International Institutional Library Budgets Forecast to Increase 1.4 Percent

In News by Porter Anderson

An annual study of institutional libraries’ budget forecasts shows participating libraries in the Middle East and Africa forecasting the largest increases; Europe is the only region forecasting a (slight) decrease.
Image: Publishers Communications Group, 'Literary Budget Predictions for 2016'

Image: Publishers Communications Group, ‘Literary Budget Predictions for 2016’

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Update: Our friend Chris Kenneally at Copyright Clearance Center’s Beyond the Book podcast series talks with Publishers Weekly’s Andrew Albanese, in part in reference to this Publishers Communications Group survey. Listen to the podcast here.—PA

Study: One-Fifth of Journal Subscriptions in Print Formats
Senior librarians with control over and knowledge about library budgets were contacted at 686 institutional libraries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa for a new report, Library Budget Predictions for 2016.

“The data in this study,” report authors write, “has been weighted to reflect the global contribution of each country to library spend. All counts in the report are based on the weighted number of responses, rather than the actual number.”

The study has a 3.3-percent plus-or-minus margin of error, but the survey’s authors caution that in some cases librarians are making estimates rather than working with known figures.

The study, created by Ingenta’s Publishers Communications Group—a marketing and sales consultancy—offers several general highlighted results:

Overall library budgets are anticipated to increase, internationally, by some 1.4 percent (over a 1.2-percent increase forecast last year).

All regions forecast an increase with the exception of Europe, where the forecast decrease is mild, at some 0.1 percent.

  • After a 0.4-percent increase in North America in 2015, libraries of the region are forecasting a 1-percent increase in 2016 budgets. Most growth is seen in medical and corporate library sectors with “strong performers” among medical institutes.
  • South America anticipates a modest 2.1-percent increase, after a large jump of 5.9 percent last year.
  • The Middle East and Africa report the strongest forecast, 4.2 percent, lower than last year’s 6.8 percent estimate. The base size in this region, the report’s authors caution, however, is small.
  • The Asian-Pacific region forecasts a 2.8-percent rise, after a 1.7-percent figure last year. Medical institutes in the Pacific region are looking for a 6-percent rise on average, the academic sector looking for a 2.9-percent increase.
  • An emerging-countries group that includes South Africa and Turkey this year predicts a 3.9-percent increase in institutional library budgets, down from 4.5 percent last year.
  • Some 33 percent of institutes reporting say they expect to see budget increases, overall, with 49 percent anticipating static results and 15 percent forecasting decreases.
Polling Institutional Librarians on Electronic Resources

Of particular interest, participating institutional libraries were asked about their expenditures on electronic resources.

“Overall,” the study’s authors report, “59 percent of the budget is used for electronic information, with North America spending the highest proportion (72 percent). This is a 2-percent increase on the previous year.

“The South America percentage drops by 9 percent to 38 percent, however the sample size here is low and more prone to fluctuation.

“Overall, Academic Top institutes continue to have the greatest proliferation of electronic resources.”

Image: Publishers Communications Group, 'Literary Budget Predictions for 2016'

Image: Publishers Communications Group, ‘Literary Budget Predictions for 2016’

In terms of e-journal services, reporting librarians said that e-only journals represent 63 percent of journal subscriptions. Institutes said they still take some 22 percent of their subscriptions in print-only formats. Overall, 98 percent have some e-journal service in their subscriptions.

More is available in the study report, found here in PDF.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.