Global study predicts 1.4% rise in overall library budgets

Library Budget Predictions for 2016 is based on interviews with senior librarians in almost 700 institutions around the world.

Published by Publishers Communication Group, (PCG) the report highlights regional differences and smaller increases in journals budgets.  Europe, however, is the only region to predict a decrease in library budgets. The researchers surveyed academic institutions, government, corporate and medical/health libraries.

The overall library budget figure includes all the costs of maintaining a library – salary, materials and operating expenditures.

Key findings

  • Europe is the only region predicting an overall decrease in library budgets.  The predicted figure however is marginal (0.1%)
    • This figure is made up of a predicted 0.3% increase in serials budget; a -0.4% decrease in book budgets with no change in the budget for ‘materials’ (all content provision)
  • Libraries in the Middle East and Africa are predicting the largest budget increases – 4.2% overall including an increase of 6.6% on serials budgets
  • Asian Pacific is predicting an overall budget increase of 2.8%
  • North America predicts a1% increase overall
  • South American institutional libraries are predicting 2.1%


  • 98% of institutes surveyed currently use e-journal service providers
  • 22% of subscriptions are paper only
  • Top academic institutions are most likely to take e-only subscriptions
  • 41% of institutions are planning to cancel some subscriptions
  • 31% are planning to increase their serial subscriptions
  • Institutions are balancing the books by looking to cancel more expensive and/or less popular titles
  • One Turkish corporate institution is planning to add 5000 serials titles to its collection
  • One European medical institute is planning to cancel 5000!

Institutional repositories

  • 54% of all institutions own, or share ownership of, a repository
  • 71% of academic institutions provide a repository, rising to 85% of top academic institutions

Other interesting findings

  • 58% of respondents provide reference management tools (68% of academic institutions
  • This year a new question asked respondents about providing search and discovery services – take-up of such services is lowest in Europe
  • Government libraries are most likely to report smallest budget increases
  • Only Europe predicts a decrease in book budgets

The full study can be downloaded here.