To trace patterns of collection development expenditures between 1994 and 2004 among Association of Research Libraries' (ARL) largest and smallest public and private academic libraries, to identify the impact of serial inflation, the emergence of electronic resources and changes in the monographic market upon the buying patterns of the largest and smallest academic libraries, public and private, in the USA and Canada.
Analysis of the annual ARL statistics for collection development expenditures between 1994 and 2004, focusing upon the ten largest public, ten largest private, ten smallest public and ten smallest private academic ARL libraries.
Libraries have largely responded to the revolutionary changes of the last decade very conservatively, retaining their commitment to monographic acquisitions and to their paper collections even as they have built new, electronic libraries.
ARL statistics present a complex picture, and libraries are not consistent in the manner in which they report their activities. The methodology does not seek a statistically precise model but seeks only to lay out a useful snapshot of library collecting patterns over the last ten years.
Academic libraries have not yet fully confronted the issues raised by changes in scholarly communication over the last decade and still have many difficult decisions ahead of the, as patterns of the last ten years may be difficult or inappropriate to sustain.
Provides a picture of collection development patterns of the largest and smallest ARL academic libaries that complements ARL's own analysis, which is based on median values.
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