Overview · 5
ARL Statistics 2009–2010 is the latest in a series of annual publications that describe collections, staffing,
expenditures, and service activities for the 125 members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Of these,
115 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 18 Canadian and 107 US research
institutions. The academic libraries, which comprise 92% of the membership, include 16 Canadian and 99 US 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.1 These data, covering the years 1907–08 through 1961–62, are now called the Gerould statistics.2 The
whole data series from 1908, which is available on the ARL website,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 125 member libraries in 2009–2010 was slightly more than $4.2 billion; from that, approximately
$3.2 billion was spent by the 115 university libraries and slightly more than $990 million by the nonuniversity
libraries. The pie charts below show how the two types of libraries divide these expenditures differently.
University Libraries 2009–2010 Nonuniversity Libraries 2009–2010
1 Kendon L. Stubbs and Robert E. Molyneux, Research Library Statistics 1907–08 through 1987–88. (Washington, DC: ARL, 1990).
2 Robert E. Molyneux, The Gerould Statistics 1907/08 – 1961/62. (Washington, DC: ARL, 1986) http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/gerould/.