New ACRL publication: 2013 Academic Library Trends and Statistics

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/27/2015


Mary Jane Petrowski

Associate Director


CHICAGOThe Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “2013 Academic Library Trends and Statistics,” the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. The three-volume set includes Associate of Arts institutions, Master's Colleges and Universities/Baccalaureate Colleges and Research/Doctoral-granting Institutions. The individual volumes for Associates Colleges, Masters/Baccalaureate and Doctoral-Granting institutions are also available for purchase.

The 2013 data show that library expenditures for collection materials averaged $6,305,337 for doctoral degree-granting institutions; $774,701 for comprehensive degree-granting institutions; $462,929 for baccalaureate schools; and $144,062 for associate-degree granting institutions. The percentage of the collection materials budget spent on ongoing resources purchases (including subscription expenditures) averaged 68.7 percent of the total materials budget. On average, doctoral degree granting institutions spent 74.3 percent of their materials budgets on ongoing purchases in 2013; comprehensive schools spent an average of 75.4 percent; baccalaureate schools spent an average 70.6 percent; and associate degree granting institutions spent an average of 54.8 percent.

In addition,  library expenditures for salaries and wages accounted for 55.4 percent of the total expenditures on average. Salaries and wages constituted 74.1 percent of total library expenditures for associate-degree granting institutions, 51.4 percent for baccalaureate, 52.3 percent for comprehensive schools and 43.8 percent for doctoral/research institutions.

Of the libraries surveyed, 15.5 percent expect library space usage to increase significantly with 27.4 percent of doctoral/research institutions forecasting a significant increase.  Of the libraries surveyed, 37 percent expect library space usage to increase somewhat. In the past three years, 62.6 percent of the libraries surveyed reported re-purposing space. Space was most often re-purposed for group study, student success areas (writing/tutoring centers), quiet study space, technology learning spaces and more seating. Doctoral/research institutions undertook the most renovations (79.5 percent) followed by baccalaureate schools (60.8 percent), comprehensive schools (65.1 percent) and associate-degree granting institutions (47.3 percent).

The 2013 survey includes data from 1,393 academic libraries in six major categories:

  • Collections (including titles held, volumes, and electronic books)
  • Expenditures (library materials, salaries and wages, etc.)
  • Personnel and Public Services (staff and services)
  • Ph.D.s Granted, Faculty, Student Enrollment
  • Use of space

The survey also provides analysis of selected variables and summary data (high, low, mean and median) for all elements. The 2013 data can be used for self-studies, budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grant applications and benchmarking.

“2013 Academic Library Trends and Statistics” is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store, by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers. 


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.