Report: “2021 ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey”
From C&RL News
Each year, ACRL’s Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey provides data that can help us understand how academic libraries provide and demonstrate their impact and value to their users, institutions, and communities. Findings from the 2021 survey continued this tradition while also supplying additional insight into how library services and use continued to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 survey collected data from 1,533 academic libraries in two main areas:
- A standard set of questions related to:
- Collections (including titles held, volumes, and electronic books)
- Expenditures (library materials, salaries and wages, etc.)
- Library services
- A one-time set of survey questions focused on instruction-related and group presentation activities before, during, and after the pandemic
Academic libraries’ total expenditures decreased about 7% over the last three years (2019–2021). However, the proportion spent each year across the three main categories of expenditures (salaries and wages, materials/services, and operations and maintenance) remained very similar.
The average percentage of the budget committed to ongoing subscriptions has remained generally level over the past three years. However, it also demonstrates a small but steady increase across Carnegie classifications.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.