RESEARCH LIBRARY TRENDS
ARL Statistics 2005‐06 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 U.S. research institutions. The academic libraries, which comprise
about 92% of the membership, include 14 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.16 These data, covering the years 1907‐08
through 1961‐62, are now called the Gerould statistics.17 The whole data series from 1908, which is
available on the ARL FTP server,18 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 2005‐06 was more than $3.7 billion;
from that, roughly $2.84 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
16 Kendon L. Stubbs and Robert E. Molyneux, Research Library Statistics 1907‐08 through 1987‐88 (Washington, DC: ARL, 1990).
17 Robert E. Molyneux, The Gerould Statistics 1907/08 – 1961/62. (Washington, DC: ARL, 1986),