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Information Services and Use Metrics & Statistics for Libraries and Information Providers – Data Dictionary

About this Standard

This standard was first published in 1968, reaffirmed in 1974, and revised in 1983, 1995, and 2004. This 2013 revision is the fifth edition of the standard.

The aim of the standard remains: to assist librarians and researchers [now defined as the information community] by indicating and defining useful quantifiable information to measure the resources and performance of libraries and to provide a body of valid and comparable data on American libraries.

The 2004 revision absorbed the de facto definitions established through the national program for collecting data about libraries (i.e., the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) survey program), and relevant U.S. association definitions, methods and practices of data collection. The value of this approach is that it recognizes the guidelines and best practices in the area of library statistics across the community, not only at the national survey level. It also expanded the scope to address e-metrics, measures related to electronic resources or information. With the 2004 edition, the Data Dictionary was also published as an online web document for easier use and navigation.

The 2013 version is an aggregation of all accepted comments since the previous edition as well as additional changes made by the Z39.7 Standing Committee to reflect changes in cited statistics surveys and new statistics to reflect changes for electronic documents and related services. Notable changes in the new edition are the integration of the e-metrics and the former Appendix regarding Methods of Measurement into the body of the standard to make them easier to use.

Continuous Maintenance

In 2008, at the recommendation of NISO’s Business Information Topic Committee, the standard was transferred to a continuous maintenance mode. A Z39.7 Standing Committee was formed to review comments and suggested changes on a biannual basis.

See the

Continuous Maintenance Procedures webpage

for details on the procedures for submitting comments and how comments will be handled.


Committee Roster


Joe Zucca

Associate University Librarian for Library Technology Services
University of Pennsylvania


Jackie Belanger

Director of Library Assessment and Planning
University of Washington

Sara Goek

Program Manager, Public Library Association
American Library Association (ALA)

Emily Guhde

Director of Library Assessment
Georgetown University

Steve Hiller

Director of Assessment and Planning
University of Washington

Adrian Ho

Chair, ACRL Statistics Editorial Board
University of Kentucky Libraries

Kurt Kiefer

Division for Libraries and Technology, State of Wisconsin (for COSLA, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies)

Jake Soffronoff

Survey Methodologist
Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS)

Danny Wallace

Association for Library & Information Science Education (ALISE)