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Academic Libraries: 2010. First Look. NCES 2012-365

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This report presents tabulations for the 2010 Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences. The 2010 ALS population included postsecondary institutions with all of the following: total library expenditures that exceed $10,000; an organized collection of printed or other materials, or a combination thereof; a staff trained to provide and interpret such materials as required to meet the informational, cultural, recreational, or educational needs of the clientele; an established schedule in which services of the staff are available to the clientele; and the physical facilities necessary to support such a collection, staff, and schedule. Some of the findings include: (1) Academic libraries loaned some 11.2 million documents to other libraries in fiscal year 2010 (table 1). Academic libraries also borrowed approximately 10.2 million documents from other libraries and commercial services. Documents from commercial services accounted for about 176,000 of those documents borrowed; (2) The majority of academic libraries, 2,362, were open between 60-99 hours during a typical week in fall of 2010 (derived from table 2). Another 564 academic libraries were open 100 or more hours per typical week; (3) In fiscal year 2010, academic libraries conducted approximately 34.6 million information services to individuals, including computer searches (table 3); (4) At the end of fiscal year 2010, there were 227 academic libraries that held at least 1 million or more books, serial backfiles, and other paper materials including government documents (table 4); (5) Academic libraries held approximately 158.7 million e-books and about 1.8 million electronic reference sources and aggregation services; (6) Academic libraries reported 88,943 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff working in academic libraries during the fall of 2010 (table 7); (7) Just under half of academic libraries, 1,739, had total expenditures of $500,000 or more in fiscal year 2010 (derived from table 8). Another 581 academic libraries had total expenditures under $100,000 (derived from table 8); (8) During fiscal year 2010, academic libraries spent about $3.4 billion on salaries and wages, representing approximately 50 percent of total library expenditures (table 9); (9) Academic libraries spent approximately $152.4 million for electronic books, serial backfiles, and other materials in fiscal year 2010 (table 10). Expenditures for electronic current serial subscriptions totaled about $1.2 billion. During fiscal year 2010, academic libraries spent approximately $142.7 million for computer hardware and software (table 11); (10) In fall of 2010, about 41 percent of academic libraries reported providing documents digitized by staff (table 12); (11) Over half (54 percent) reported providing technology to assist patrons with disabilities in fall of 2010 (table 12); (12) During fiscal year 2010, some 72 percent of academic libraries reported that they supported virtual reference services (table 13); and (13) During fiscal year 2010, about 32 percent of academic libraries reported that they utilized instant messaging applications (table 13). Appended are: (1) Technical Notes; (2) Glossary; and (3) Survey Questionnaire and Instructions. (Contains 37 tables and 1 footnote.)


Phan, T., Hardesty, L., Hug, J. & Sheckells, C. Academic Libraries: 2010. First Look. NCES 2012-365. Retrieved November 15, 2019 from .

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