State of America’s Libraries 2015


The American Library Association recently released its annual State of America’s Libraries report. The publication discusses challenges and opportunities facing libraries of all kinds. The following relevant figures are offered for academic libraries.

  • Fifty-nine percent of upper-level academic administrators consider library resources and services “very effective”. This rating is higher than that for many other services, including on-campus instruction, online programs, and scholarly research.
  • A third of college freshmen believe that their institution’s library has played a major role in their academic success and intellectual growth. Nearly half (47 percent) of seniors felt the same way.
  • Over the past three years, more than three-fifths (62.6 percent) of academic libraries have changed how certain space in the library is used, modifying the layout to accommodate study spaces, writing and tutoring centers, and technology labs. The percentage of libraries that have made these changes is highest among research and doctorate-granting institutions (79.5 percent).
  • Construction of new buildings has continued, although the pace has slowed considerably. In 2014, only four new buildings were constructed; this compares to an average of over 16 per year from 2000 to 2013.
  • Research and doctorate-granting institutions continue to employ the largest number of individuals who are professional librarians, with an average of just under 50. Institutions that award only associate’s degrees have an average of just over 5 professional librarians.
  • The percentage of recent library-school graduates whose first job was in an academic library declined from 33.3 percent in 2012 to 26.3 percent in 2013.
  • Discouragingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, less than one percent of college freshmen wants to become a librarian.

To view the entire report, click here.


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