Friday, September 2, 2011

Trends in Academic Libraries

Highlights from ALA’s Trends in Academic Libraries, 1998-2008 (July 2011):

  • Circulation of collections declined 20.9% (“The decrease in reported circulation figures must be considered in relation to the significant growth in digital and electronic collections, specifically E‐Books, serial subscriptions in electronic format, and electronic reference sources and aggregation services” [14].)
  • Interlibrary loans grew, to other libraries 54% and from other libraries 62.9%
  • Collection grow: books, serial backfiles, and other paper materials, 20.2%; ebooks, 898.3% (2002-2008); microform units, 9.2%; serial subscriptions, 244.6%; audiovisual materials, 19.6%; electronic reference sources and aggregation services, 92.6%
  • Total expenditures grew 48.5%
  • Staffing overall decreased 1.6%: but librarians increased 10.1% and other professional staff increased 57.5%; other paid staff decreased 5.8% and student assistants decreased 11.9%
From the conclusion (46):
The analysis for the years 1998‐2008 found that there are more academic libraries with more buildings serving more students with a wider variety of content in new formats. …
The impact of technology and maturation of the Internet as the conduit for information delivery has not reduced the need for library space but, in many respects, has increased that need. The data indicate greater investments in collections and services. Even with increased virtual reference and information services, up 52.4 percent from 1998, use of academic libraries rose during the 1998‐2008 period.
Resource sharing continues to augment academic library collections, increasing 54 percent in 2008 from 1998. …
Expenditures for information resources represented a majority (more than 50 percent) of overall expenditures for degree‐granting levels 4‐years and above. …