“University Library Trends and Statistics 2019” Now Available from ACRL

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Academic Library Trends and Statistics 2019“, the latest in a series of annual publications describing the collections, staff, expenditures and service activities of academic libraries across all Carnegie classifications. Data from the 2019 survey is available through ACRL Metrics, a service of online subscription which provides access to ACRL survey data from 1999 to 2019. Survey respondents can access summary data on ACRL Metrics website.

Data from 2019 shows that library spending on collectibles averaged $5.6 million for institutions granting doctoral degrees; $724,124 for institutions granting full degrees; $486,972 for baccalaureate schools and $134,364 for institutions granting associate degrees. On average, institutions delivering doctorates spent 79.2% of their material budgets on ongoing subscription commitments in 2019; comprehensive schools spent an average of 82.6%; baccalaureate schools spent an average of 79.9%; and institutions granting associate degrees spent an average of 63.6%.

Data from 2019 shows that spending on wages and salaries averaged 61% of total library spending. Salaries and wages accounted for 80.3% of total library expenditures for associate degree institutions, 57.6% for bachelor’s degrees, 58.4% for comprehensive schools, and 47.9% for doctoral institutions /of research.

Spending per FTE student averaged $66 for associate degree institutions, $401 for bachelor’s degree schools, $255 for comprehensive universities, and $577 for doctoral/research institutions. The staff of institutions granting associate degrees averaged 4.6 FTE librarians, 5.4 FTE librarians in baccalaureate schools, 7.9 FTE librarians in comprehensive universities and 30.5 FTE librarians in doctoral institutions / of research.

Nearly half of the 1,516 libraries in the United States reported an OER initiative at their institution, with 12 estimating that OER saved students more than $1 million in the past fiscal year. Community colleges reported the highest percentage of OER initiatives at 62%, followed by doctoral institutions at 55%, colleges and master’s institutions at 42%, and colleges leading to a bachelor’s degree at 31%.

The 2019 survey includes data from 1,642 academic libraries in five broad categories:

  • Collections (including owned titles, volumes and e-books)
  • Expenses (library materials, salaries and wages, etc.)
  • Library services
  • Recruitment
  • OER initiatives

The survey also provides analysis of selected variables and summary data (high, low, medium and median) for all items. Data from 2019 can be used for self-study, budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grant applications and benchmarking.

“University Library Trends and Statistics 2019” is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store and by phone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for college libraries and library workers. Representing nearly 10,000 people and libraries, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help those who work in academic and research libraries learn, innovate and lead within the university community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning, transforming scholarship, and building diverse and inclusive communities. Find the ACRL on the the Web, Facebook, Twitter, instagram, and Youtube.

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