Today, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) released our Annual Report 2021, which highlights our collective accomplishments advancing research, learning, and scholarly communication, in alignment with our 2021–2022 Action Plan.
On reflection, 2021 represents a year in which ARL member institutions, like so many other organizations, faced daunting operational and strategic challenges resulting from COVID-19 and its reverberations, political polarization, ongoing mis/disinformation, and persistent violence against BIPOC peoples. In the evolving context, ARL came together virtually and strengthened through informal conversations, Association Meetings, and the largest number of attendees ever at the Fall Forum. We welcomed two new member institutions and engaged even more research library and archives employees in our Action Plan priorities and work.
The Annual Report 2021 outlines the Association’s progress in advocating for policies and practices that support expanding equitable access to information. Together with our partners, we advanced our commitment to accessibility, digital rights, and university-based publishing and advanced research policies related to funding, international students, research data, open scholarship, and the future of scholarly communications. The report describes the Association’s work to create diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible work environments, services, and collections, including revising ARL’s governance structure to address structural inequities, relaunching the ARL Leadership Fellows program, and joining the US Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Movement to establish a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation and an Archive of Racial and Cultural Healing. The report provides an overview of ARL’s 2021 assessment activities, data collection, and analysis and showcases the Association’s efforts to shape and inform leadership practice throughout research libraries. It highlights how, during a year of continued turmoil, the Association engaged with key stakeholders, partners, and the media to raise their awareness of the impact of member library and archives contributions to the broader ecosystem.
With questions about the Association of Research Libraries Annual Report 2021, please contact Jessica Aiwuyor, senior director of Communications.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 126 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.