The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit membership organization of research libraries and archives in major public and private universities, federal government agencies, and large public institutions in Canada and the US.
With scholars and scholarship at the core of all we do, our Association bridges policy and practice, contributing the greatest value at the intersection of three critical venues in the research and learning environment:
- Research libraries and their parent organizations
- Research and learning communities
- Public policy makers
Below you’ll find these key organizational statements:
The Association of Research Libraries creates a trusted, equitable, and inclusive research and learning ecosystem and prepares library leaders to advance this work in strategic partnership with member libraries and other organizations worldwide.
The Association of Research Libraries empowers and advocates for research libraries and archives to shape, influence, and implement institutional, national, and international policy. We develop the next generation of leaders and enable strategic cooperation among partner institutions to benefit scholarship and society.
The Association values its member representatives and staff; views collaboration, diversity, and inclusion as essential to its success; exercises leadership within and beyond the library profession; provides learning opportunities and resources for member representatives and their staff; and operates responsibly and transparently. As such, ARL adheres to the following guiding principles:
- Participate in national and international conversations on policies, laws, and applications that champion intellectual freedom, privacy, confidentiality, research, social justice, and equitable access to information. Reflect global perspectives in the work of the Association.
- Collaborate with others in higher education and beyond to advance the inclusive development, expression, sharing, and preservation of knowledge. Focus on areas where collaboration pays the greatest dividends and prioritize efforts to avoid duplication or competition with other organizations.
- Advance inclusion, equity, and diversity as critical components of the research library’s mission and organizational development as well as vital aspects of ARL’s leadership, membership, and programs.
- Maximize the ability of member libraries to leverage technology, innovation, responsiveness, and risk-taking.
- Promote a culture of assessment that informs evidence-based decision-making.
- Engage all member representatives in the work of the Association with respect, fairness, and integrity. Foster an environment of inclusion, equity, nondiscrimination, and pluralism.
- Provide opportunities for leadership, professional development, and individual growth for member representatives and their respective workforces.
- Operate with goals, values, and processes that are responsive to members’ needs, well-articulated, transparent, fiscally accountable, and broadly communicated.
- Develop and reward Association staff with competitive pay, encouragement, respect, a flexible and agile working environment, and opportunities for growth.
Code of Conduct
Included among ARL’s guiding principles is the commitment to “engage all member representatives in the work of the Association with respect, fairness, and integrity. Foster an environment of inclusion, equity, nondiscrimination, and pluralism.” This Code of Conduct is intended to articulate how the Association will adhere to that guiding principle.
ARL is committed to developing and maintaining a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful environment—one that will strengthen collaboration, promote intellectual freedom, and support honest discourse and debate. We ask that you listen as much as you speak; yield the floor to those whose viewpoints may be underrepresented; use welcoming language; accept critique graciously and offer it constructively; give credit where it is due; and stay attuned to the welfare of those around you.
ARL does not tolerate personal attacks, harassment of any kind, or disruptive behaviors by participants in conferences, events, meetings, online forums, or any other activities under ARL’s aegis. Anyone asked to stop these behaviors is expected to comply immediately. If you have been involved in or witnessed an incident that potentially violates this Code of Conduct, please advise a designated ARL Ally, a member of the ARL Code of Conduct Committee (CCC), or a member of the ARL staff as soon as possible. ARL will address all reports with discretion and confidentiality as appropriate and will take actions it deems necessary, including warning the alleged offender, requesting that an offender leave an event, or seeking out trained professionals to assist in handling issues of harassment.
Please complete this online form to submit a formal Code of Conduct violation report.
ARL’s 2023–2026 Action Plan
The Association’s 2023–2026 Action Plan states the priorities for the organization. There are five strategic goals, with goal statements and initiatives.
Advocate for an information policy environment in which research libraries advance the progress of knowledge
|Represent, empower and activate the research library community in advocacy for the creation and dissemination of knowledge||
Advocate for and equip research library and archives leaders as partners in advancing research and scholarship that is increasingly open and equitable.
|Bridge research policy and practice through engagement with research partners, stakeholders, and decision makers, resulting in opportunities to collectively inform and shape the research and learning ecosystem||
Demonstrate the value and contributions of research libraries and archives to their communities
|Lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of the tools necessary to demonstrate what it means to be an inclusive, impactful, and effective research library and/or archive.||
Implement a strategy for leadership and organizational development through programming and events that develop library deans, directors, and staff to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the significant changes underway in research, teaching, and learning.
|Position research library dean/directors and their successors (associate/assistant level) as strategic leaders in the profession. Strengthen diverse and inclusive leadership practice throughout research libraries and archives.||
Promote the creation of diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environments, services, and collections by member institutions.
|Engage with members to realize sustainable and targeted change that addresses historical and contemporary inequities through intentional programs, frameworks, and partnerships; these efforts include advancing antiracist practices, increasing accessibility, and promoting the impactful and transformative work happening at and among member institutions.||
The Association’s two ongoing commitments are to:
- Create a welcoming and inclusive experience for all member representatives and library and archives staff participating in the Association, providing equitable opportunities to engage
- Deepen and expand the understanding of the research library’s value with key stakeholders in the research and learning ecosystem through communication