Pricing Trends for Public Library Print Materials

Colorado’’s public libraries have recently been faced with new challenges concerning the management and maintenance of their collections. Following significant wholesale and jobber price increases in the early and mid-1990s, prices paid by public libraries for books, periodicals, and other information resources have continued to rise. The Library Research Service (LRS) has continued to monitor these trends and is using this information to assist libraries in planning for materials expenditures in the future.

Recently reported pricing figures indicate that future materials costs for public libraries will be highly dependent on the origin and format of the items in question. Figures from the Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac and the annual periodicals pricing report in Library Journal show that while these prices have continued to rise, the rates of increase have slowed in recent years and vary significantly between specific media.

LRS.org adds budget calculators

  1. Enter your library’s current budget and population.
  2. Estimate growth in the population.
  3. Choose a year through 2008.
  4. Click “Calculate” and receive an estimate of funds needed to maintain buying power adjusting for inflation and population growth.

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LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs. We partner with the Library and Information Science program at University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to provide research fellowships to current MLIS students.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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