Research Library Trends · 5
Research Library Trends
ARL Statistics 2007–2008 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 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 2007–2008 was more than $4 billion; from that, roughly $3 billion was spent by the 113 university libraries
and more than $1 billion by the nonuniversity libraries. The pie charts below show how the two types of libraries divide these
expenditures differently.
University Libraries 2007–2008 Nonuniversity Libraries 2007–2008
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)
Other Operating
Total Salaries
Contract Binding
Library Materials
Other Operating
Total Salaries
Contract Binding
Library Materials 12.59%
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