SCONUL statistics

Introduction to the SCONUL statistics

The SCONUL Statistics provide a detailed picture of the workings of a core university function, allowing institutions to benchmark their performance against their peers. This data has proved invaluable to library leaders in strategic planning of their own services, and for the sector in identifying trends and developments in the provision of library services nationally. The Statistics Reporting Tool on our website allows users to compare and benchmark data from across institutions and particular mission groups. 

The SCONUL Annual Statistical Return forms a key part of the SCONUL membership package and is produced by the members for the benefit of the members, with support from the SCONUL Office and service provider.

  • The statistics enable institutions to benchmark their own performance year on year and their performance against their peers. The guidance on the statistical collection aims to ensure consistency in order to provide a robust data set that can be used in benchmarking.
  • The aim of the statistics is to provide an annual insight into the collections, services and activities of the SCONUL member libraries, thereby supporting library directors and other senior staff in their strategic planning, decision making and internal advocacy.
  • The statistics enable the sector to identify trends and developments in the provision of library services nationally.

A case study on how instituitions can use the statistics is available here.

The statistics are copyright of SCONUL which grants permission to its members to use the statistics within their institution. More information on the copyright and use of the statistics is available here.

SCONUL has been collecting and publishing statistics from university libraries for more than twenty years, and the content of the survey has evolved to accommodate the changing nature of service delivery. In 2014 we adopted a shorter, more focused set of measurements which continue to provide the information members find most useful for benchmarking, internal advocacy and strategic planning, whilst reducing the workload for those submitting the data – the number of questions was reduced from over 100 to just 34.