ARL Statistics is a series of annual publications that describe the collections, expenditures, staffing, and service activities for the member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries. Statistics have been collected and published annually for research libraries since 1907-08. ARL Statistics data shape major policy decisions and institutional strategies. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of the major research libraries in the US and Canada.
ARL has granted permission to ACRL/ALA and ASERL to distribute the ARL Statistics survey to survey their member libraries; ARL also works closely with CARL in ensuring consistency among their versions of the survey. ARL has also actively participated in the advisory committee for the NCES Academic Library Survey and in the NISO Library Statistics Z39.7 Working group.
The Association of Research Libraries started collecting and publishing annual data for the members of the Association since 1961-62. Prior to 1961-62, annual statistics for university libraries were collected by James Gerould, first at Minnesota and later at Princeton. These data cover the years 1907-08 through 1961-62 and are now called the Gerould Statistics. The complete data series from 1908 to the present represents the oldest and most comprehensive continuing library statistical series in the United States and Canada. It was thoroughly documented by Kendon Stubbs and Robert Molyneux in 1990 as Research Library Statistics 1907-08 Through 1987-88.