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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Transforming Research Libraries Contact:
Judy Ruttenberg
Planning and Visioning

Tracking the Economic Crisis

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Research libraries are far from exempt from the consequences of the current global economic crisis. Downturns in state support for public institutions along with substantial losses in endowment funds mean that nearly all ARL member libraries are confronting resource constraints and often substantial reductions affecting both operating and materials budgets.

ARL is gathering data through its ongoing statistics and assessment activities as well as initiating special surveys to monitor the effects of the economic crisis on member activities. In addition, data from a variety of other sources can assist in tracking the effects of the crisis on higher education institutions and the funding sources that support research and higher education.



"Higher Education Budgets and the Global Recession: Tracking Varied National Responses and Their Consequences"
This essay provides a moment-in-time review of the fate of higher education among a number of OECD nations and other countries, with a particular focus on the United States, and on California—the largest state in terms of population and in the size of its economy.

NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE) 2009
The National Association of College and University Buisness Officers (NACUBO) has released data gathered from US and Canadian colleges and universities participating in the 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE). The NCSE provides information on endowment value, performance, and asset allocation. The data gathered comes from in-depth surveys of 842 public and private colleges and universities, their supporting foundations, and community colleges.

"Rough Waters: Navigating Hard Times in the Scholarly Communication Marketplace," presented at the SPARC-ACRL Forum, July 11, 2009
ARL initiated a special survey of its member libraries in April of 2009. The survey collected data on budget recissions, budget projections, and responses to budget reductions.

"Coping Strategies of Public Universities During the Economic Recession of 2009" [PDF]
A special study commissioned by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.

"ARL Statement to Scholarly Publishers on the Global Economic Crisis," Feb. 19, '09
The statement addresses publishers of scholarly works and offers an assessment of the effects of the budget crisis on research libraries and points to publisher responses that would be welcome to the ARL membership.

Web Sites

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Regularly updates estimates and analyses of state budgets and spending on a variety of services, including higher education

NACUBO Endowment Studies
The National Association of College and University Business Officers regularly surveys member organizations and reports on endowment performance

ARL Statistics
ARL's Statistics and Assessment program gathers ongoing baseline budget and expenditure information from ARL member libraries