Has AALL lost more than 50% of its institutional membership since 2001?

According to a review of “Table 5: AALL Libraries Estimated Information Budgets” published in various online editions of AALL’s Biennial Salary and Organizational Characteristics Survey, the answer appears to be “yes.” AALL institutional membership (by which I mean law libraries, not vendors) declined by 57.5% since 2001.

I seriously doubt that 756 AALL member law firm libraries + 333 AALL member government law libraries + 51 AALL member academic law libraries for a total of 1,140 former AALL member law libraries shut down since 2001. So why such a very large, huge really, decline? That was the first question I had when reviewing the recently pay-walled release of the 2013 edition of The AALL Biennial Salary and Organizational Characteristics Survey this weekend.

And the second question I asked myself this weekend was “can AALL remain sustainable when institutional membership declines from 1,984 to only 844 law libraries in a little over a decade?” My hunch is the answer lies in becoming relevant. — Joe

aall member libraries stats

One thought on “Has AALL lost more than 50% of its institutional membership since 2001?

  1. Caren Biberman November 5, 2013 at 11:52 am Reply

    They have become largely irrelevant to private law librarians. They don’t hear our concerns and they schedule things convenient for the academics and not the private law librarians. I think we are better off on our own. While I value my conversations with academic law librarians that does not need to cease if we were two separate organizations. Perhaps PLL can focus on the real issue instead of a name change.

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