19 December 2005

Acquisitions Statistics

While going through my files, I found these notes on the state of acquisitions in the USA. Leah Hinds wrote the Against the Grain Annual Survey Report in Against the Grain, 17(2):70-72, April 2005. [If you aren’t familiar with ATG, it is a wonderful periodical focusing on the acquisitions side of librarianship, with news about libraries, publishers, book jobbers, and subscription agents. It is published by Katrina Strauch [College of Charleston, South Carolina, USA] on paper six times a year, in February, April, June, September, and November and December/January and has some articles online at http://www.against-the-grain.com/].

The issues most concerning our industry in the 21st century are funding (lack of money and increasing costs), electronic formats (problems, over-reliance on them, and archiving), and personnel (staffing levels, salaries, and tenure).

Here are some of the findings.

87 percent have bought e-books

49 percent use approval plans

32 percent outsource cataloging

11 percent outsource acquisitions

40 percent have been downsized in the past 2 years

58 percent said their materials budget has increased; 21 percent had decreased; only 36 percent had increased book budgets, vs. 60 percent for journals and 75 percent for electronic resources; the average budge increase for books was 13 percent, for journals 8 percent, for electronic resources, 14 percent

The average allocation of budget was 24.5 percent to books, 18.5 percent to journals and e-journals, 14.8 percent for online; the rest went to other categories.% of budget to books, 18.5% to journals and e-journals, 14.8% online

87 percent have a home page

89 percent have cancelled paper subscriptions in favor of e-journals

The sample size was 47 (40 were academic librarians, 2 were from special libraries; there were none from government or public libraries). Their average time as a librarian was twenty (!) years.

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