RLI 282 ARL Library Budgets after the Great Recession, 2011–13 9 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC 2013 Discerning Patterns from the 88 Libraries As mentioned in the introduction, 88 libraries (70% of ARL members) answered the survey for both fiscal years—9 Canadian, 23 US private universities, 52 US public universities, and 4 nonacademic. This allows for a cross tabulation of the two years, enriching understanding and allowing some speculation about trends. Scatterplot bubble charts are used here to illustrate the patterns from one fiscal year to the next because these reflect magnitude and graphically demonstrate the clustering/distribution of activity. The acquisition budgets of these 88 libraries show that 41 (46.5%) experienced increases (upper half of chart), however small, in FY11–12 (see Figure 10). However, the data show (upper right quadrant) that only 30 (34%) received some increase again in FY12–13. This slightly positive news is attenuated by the fact that 14 libraries (16%) increased 3% or less both years, thus losing ground against inflation. Eleven of the 88 libraries (13%) received increases in FY11–12 but had flat budgets or budget cuts in FY12–13 (upper left quadrant). To put a fine point on it, of the 41 libraries that received some increase in FY11–12, 25 (61%) lost ground against inflation in FY12–13. Of the 47 libraries that experienced flat or reduced acquisition budgets in FY11–12, only 4 (9%) received FY12–13 increases greater than inflation (4% or greater). In summary, both years in succession 68 of the 88 libraries (over 77%) were assigned budgets that grew less than inflation, stayed flat, or declined. This does not look like a trend that will soon restore the pre-2008 buying power of acquisition budgets of ARL members.
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