New ACRL publication: 2008 Academic Library Trends and Statistics

Contact: Mary Jane Petrowski


(312) 280-2523


For Immediate Release

October 20, 2009

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “2008 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 2008 data shows that the median unit cost of monographs (per volume) increased significantly since 2007 for all types of academic libraries (34.2 percent for associate degree-granting institutions, 63.3 percent for baccalaureate institutions, 61.1 percent for comprehensive institutions and 96.8 percent for doctoral/research institutions), while salary and wages expenditures as a percentage of total library expenditures remained unchanged. Salaries and wages constituted 72.1 percent of total library expenditures for associate-degree granting institutions, 56.6 percent for baccalaureate 56.5 percent for comprehensive schools, and 46.5 percent for doctoral/research institutions.

Serial expenditures as a percentage of total library materials expenditures saw very little variation from 2007, increasing less than 1 percent for associate degree-granting institutions and doctoral/research institutions (0.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively) and less than 2 percent for comprehensive institutions (1.4 percent) and baccalaureate schools (1.6 percent). Unchanged from 2007 is the percentage of student assistant staff as a percentage of total staff, ranging from a low of 18.1 percent at associate degree-granting institutions to a high of 29.4 percent at baccalaureate institutions.

The 2008 survey includes data from 1,533 academic libraries in six major categories:

• Collections (including volumes, serials, multimedia)

• Expenditures (library materials, wages and salaries, other operating)

• Electronic Resources (including expenditures, collections, services, usage)

• Personnel and Public Services (staff and services)

• Ph.D.s Granted, Faculty, Student Enrollment

• Faculty Rank, Status, and Tenure for Librarians

The survey also provides analysis of selected variables and summary data (high, low, mean and median) for all elements. The 2008 data can be used for self-studies, budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grant applications and benchmarking. Summary data for all elements is available freely on the ACRL Website at

“2008 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 and will be available at the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston.


The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is a division of the American Library Association, representing nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at