ARL has released the Library Investment Index for 2011–2012, the latest in this annual summary measure of the relative size of the university library members of the Association. Although similar to the ARL Membership Criteria Index in reflecting the investments made in research libraries, the ARL Library Investment Index is less affected by the electronic availability of content and, consequently, the rapidly changing context of library collections. Neither index attempts to measure a library’s services, quality of collections, or success in meeting the needs of users. The ARL Library Investment Index has been calculated beginning with data from 2002–2003.
The Chronicle of Higher Education published the ARL Library Investment Index 2011–12 in the recent Almanac of Higher Education 2013 issue (subscriber login required). The final data tables (XLS) that are published in the Chronicle are also available for free download from the ARL Statistics website. An interactive analytics version of the data is also freely available on the ARL Statistics site. For more background on the ARL Library Investment Index, see the ARL Statistics website.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.