May 19, 2022

Selected Highlights From New Survey of Medical and Other Scientific Libraries

From the Primary Research Group:

This 200-page report examines the spending, staffing, and collection habits of over 40 medical and scientific libraries from all over the world, representing both the public and private sectors in higher education, government, non-profit organizations, and more.


Just a few of the many findings from this report are:

  • 43.48 percent of participants say that salaries and benefits for libraries employed at their respective institutions have “more or less declined in real terms” over the past year
  • Medical and Biology libraries have the smallest budgets, with a mean of $596,000 that falls well below the overall sample mean of roughly $2 million
  • The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $82,671 on traditional print books in 2011-12
  • Just 15.56 percent of the libraries in the sample have purchased e-book readers, iPads, or other sorts of devices
  • Exactly half of the libraries surveyed have a digital repository to which their institution’s scholars and authors are encouraged to submit their works
  • Libraries in developed countries outside the United States dedicated the highest proportion of their spending to electronic access only journals, a mean of $501,034
  • 87.5 percent of those libraries with 20 or more FTE staff members plan to increase spending on tablet computers and e-book readers

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.