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Facts and Figures

Facts and Figures

The library collections have grown steadily over time, but recent years have witnessed dramatic changes in the types and costs of resources being collected. The greatest changes in how the collection budget has been spent have been the rise in periodical subscription costs and the rapid growth in numbers of electronic resources.

Boston College Libraries Holdings and Expenditures (including Law Library)

Fiscal Year Total Volumes Total Serials Expenditures for all materials
2008 2,504,611 31,664* $9,065,217
2011 2,725,565 41,259* $10,239,928
2014 2,921,064 44,364* $11,914,901
2015 2,951,599 48,437 $12,408,071
2016 3,245,904 45,837* $13,074,573

*Paper and electronic serials.


Boston College Libraries Holdings in Electronic Resources (including Law Library)

Fiscal Year Total Electronic Serial Subscriptions Total E-books
2008 25,276 300,053
2011 34,919 307,763
2014 39,842 528,311
2015 44,891 623,286
2016 41,900 817,757

More BC holdings and expenditures data are available in the annual Boston College Fact Books.


U.S. Academic Books: Average Prices 2013-2016*

Average Price % Increase
2007 $68.36  
2011 $80.61 17.9
2015 $90.73 12.6
2016 $91.66 1.0

*YBP Annual Book Price Update.


ISI Indexed Journals: Average Prices: 2013-2017*

Year Average Price % Increase
2013 $1,511  
2014 $1,601 6.0
2015 $1,691 5.6
2016 $1,788 5.0
2017 $1,623 6.0

*Library Journal Periodicals Price Survey 2017:Table 9


ARL Libraries

The Boston College Libraries joined the Association of Research Libraries in 2000.  Membership in the ARL is limited to North American research institutions sharing common values, goals, interests, and needs. The most recent ARL statistics available are for 2014-2015. The statistics include total numbers of volumes, serial subscriptions, electronic resources, and other materials as well as collection expenditures per institution. When compared to the other 114 ARL members, Boston College's rank is 82 in total volumes held (i.e., 81 ARL libraries own more volumes).

Publishing Trends

Publishing data are available from several sources.

  • YBP is the book vendor we use for academic books produced by North American publishers.  It provides annual figures for the number of titles processed for academic libraries.  The tables are organized by Library of Congress call number 
  • Library Journal's annual Periodical Price Survey appearing every year in one of its April issues is often consulted by academic librarians planning the collections budget for the coming fiscal year.   The last survey available was for 2017.
  • Library and Book Trade Almanac (O'Neill Reference Z731 .A47) Formerly titled Bowker Annual, this resource contains numerous tables with figures for domestic book and periodical publishing.