Permanence Matters Conference now online

Slide presentations and video from the recent Permanence Matters Conference, co-sponsored by Glatfelter & The Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University and hosted in Baltimore, Maryland on May 10, 2011, are now available on the Heritage Science for Conservation website.

Fun with numbers: reconsidering the ARL Preservation Statistics

Many of us know the season not by the weather or amount of daylight left when we emerge from our typically subterranean preservation offices and conservation labs but rather by whether we’re tallying up and filling out or reading the annual ARL Preservation Statistics.  While the last full report issued was the 2006-2007 ARL Preservation Statistics, you can download the machine readable files (aka the Excel spreadsheets) for the 2007-2008 ARL Preservation Statistics.

ARL has long ranked its member institutions on the basis of totals volumes, expenditures, staff, and the like.  ARL has also collected data on library expenditures as a percentage of total university. For the past few years I’ve pondered, as I’m sure many of you have, how the expenses for various aspects of preservation activities (overall expenditures, contract library binding, salaries) might compare against broad categories of library expenses.

After years of thinking about this and occasionally calculating the comparison stats for the institutions where I’ve worked, I’ve finally taken the time to put together an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the following comparisons for all reporting ARL Libraries:

  • Library expenditures on preservation (ARL Pres Ques 11) as a percentage of total library expenses (ARL Stats Ques 20) …. with rank!
  • Library expenditures on preservation (ARL Pres Ques 11)  as a percentage of total library materials expenditures for monographs, serials and periodicals, and other formats (ARL Stats Ques 15) … with rank!
  • Expenditures for “contract” library binding (ARL Pres Ques 8b) as a percentage of total library materials expenditures for monographs, serials and periodicals, and other formats (ARL Stats Ques 15) … with rank!
  • Salaries and wages for staff engaged in preservation activities (ARL Pres Ques 7) as a percentage of total library salaries and wages for professional staff, support staff, and student assistants (ARL Stats Ques 17) … with rank!
  • Number of library-wide staff engaged in preservation activities (ARL Pres Ques 5, in FTE) as a percentage of total library FTE (ARL Stats Ques 26) … with rank!

Download a PDF or the spreadsheet (.xls via Google docs).

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