Research Library Trends · 5
Research Library Trends
ARL Statistics 2008–2009 is the latest in a series of annual publications that describe collections, staffing, expenditures, and
service activities for the 124 members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Of these, 114 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 171 Canadian and 107 U.S. research institutions. The academic libraries, which
comprise about 92% of the membership, include 15 Canadian and 99 U.S. libraries.
Statistics have been collected and published annually for the members of the Association of Research Libraries since 1961-62,
and the data are available through an interactive Web interface. Prior to 1961-62, annual statistics for university libraries were
collected by James Gerould, first at the University of Minnesota and later at Princeton University.2 These data, covering the
years 1907-08 through 1961-62, are now called the Gerould statistics.3 The whole data series from 1908, which is available on
the ARL website,4 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 124
member libraries in 2008-2009 was slightly more than $4 billion; from that, roughly $3.1 billion was spent by the 114 university
libraries and slightly more than $940 million by the nonuniversity libraries. The pie charts below show how the two types of
libraries divide these expenditures differently.
University Libraries 2008–2009 Nonuniversity Libraries 2008–2009
1 CISTI was unable to complete the 2008–2009 ARL Statistics survey due to organizational considerations.
2 Kendon L. Stubbs and Robert E. Molyneux, Research Library Statistics 1907-08 through 1987-88 (Washington, DC: ARL, 1990).
3 Robert E. Molyneux, The Gerould Statistics 1907/08 – 1961/62. (Washington, DC: ARL, 1986), http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/gerould/.