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College & Research Libraries News

Library Statistics, 1965/66 Now Available

In the September ACRL News issue, Robert L. Talmadge, chairman of the LAD Statistics Committee for College and University Libraries, related in some detail the necessity for LAD to undertake on an emergency basis 1965/66 survey of institutional data for academic libraries. Is was hoped, he stated, that the publication of these statistics could be accomplished by the end of January.

On March 15 copies of the 1965/66 survey were mailed to all academic institutions and universities who had placed advanced orders. The pricing of the publication is based only on cost of printing. The funds for the collection, analysis, and tabulation of data were provided by a small contract grant from the Bureau of Research, USOE, and from funds made available by the ALA Executive Board.

Library Statistics of Colleges and Universities, 1965-66: Institutional Data,(ALA, $3.50), 240 p. (The 1963-64 survey was 162 pages in length), consists of three basic tables.

Table I is on “Selected Management Data on College and University Libraries, By State and Institution: Aggregate United States, 1965-66.”

Table II is on “Operating Expenditures, Personnel and Beginning Salary. For College and University Libraries, By State and Institution: Aggregate United States, 1965-66.”

Table III is on “Number of Full-time Library Staff Members and Lowest and Highest Salaries, By Types of Position: Aggregate United States, September 1, 1966.”

The summary table is: “Summary of College and University Library Statistics for Academic Years 1959-66: Aggregate United States.” This precedes the 1965/66 data.

Since the decision was taken in New York, to undertake this publication problems have been many. Thanks to the cooperation of Alexander M. Mood, assistant commissioner for educational statistics, USOE, and Joseph A. Murnin, director. Small Projects Program, Chicago Regional Office, Bureau of Research, USOE, the grant was approved in record time. Actual printing and mailing of the questionnaire before September 10 preceded the grant. This was absolutely necessary if we were to meet the deadline for publication.

Returns were slow in coming and required a number of follow-ups. The cooperation of state agencies in collection of the data was excellent. As a result, this survey contains 86 per cent return—the highest in the history of academic statistics for a single publication. A major crisis occurred in December when the data processing firm that had tentatively agreed to analyse and tabulate the data determined that it could not undertake this assignment. I turned to old reliable friends, Frank Schick and Theodore Samore, formerly of USOE, but now at the school of library and information science in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Could the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, through their library school and data processing center, undertake this task on short notice. A visit to the campus and a full day’s activity resulted in a contract with the university. Mr. Samore, under Frank Schick’s supervision, edited the data and prepared it for the computer. The final printouts reached the LAD office on February 13.

This project is, I think, an excellent example of what can be done when the need is important—with strong determination, good cooperation and a concentrated effort from agencies USOE, LAD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the state agencies, and the academic institutions participating in this survey.—Alphonse T. Trezza, Executive Secretary, LAD. ■ ■

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