Participating in ALLStAR
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Joining the ALLStAR Benchmarking Project

Academic law libraries that join the ALLStAR project commit to:

  • Gathering meaningful data over the course of the fiscal year about the operations, services, and context of your academic law library's operations.
  • Completing the ALLStAR Official Survey (AOS) which combines the questions from:
    1. The discontinued Law Library section of the American Bar Association (ABA) Survey;
    2. Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) survey;
    3. Association of Research Libraries (ARL) survey;
    4. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) questions;
    5. The US News survey; and A brief set of questions about current issues/trends facing academic law libraries.

To support participating ALLStAR libraries, member libraries are provided with:

  • Face-to-face training sessions at conferences and via webinars;
  • Individual email correspondence with ALLStAR Project Manager and relevant contacts through;
  • Extensive online documentation and support materials;
  • Exportable, standardized reports developed by Counting Opinions and NELLCO that examine major facets of library operations, services, and collections; and
  • The ability to create customized reports that examine their library’s internal data and/or benchmark their library’s against other participating peer libraries.

ALLStAR Benchmarking Project Timeline

ALLStAR subscriptions run from October 1 to September 30 of the following year.  Libraries should renew by September 30 to avoid a disruption of service. The following are approximate key dates in the ALLStAR project to assist in libraries planning processes .   The actual dates for the data collection and analysis cycle will be announced to the ALLStAR user group listserve and posted on the year’s ALLStAR Announcements Website.


Time Frame


Data Collection


ALLStAR Official Survey (AOS) opens for academic law libraries to input their data

(following year)

ALLStAR Official Survey (AOS) data collection closes

Data Analysis and Reporting

February – March

Data submitted by participating libraries is validated by Counting Opinions

March – May

Counting Opinions and NELLCO collaborate on the development of standardized reports


Standardized reports and the ability to create customized reports on collected data become available to participating ALLStAR libraries

Data Maintenance


Official, publicly available data from relevant surveys (e.g., ARL, ACRL, IPEDS) is uploaded by NELLCO and Counting Opinions into the ALLStAR system as it becomes available by the sponsoring organizations.

Membership Tiers

Academic law libraries joining or renewing their ALLStAR subscription need to select their participation level, or membership tier. Each membership tier provides access to different surveys (i.e., data points for tracking). All membership tiers have full access to the standardized and customized data reporting features.

Tier 2
Basic Access

Tier 3
Enhanced Access

Tier 4
Full Access

Annual Subscription




Number of Usernames/Logins



Library Can Create Additional User Accounts



Standard Surveys Available for Data Input

Regardless of membership tier all member libraries are asked to complete the ALLStAR Official Survey (AOS). The AOS is comprised of questions from the following surveys:

- American Bar Association legacy library questions (ABA)
- Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL)
- Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
- US News & World Reports

The AOS also includes a brief set of additional questions about current issues/trends facing academic law libraries.

Additional Surveys Available for Data Input

- None

Tier 3 features additional surveys selected for their applicability to law libraries and usefulness in benchmarking. These additional surveys focus on:

- Acquisitions
- Cataloging
- Circulation
- Collections
- Facilities
- Information Technology Staff
- Integrated Library System/Digital Projects
- Interlibrary Loan/Resource Sharing
- Law Library Load
- Law School Load
- Library Budget (ABA)
- Library Budget (ARL + Breakdown)
- Library Instruction
- Library Website
- Outreach
- Reference

Tier 4 includes all Tier 3 surveys and uses Employee Questionnaires (EQ) to support data collection in eight areas. The EQ is designed to reduce the time it takes for larger libraries to complete these surveys and potentially increase the reported data’s accuracy. This is done by sending specific portions of the surveys to the library staff who are responsible for that data. Each library staff member has an individual account through which they complete their EQ survey. Their individual responses are then automatically entered onto the final, library-wide survey.

EQ can be used on the following surveys:

- Acquisitions
- Collections
- Integrated Library System/Digital Projects
- Law Library Load
- Library Instruction
- Library Website
- Outreach
- Reference

Please note, the library will determine who will receive which EQ survey portions and who can have system access to create reports.

Can Create Custom Reports


Can Customize Report Templates


Access to ALLStAR Official Survey Reports


One-Time Set-up Fee*




* There is a one-time set-up fee associated with developing and activating each library account. The set-up fee is for first-year subscriptions only. Renewals do not pay this fee.

Please note that Tier 1 was eliminated effective October 1, 2019 due to confusion about Tier 1 functionality and the unsustainable cost of subsidizing free usage of the ALLStAR system. Eliminating Tier 1 gave all ALLStAR subscribers equal functionality while helping create a sustainable business model.

ALLStAR User Agreement

Academic law libraries participating in ALLStAR are asked to adhere to the following user agreement:

By registering with ALLStAR Benchmarking, you agree to keep all data and information confidential within your law school and other libraries who are registered members of ALLStAR Benchmarking. This tool is intended for the exclusive and official use by persons authorized by ALLStAR Benchmarking. Data obtained directly or derivatively from ALLStAR Benchmarking may not be published outside your law school without the express, written consent of ALLStAR Benchmarking (NELLCO) and an authorized representative of each school whose data is being accessed, named, and published. Each law school is free to publish its own data without permission from ALLStAR Benchmarking.

Under limited purposes, ALLStAR Benchmarking may grant permission to use data when it is made anonymous. With such requests, ALLStAR Benchmarking will have exclusive right to grant or deny publication permission at any time.

It will be the responsibility of each library to grant access to employees within the library and to determine appropriate levels for each employee. Access to ALLStAR Benchmarking may not be granted to anyone outside the library, including law school personnel. Most employees should be given data-entry access only. Managers may be given intermediate user status in order to monitor the data input of their employees, create relevant reports, and export relevant data. Full-control user status should be given only to those persons required to oversee the overall data input and access output reports.

All law schools and users agree to hold harmless ALLStAR Benchmarking, NELLCO, and Counting Opinions for the misuse of this data by member libraries.

ALLStAR Benchmarking reports are confidential and may only be shared within ALLStAR Benchmarking law schools. Reports are created from data belonging to individual ALLStAR Benchmarking members with report copyright held by NELLCO. Any copying or distribution of a part of whole of a report is subject to this restriction.

How to Renew or Subscribe

Please complete this form to renew your subscription or to subscribe for the first time.


NELLCO is a consortium of law libraries collaborating to maximize access to services and resources and to develop, evaluate, and implement innovative programs for the benefit of the members.

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