Overview · 5
ARL Statistics 2012–2013 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 17 Canadian and 108 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 Statistics website at http://arlstatistics.org/publications,
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 2012–2013 was almost $4.4 billion; from that, approximately $3.3 billion
was spent by the 115 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 2012–2013 Nonuniversity Libraries 2012–2013
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://www.libqual.org/documents/
admin/2012/1986_Molyneux_Gerould.pdf and http://www.libqual.org/documents/admin/2012/2010_Molyneux_Gerould.pdf