January 20, 2022

Highlights: Survey of Academic Library Plans for Computer Workstations, Personal Computers, Laptops and Other Computing Devices

Here are a few highlights from the recently released report, Survey of Academic Library Plans for Computer Workstations, Personal Computers, Laptops and Other Computing Devices from the Primary Research Group.

The 160+ page study examines the purchasing plans of academic libraries for key computing infrastructure including plans for fixed workstations, personal computers, laptops, netbooks, tablets and other computing devices. The report helps to answer questions such as: how are libraries and their sometime patrons in college information technology departments allocating funds among different types of computing devices? How has the mobile computing revolution affected plans for fixed workstation purchasing? What percentage of students use their own computers in the library and what percentage of them use the library’s computers? What computer brands do libraries prefer? What are the official and real replacement cycles for computers? How many computers are reserved for staff use alone? To what extent are libraries concentrating computing resources in “information commons” or technology centers? What is the future of such centers? What are their budgets? How much are libraries allocating to computers and information literacy? How effective are these policies?


  • The community colleges in the sample had a mean of just less than 87 personal computers in their libraries
  • 27.6% of the total stock of personal computers deployed by the libraries are primarily for library staff
  • The libraries in the sample plan to purchase an average of 21.12 computers in 2013-14, a significant increase from the 2012-13 figure
  • 65% of the libraries sampled had a plan in place to “turn over” their computer stock within a given number of years
  • The libraries in the sample experienced a 9.5 month difference in their planned and actual timetables for turning over their computer stocks
  • Only 3.7% of planned computer purchases by the libraries in the sample were for Apple products

A nine page excerpt is also available (PDF).

The full text report is $85. Order info available here.  Complete TOC is available here. (PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.