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Wednesday, 30th June 2010

Just Released: Statistics: Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2008

The 2008 report was released today (June 30, 2010) by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


A brief summary is available from the IMLS.
You'll also find a link to the full report (230 pages; PDF).

This report includes national and state summary data on public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an introduction, selected findings, and several tables. The report, based on data from the Public Libraries Survey for fiscal year 2008, includes information on visitation, circulation, the availability and use of library computing resources, staffing, library collections and services, and fiscal information such as operating revenue and expenditures.

The report includes several key findings: Nationwide, visits to public libraries totaled 1.50 billion or 5.1 library visits per capita. [That's up from 1.43 billion visits in FY 2007], There were 2.28 billion circulations of library materials (7.7 per capita) and 1.21 uses of Internet PCs per capita during fiscal year 2008. Starting with this year's release, the Public Libraries Survey data includes more detailed geographic information to help describe the communities that public libraries serve. In the coming year, IMLS will use this additional information to explore the ways in which libraries are meeting the needs of these diverse communities.

A summary/news release that includes two graphs and can be found here.

A few more findings:

Public library visits and circulations per capita increased almost 20 percent between FY1999 and FY2008, while the number of public librarians per 25,000 people has remained virtually the same during that same period.

More than 9,200 libraries were surveyed in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands [98% response rate].

The availability of Internet terminals has nearly doubled over the past 10 years in response to patron demand; Internet PCs per 5,000 people rose from 1.9 in FY1999 to 3.7 in FY2008. Internet PC uses per capita have remained at the same basic level since FY2006. There were 1.16 Internet uses per person in FY2006, 1.22 Internet uses per person in FY2007 and 1.21 Internet uses per person in FY2008.

Circulation per capita has also generally increased during the past 10 years, increasing by 19.7 percent since FY1999, when per person circulation stood at 6.5. The nation's libraries recorded 7.7 circulations per capita in FY2008, up from 7.4 the previous year.

Children's program attendance at public libraries gradually rose during the study period, increasing from 181.7 children's program attendances per 1,000 people in FY1999 to 206.8 program attendances per 1,000 people in FY2008, an increase of 13.9 percent. Overall program attendance is on the rise as well, increasing 17.6 percent from FY2004 to FY2008.

The number of public librarians per 25,000 people has remained more or less the same over the past 10 years, hovering around 4.0. There were 4.0 librarians per 25,000 people in FY1999 and 4.1 in FY2008.

It will be interesting to watch and see how these numbers trends during the next few years.

Full Text:

Finally, you can go directly to the full text report by clicking here. It runs (230 pages; PDF).

Data files for this and other reports editions of Public Libraries in the United States are also available online.

Source: IMLS

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