Library Development · 11
Executive Summary
The term “library development” conjures several
different meanings for library professionals. For
some, library development refers to the building
of library collections; for others, it is any activity
related to building the library, itself. For the pur-
poses of this survey, library development referred
to the strategic raising of financial support to ben-
efit the needs and priorities related to programs,
facilities, projects, and services within a research
library. Over the past twenty years, library devel-
opment has become increasingly more specialized.
Depending upon the institution, library develop-
ment can include annual giving, major giving, de-
ferred giving, corporation and foundation relations
(of which grant writing may be a component), pub-
lic (and/or external) relations, event management,
and other services.
Presently, the library community does not well
understand what structures and resources are nec-
essary for a successful library development pro-
gram and how this library development program
fits in the institution’s overall development struc-
ture and within the library leadership. This survey
was designed to investigate the staffing, reporting
relationships, and duties of library development
programs in ARL member libraries. The results of
this survey provide a snapshot of library develop-
ment programs in research libraries and provide a
baseline for institutions as they work to create, re-
fine, or advocate for library development programs
in their institutions.
This survey sought to determine and document
the staffing, structure, and institutional relation-
ship with respect to fundraising rather than fund-
raising production of member libraries. It is impor-
tant to note that the authors knowingly excluded
questions concerning the actual dollars raised for
several key reasons. The most fundamental reason
was the various manners and methods by which
institutions count funds (whether cash or deferred;
expendable, endowed or other; pledges or dol-
lars received) and the fact that an adequate survey
instrument could not be designed to accurately
capture all possibilities. Nonetheless, the data do
provide a lens through which a “typical” research
library development program may be viewed.
The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member
libraries in March 2006. Ninety libraries (73%) re-
sponded to the survey. Eighty-three (92%) reported
that they have a formal library development pro-
gram. Of those institutions, all have a fundraising
professional assigned to the program, 76 (92%) use
printed giving materials, 71 (86%) use direct mail,
50 (60%) conduct a phonathon, 50 (60%) have a
friends organization, and 47 (57%) raise more than
$500,000 a year in private support.
The survey asked respondents who had a mini-
mum of three of the following components to com-
plete the questionnaire: a fundraising professional
assigned to raise money for the library, printed giv-
ing materials, direct mail on behalf of the library’s
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