Academic Libraries Recruitment Efficacy and Outcome Study

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About this Project

This is an ongoing longitudinal study to investigate the efficacy of employee recruitment techniques used by academic libraries. This study focuses on the advertising of vacancies, the solicitation of applications, and the recruitment outcomes resulting from these activities. Further, the study affords an opportunity to evaluate the use of specific advertising venues and practices intended to increase applications from traditionally underrepresented groups.

The study collects data through electronic submission on an ongoing basis, with no anticipated end date for collection. Over time, the study will result in a significant volume of data on academic library recruitment efforts.

As a benefit to participant institutions, all submitted data is securely retained and made available for future reporting and interpretative purposes. Participant institutions will be able to use the database as a repository for their own search efforts and outcomes for compliance reporting and other purposes. Additionally, institutions will learn about posting locations and results from their peer institutions and can use this information to refine their own recruiting efforts or better target applicants for specialized positions.

Current participant institutions include:

College of Charleston University of Chicago
Duke University University of Colorado - Boulder
Michigan State University University of Connecticut
Northwestern University University of Florida
Ohio University  University of Massachusetts - Amherst              
Pennsylvania State University University of Michigan
Purdue University University of Minnesota 
Rutgers University University of Missouri 
Texas A&M University University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
University of Alberta University of Pennsylvania
University of Buffalo Virginia Commonwealth University
University of California - Irvine   

Additional information is available here.

Data Access and Reporting

Because this study is the first of its kind for academic libraries and the only one of this scope, the data will capture a unique variety of practices and produce a statistically significant sample for analysis based on institutional characteristics, position types, advertising venues, etc. The data generated by the study allows for comparison and assessment of library recruitment strategies in terms of their efficacy in generating qualified applicants for librarian and staff positions through the generation of reports based on user selected custom criteria.

For a limited time, the report generating tool is available to non-participant institutions and individuals.

Instructions for the reporting tool are available here.

In cases where the institution has requested to withhold its name from the reporting feature, the search data will only indicate general information such as type of institution (public or private) and region.

Participating institutions will have access to enhanced reporting features.

Participating in this Survey

To participate in this survey, submit data, and use the enhanced reporting features, institutions must register. If you have any questions, please contact Bonnie Smith or Brian Keith at (352) 273-2595 or by email at

Data Submission

The intent is to collect granular and comprehensive data on each search. Participant institutions submit data for each search by completing a questionnaire. For a preview of the questionnaire, refer to the online PDF version or view the Data Submission Instructions.

Participants are encouraged to track the data for each search as it is conducted. To help with this process, a Mirror Document Tool spreadsheet is available to record recruitment efforts and outcomes as the search progresses. This spreadsheet mirrors the information for the study, but the spreadsheet can be more easily manipulated by sorting and hiding data to best match the advertising efforts employed by the participant institution.


Any questions or comments regarding this study are welcomed and may be directed to Brian Keith or Bonnie Smith at the University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries at (352) 273-2595 or

University of Florida
Study Home | Contact Us | Data Submission Instructions | Report Generator Instructions