IMLS Releases Preview of 24th Annual (FY 2011) Public Library Survey

March 14, 2014

Some of What You'll Find:

  • In fiscal year 2011 (FY 2011), there were 8,956 public libraries in the United States, which served 299.9 million people (95.3% of the US population)
  • There were 1.53 billion in-person visits to public libraries, the equivalent to more than 4.2 million visits each day (not including virtual visits)
  • Attendance at public library programs increased for the eighth year with 89 million people attending 3.81 million programs
  • There were 341.5 million usage sessions on public access Internet computers at public libraries, a decrease of 7.2% since FY 2006.
  • There were 3.8 million programs offered at public libraries, an increase of 46.7% since FY 2004. Most programs (70.0%) were targeted to children.
  • There were 261,413 public access Internet computers available at public libraries throughout the United States a 1-year increase of 6.8% and 10-year increase of 86.2%
  • Public libraries have seen a decrease in the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff since the recession. There were 137,103 FTE staff - 11.4 FTEs per 25,000 people. This is a decrease of 5.5% since FY 2008.
  • The number of public librarians has remained stable over 10 years, averaging 4.0 public librarians per 25,000 people. Librarians comprise one-third of the overall public library staff.

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