Research Library Trends · 5
ReseaRch LibRaRy TRends
ARL Statistics 2006–2007 is the latest in a series of annual publications that describe collections, staffing, expenditures, and
service activities for the 123 members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Of these, 113 are university libraries;
the remaining 10 are public, governmental, and nonprofit research libraries. ARL member libraries are the largest research
libraries in North America, representing 16 Canadian and 107 US research institutions. The academic libraries, which
comprise about 92% of the membership, include 14 Canadian and 99 US libraries.
Statistics have been collected and published annually for the members of the Association of Research Libraries since 1961–
1962, and the data are available through an interactive Web interface. Prior to 1961–1962, annual statistics for university
libraries were collected by James Gerould, first at the University of Minnesota and later at Princeton University.1 These
data, covering the years 1907–1908 through 1961–1962, are now called the Gerould statistics.2 The whole data series
from 1908, which is available on the ARL FTP server,3 represents the oldest and most comprehensive continuing library
statistical series in North America.
ARL libraries are a relatively small subset of libraries in North America, but they do account for a large portion of
academic library resources in terms of assets, budgets, and the number of users they serve. The total library expenditures
of all 123 member libraries in 2006–2007 was more than $3.9 billion; from that, roughly $2.9 billion was spent by the 113
university libraries and more than $866 million by the nonuniversity libraries. The pie charts below show how the two
types of libraries divide these expenditures differently.
University Libraries 2006–2007
Other Operating Expenditures
Nonuniversity Libraries 2006–2007
Kendon L. Stubbs and Robert E. Molyneux, Research Library Statistics 1907-08 through 1987-88 (Washington, DC: ARL, 1990).
Robert E. Molyneux, The Gerould Statistics 1907/08 – 1961/62. (Washington, DC: ARL, 1986) http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/gerould/.