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Facts and Figures

Introduction to the Boston College Libraries Collections

Facts and Figures

Our 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
Fiscal Year
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
2017 3,259,704 42,277 $13,615,607
2018 3,265,350 44,846 $13,511,375
2019 3,281,262 45,506 $14,062,144

*Paper and electronic serials.

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

Fiscal Year
Total Electronic Serials Subscriptions
Total Ebooks
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
2017 43,552 844,953
2018 41,301 875,636
2019 42,082 1,013,709

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

U.S. Academic Books: Average Prices 2015-2019*

Fiscal Year
Average Price
% Increase
2015 $90.73 12.6
2016 $91.66 1.0
2017 $92.73 1.2
2018 $93.78 1.1
2019 $93.29 1.0

*GOBI Annual Book Price Update (formerly YBP)

ISI Indexed Journals: Average Prices: 2015-2019*

Year
Average Price
% Increase
2015 $1,691 5.6
2016 $1,788 5.0
2017 $1,623 6.0
2018 $1,905 5.8
2019 $2,033 6.1

*Library Journal Periodicals Price Survey 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. See the ARL statistics for 2017 - 2018. These figures include total numbers of volumes, serial subscriptions, electronic resources, and other materials as well as collection expenditures per institution. 

Publishing Trends

Publishing data are available from several sources.

  • GOBI (formerly 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.   
  • 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.