RLI 280
ReseaRch libRaRy tRends: a histORical pictuRe Of seRvices, ResOuRces, and spending
21
SEPTEMBER 2012 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
Figure 1. service trends in aRl libraries, 1991–2011
Figure 1 presents the percentage change since 1991 in select public service activities such as circulation
(initial and total), reference transactions, library instruction (group presentations and participants in
these presentations), and interlibrary borrowing and lending. The chart shows that circulation and
reference transactions are declining while total students, group presentations, and participants in those
presentations are increasing. Library services are being redefined as information is becoming more
easily and readily accessible. Libraries are engaged in defining new roles and services as reported in
ARL publications such as ARL Profiles: Research Libraries 2010 and ARL’s New Roles for New Times report
series.
-70%
-50%
-30%
-10%
10%
30%
50%
70%
90%
110%
130%
150%
170%
190%
Interlibrary
Borrowing
(+158%)
Reference
Transactions
(-65%)
Initial
Circulation**
(-37%)
Total
Circulation**
(-29%)
Total
Staff
(-10%)
Total
Students
(+33%)
Circulation
Ratio:
Initial to
Total
(+30%)
Group
Presentations
(+74%)
Participants
in Group
Presentations
(+131%)
% Change
Since 1991
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