(17 March 2017) The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released the ARL Statistics 2014–2015 and updated its free series of graphs showing trends in the ARL Statistics data over time. These two publications present information describing the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of the Association’s 124 member libraries in fiscal year 2014–2015. Of these, 114 are university libraries (15 in Canada and 99 in the US); the remaining 10 are public, governmental, and nonprofit research libraries (1 in Canada, 9 in the US).
ARL libraries are a relatively small subset of libraries in North America, but they account for a large portion of academic library resources in terms of assets, expenditures, and the number of users they serve. The total expenditures of all 124 member libraries in 2014–2015 were almost $4.6 billion; of that, approximately $3.4 billion was spent by the 114 university libraries and more than $1.2 billion by the nonuniversity libraries.
ARL Statistical Trends is a series of graphs and data that identify historical and continuing trends in services, collections, staffing, and expenditures in ARL university libraries over the past three decades. Spending for ongoing resources, which includes print and electronic journals, continues to skyrocket, showing a 521% increase since 1986. Over the same period, total expenditures have increased 197% and salary expenditures have increased 152%. All the data and graphs in the Statistical Trends series are available on the ARL website as open access downloads.
The Association has collected and published annual statistics for its member libraries since 1961–1962, expanding upon the work of James Gerould, who collected this information first at the University of Minnesota and later at Princeton University. The data he collected, covering the years 1907–1908 through 1961–1962, are now called the Gerould Statistics. The complete data series from 1908 through the present represents the oldest, most comprehensive, continuing library statistical series in North America.
The announcement including ordering details is here.