Institutional library materials spending in North America is expected to rise a modest 1% in 2016, while spending in Europe is expected to decline by 0.1%, according to a survey released this week.

Overall, institutional library (academic, government, corporate libraries) spending on materials (which includes all information products; books, serials, databases, etc.) is projected to rise 1.4% across the globe, paced by growth in the Middle East and Africa, where the highest levels of budget growth are expected (4.2%) followed by Asia Pacific (2.8%) and South America (2.1%).

The annual survey was conducted by the Publishers Communication Group (PCG), the publishing consultancy arm of Ingenta (formerly Publishing Technology). PCG interviewed senior librarians in 686 institutional libraries across the globe about their spending predictions for 2016, finding that, overall, a sputtering global economy is still affecting library budgets.

“Despite showing growth in most geographical areas, librarians are generally being much more conservative with their predictions this year, with several markets estimating less budget growth than they did in last year’s survey,” noted Melissanne Scheld, managing director at PCG. While emerging countries are “upping their investment” in library resources, the more mature library markets remain "static across almost every continent," Scheld added.

Among the surveys findings: serials budgets are poised to grow by 1.4% globally (down from a 1.5% increase predicted in last year’s survey) while book expenditures (which includes e-books) are forecast to increase by 1.3% (up from a predicted increase of 0.7% last year).

The survey also found that, on average, 29.7% of institutional library book spending is now spent on e-books, with e-book purchases expected to increase by 5.1%. Library print book expenditures, in contrast, are expected to decrease by 2.9% globally.

The survey also found that institutional repositories (IR) are now widespread, with just over half (54%) of all institutes either owning or sharing ownership in an IR, and 44% of those with IR’s saying that their repository “was growing fast or very fast.”

The survey's full results are available on the PCG web site.