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Library Collections Information: Price Inflation and Budget Information

Inflation and the Library Budget

As discussed on the home page of this guide, the library budget has been flat or reduced for the past 10 years, a situation that requires frequent cuts to the materials budget. Check the charts below for more on the library's drop in purchasing power over time, as well as recent data about Connecticut College's library spending versus a group of peer institutions, and versus other NESCAC institutions.

For a list of FAQs regarding the collection and budget issues, please see this link (available to anyone at Connecticut College who has the link). 

Inflation and Comparative Spending Data

The chart below indicates the cumulative percentage changes for materials prices (in blue) and materials budgets (in red) from 2014 to the present. While the library's purchasing power has certainly declined over this period, the budget recovery in 2021 coupled with a more modest increase in prices has stemmed (for the moment) this trend.

The above chart is a comparison of Connecticut College's overall library materials spending data versus the average spending of a group of peer institutions, defined by a 2020 Conn College Board of Trustees study. Data are drawn from the most recent Association of College & Research Libraries' (ACRL) survey. As the graph shows, Conn College's library materials spending was slightly higher than the average of this group. The institutions compared were: Allegheny College, Bates College, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Hobart & William Smith College, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College, Rhodes College, Sewanee — University of the South, Skidmore College, Trinity College and Union College. (Note: St. Olaf was also part of the Trustees' study, but did not submit data to ACRL for this survey.)

The above chart is a comparison of Connecticut College's per student FTE spending on library versus that of the average of a group of peer institutions, defined by a 2020 Conn College Board of Trustees study. Data are drawn from the most recent Association of College & Research Libraries' (ACRL) survey. As the graph shows, Conn College's per student FTE library materials spending was higher than the average of this group. The institutions compared were: Allegheny College, Bates College, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Hobart & William Smith College, Kalamazoo College, Kenyon College, Rhodes College, Sewanee — University of the South, Skidmore College, Trinity College and Union College. (Note: St. Olaf was also part of the Trustees' study, but did not submit data to ACRL for this survey.)

The above chart is a comparison of Connecticut College's overall library materials spending data versus the average spending of NESCAC institutions. Data are drawn from the most recent Association of College & Research Libraries' (ACRL) survey. As the graph shows, Conn College's library materials spending was significantly lower than the average of this group. 

The above chart is a comparison of Connecticut College's per student FTE spending on library versus that of the average of NESCAC institutions. Data are drawn from the most recent Association of College & Research Libraries' (ACRL) survey. As the graph shows, Conn College's per student FTE library materials spending was significantly lower than the NESCAC average.