12 · Survey Results: Executive Summary
Similarly to historic collections, the top four areas of
collecting are Latin America, Western Europe, East
Asia, and Slavic and East Europe. More than half
are actively collecting African, Islamic, South Asian,
Jewish, and Middle East materials. Print monographs
and serials again predominate, although as many as
66% of the respondents (45) also purchase e-books,
most frequently in West European and East Asian
Sources of Funding
While ARL members report a strong institutional
commitment to support global collections, the survey
results show they frequently depend on non-allocated
sources of funding for these resources. All 68 respon-
dents identified the materials budget as the main
source of funding for current collecting, followed by
gifts (50 responses or 74%), endowments (43 or 63%),
and grants (40 or 59%). Other sources of funding in-
clude academic department support for special ac-
quisitions, gifts by foreign institutions, memberships,
end-of-year funds, and government depository pro-
grams. East Asian, Latin American, Jewish, Western
European, and Slavic and East European studies bene-
fit the most from endowments. East Asian studies also
ranks first as the recipient of gifts and grant support.
Administrative considerations on whether to maintain
gift programs call for a careful assessment of the costs
and benefits of managing such programs.
Almost an equal number of the 69 respondents report-
ed that expenditures for global resources materials are
about the same as or more than they were five years
ago (48 and 47 responses, respectively). Thirty-one
libraries reported that expenditures now are less than
before. Islamic, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and
East Asian studies stand out among the areas with
increases. West European, Slavic and East European,
and Latin American studies are at the top of both the
“about the same” and “less” lists.
Fifty-three respondents (77%) expect global re-
sources expenditures in the next five years to be about
the same as today. Thirty-eight (55%) expect expendi-
tures to be more. Twenty-five (36%) expect expendi-
tures to be less. Across all areas, more respondents
anticipate a decrease in expenditures for library mate-
rials in West European, Slavic and Eastern European,
and South and East Asian studies, although, once
again, a higher percent of respondents thought that
future expenditures in these same areas would be
about the same as or more than they are today.
Collecting Trends
The survey also asked about the numbers of global
resource items acquired today compared to five years
ago. Again, almost an equal number of the 67 respon-
dents reported that acquisition levels are about the
same as or more than they were before (47 and 44 re-
sponses, respectively). Thirty-eight (57%) reported that
they currently acquire fewer items than five years ago.
Not surprisingly, the changes in the numbers of items
acquired mirrors the expenditure changes. One likely
explanation for the dwindling or stagnant acquisi-
tion numbers may be that libraries with flat budgets
have not been able to keep up with price increases
and inflation.
The survey next asked for an estimated percentage
of electronic materials in the libraries’ global collec-
tions. The percentages ranged from zero to 63, with a
mean of 14.12 and median of 9. Half of the respondents
(26 of 52) reported that electronic materials are less
than 9% of their global collections. Ten respondents
(19%) reported that more than 25% are electronic.
Responses about the percentage of expenditures
on electronic global materials followed a similar pat-
tern. The percentages ranged from zero to 45, with
a mean of 14.89 and median of 11. While 39% of the
respondents (21 of 54) reported that electronic mate-
rials accounted for less than 9% of the expenditures,
nearly a quarter (13) reported they accounted for more
than 25%.
Some respondents pointed out that global elec-
tronic resources are centrally funded or that they
form part of large packages, making it very difficult
to identify content specifically related to global mate-
rials. Possibly for that same reason, a number of re-
spondents provided estimates for electronic resources
in general, not just for e-resources directly related to
global collections as defined in this survey.
Following the trend of increased electronic resourc-
es in libraries generally, the majority of respondents
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