fits into ACRL’s prescriptive ethos, and will contain how-to tips and strategies that readers can immediately apply to their work.”15

Style guide used: ACRL uses The Chicago Manual of Style, for endnotes and bibliography.16

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. ACRL is an outstanding ALA division with a large member base,17 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.18 ACRL publications are promoted through its catalog,19 and at the ALA store,20 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: ACRL has a large audience: Through their marketing program, they send out a press release, make an announcement on social media and newsletters, send about 100 copies to libraries, made available online such as the ALA Store and Amazon; as well as with international distributors, send review copies to journals, and will be featured at ALA/ACRL Conferences.21

In addition, ACRL is the largest division of the ALA, with more than 10,000 members.22

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: National and, on occasion, global. ACRL is based, like ALA, in Chicago, IL.23 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.24 Academic libraries and scholarly research. Strongly dedicated to providing high quality LIS information.25

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Strong. Not only is ACRL devoted to academic libraries, but it is part of the ALA.26 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 10,000 members, accounting for nearly 20% of the total ALA membership.27 Readers will be keen to hear of new titles from this small, discriminating imprint.

Last updated: November, 2, 2020


Show 27 footnotes

  1. “About”,, accessed January 28, 2018,
  2. “Standards,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  3. “About.”
  4. “About.”
  5. “ACRL Publications in Librarianship Call for Book Proposals,”, accessed October 1, 2020,
  6. “Publications,”, accessed October 1, 2020,
  7. “ACRL Publications Catalog,”, accessed October 5, 2020,
  8. “Digital Publications,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  9. “ACRL Publications Catalog.”
  10. “Annual Report 2018-2019,”, accessed October 5, 2020, p.664,
  11. “Proposals,”, accessed November, 2, 2020,
  12. “Publications,”, accessed November 2, 2020,
  13. “Publications”
  14. “Publications”
  15. “Publications”
  16. “Publications”
  17. “About.”
  18. “Publications.”
  19. “ACRL Publications Catalog”
  20. “ALA Store,”, accessed January 28, 2018,
  21. “Publications.”
  22. “About”
  23. “About”
  24. “About.”
  25. “About.”
  26. “About.”
  27. “About.”
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