ARL, CARL, and Ithaka S+R Launch Joint Project to Advance the Research and Learning Mission

logos of organizations CARL ARL and ITHAKA S+R

July 23, 2021 – The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) launched a joint project in June 2021 to explore how libraries advance the higher education sector’s strategic priorities. This is an important time to reflect on the role of research libraries as the research community in Canada and the US confronts such unprecedented global challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and widening economic inequality, and our commitment to addressing structural inequities and systemic racism.

ARL and CARL together commissioned Ithaka S+R to conduct the research and analysis for this project. Throughout 2021, Ithaka S+R is interviewing key stakeholders—provosts, presidents, vice presidents of research, leaders in the scholarly community, chief information officers, chief financial officers, and federal agency leaders—to identify their priorities and recommend opportunities for research library alignment. Ithaka S+R’s work will include a set of indicators that signal changes related to stakeholder strategic intentions.

Building on these efforts, in 2022, ARL and CARL will develop a shared narrative with key stakeholders and our members, including data and case studies that convey the value research libraries do and can provide in advancing the research and learning mission.

We look forward to sharing our results on our websites.

For further information please contact Mary Lee Kennedy, executive director of ARL, or Susan Haigh, executive director of CARL.

About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 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

About the Canadian Association of Research Libraries
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is a membership organization of Canada’s 29 largest university libraries and 2 federal institutions. CARL provides leadership on behalf of Canada’s research libraries and enhances capacity to advance research and higher education. It promotes effective and sustainable knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation, and advocates for public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information. CARL is on the web at

About Ithaka S+R
Ithaka S+R provides research and strategic guidance to help academic and cultural communities serve the public good and navigate economic, technological, and demographic change. Our work has been instrumental in helping leaders in higher education and the cultural sector learn from rigorous and well-designed research studies and adapt to new realities and opportunities. Our Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museum program guides collecting, educational, and scholarly communication organizations as they transition to the technological and economic context of the 21st century. We help partner organizations better support scholarship, instruction, and student success by empowering them to gather evidence to drive their strategic planning and service offerings. Ithaka S+R is on the web at