ARL Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and its Effect on Publishing and Library Subscriptions Background The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries at comprehensive, research-extensive institutions in the US and Canada that share similar research missions, aspirations, and achievements. ARL member libraries make up a large portion of the academic and research library marketplace. In 2007, ARL members reported a median expenditure of $9,600,793 for library materials ($1,219,796,179 in total), a median expenditure for serials of $6,587, 241 ($820,955,367 in total), and a median expenditure of $4,661,123 for electronic resources ($536,033,744 total). The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) on January 19, 2009 released a public statement on the global economic crisis detailing the situation for library consortia and recommending specific strategies for publishers that do business with consortia. ARL believes it is helpful to reinforce some of that statement’s key messages and offer some additional observations and recommendations based on the particular perspectives of its members. ARL is making this statement in the belief that scholarly publishers are identified by their commitment to promoting the broadest possible exchange of new scholarship and research. Thus large or small, for-profit or not-for- profit, scholarly publishers should benefit from the fullest possible understanding of the situation of the library community as common stakeholders in the process of scholarly publishing. While ARL can only report on the experiences and situation of its membership, it is likely that their concerns reflect those of a larger group of libraries in North America and beyond. Large libraries are far from exempt from the consequences of the current global economic crisis. Downturns in state support for public institutions along with substantial losses in endowment funds mean that very few ARL member libraries are not facing substantial reductions in both operating and materials budgets. This is not a prediction but an observation of current realities. Many ARL member institutions have already had to return some portion of their budget for the current fiscal year double-digit budget returns RLI 262 7 FEBRUARY 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC ARL Statement to Scholarly Publishers on the Global Economic Crisis ( C O N T I N U E D )
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