GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Public Libraries Statistics: Market Report & Data

Highlights: The Most Important Public Libraries Statistics

  • There are around 116,867 libraries in the US.
  • The annual number of library visits per capita in the US is 5.3.
  • There are more public libraries in the US than Starbucks stores.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say their local library improves the quality of life.
  • Academic libraries in the US circulate an average of 7 books per student each year.
  • Over 171 million Americans have library cards.
  • In 2016, US libraries offered more than 4.7 million educational programs.
  • Public libraries in the US are visited more than a billion times per year.
  • Public libraries in Australia lent out approximately 174 million items in 2017-2018.
  • New York Public Library held about 53 million items as of 2019.
  • The annual per capita public library income is $39.02 in the US.
  • More than 93% of public libraries offer online homework assistance in the US.
  • There are approximately 200,000 hired staff working in public libraries across the United States.
  • 66% of Americans aged 16 and over used a public library in the last year.
  • National and international internet connectivity in public libraries around the world is at 98%.
  • The UK has seen a reduction of nearly 800 public libraries since 2010.
  • American residents visited a public library more often than going to a movie in the theater in 2019.
  • The largest public library in the United States is the Library of Congress, which includes more than 38 million books.
  • In 2015, over 113 million people attended nearly 4.3 million programs at public libraries in the U.S.

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Welcome to our latest blog post where we delve into the captivating world of Public Libraries Statistics. Libraries are much more than quiet spaces filled with books; they’re vibrant community hubs that provide critical resources to millions. We will explore fascinating data such as visitor numbers, borrowing trends, digital versus physical readership, and the overall impact libraries have on community engagement and literacy. Whether you’re a frequent library visitor, an employee in the public library system, or simply someone intrigued by the transformative power of libraries, this intriguing blend of numbers and narratives promises to hold your interest.

The Latest Public Libraries Statistics Unveiled

There are around 116,867 libraries in the US.

Highlighting the impressive figure of approximately 116,867 libraries across the United States, underscores the widespread influence and foundational role libraries play within countless communities. From a statistical perspective, it also provides a vast and robust data set for detailed analysis in a blog post dedicated to public libraries. This numerous collection offers an insight into how societies understand, value, and utilize educational resources, marking the significance of libraries as hubs of information, literacy, and public service. The statistic thereby emphasizes the comprehensive relevance and national prominence of libraries, setting the stage for a closer look at what their numbers reveal about American culture and public policy.

The annual number of library visits per capita in the US is 5.3.

Painting a vivid picture of the immense cultural significance of public libraries in the US, the statistic of 5.3 annual library visits per capita underlines the enduring relevance of these institutions. Whether it’s for researching, studying, participating in community events, or enjoying literary treasures, this statistic vividly demonstrates the library’s role as a cherished destination. Far from fading into obsolescence in the digital age, this statistic suggests libraries are thriving hubs of activity – testament to their ability to adapt and remain centers of life-long learning for every individual in their communities.

There are more public libraries in the US than Starbucks stores.

Painting a vivid illustration into the significance of public libraries in the societal fabric, the statistic ‘There are more public libraries in the US than Starbucks stores’ is a testament to the enduring relevance of these institutions. In a coffee-loving nation like the US, where a Starbucks outlet seems to adorn every corner, this statistic offers a remarkable perspective on the pervasiveness of libraries and their importance in fostering educated, informed, and engaged communities. The essence of this blog post lies in decoding the surprising magnitude of public libraries vis-a-vis popular commercial chains, suggesting their crucial role in society’s literacy, learning, and cultural enrichment.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say their local library improves the quality of life.

Highlighting that nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) assert that their local library enhances their quality of life, adds a persuasive punch to our discourse on Public Libraries Statistics. It does more than just roll the dice on numbers; it speaks to the impactful and personal relationship citizens maintain with these institutions. It provides cogent insight into how libraries, often overlooked as relics in our digital age, continue to play a vital role in society. This statistic paints an effective portrait of sustained relevance, usage, and emotional resonance of public libraries, reminding us they are not just a house of books, but a cornerstone of community life.

Academic libraries in the US circulate an average of 7 books per student each year.

Delving into the heartland of U.S. academia, a captivating figure sails to the surface – every year sees academic libraries delivering an average of 7 books into the hands of each student. Pouring significance onto a blog post about Public Library Statistics, this number serves as a vibrant indicator of the prominent role that academic libraries play in the educational landscape, while acting as a yardstick against which public libraries can calibrate their function. Prevalently, an examination of this statistic might spur public libraries to reflourish and alter their strategies, nudging them closer towards this mark and optimising book access in their community. So, beyond the realms of education, this statistic breathes life into the assessment of public libraries ensuring they are effectively fostering a culture of reading.

Over 171 million Americans have library cards.

Highlighting the statistic of over 171 million Americans possessing library cards paints a vital picture of the significance libraries hold in American society. In a landscape where digital media is swiftly becoming the norm, this impressive figure illustrates the understated truth that libraries continue to serve as crucial hubs of information, culture, and community connection. The sheer mass of Americans investing in library memberships underscores their relevance and necessity, reaffirming the enduring demand for their services even in this digital age. This reaffirms the need for adequate funding and support for libraries, shaping public policy discussions and decisions in favor of these essential institutions.

In 2016, US libraries offered more than 4.7 million educational programs.

The figure that U.S. libraries hosted over 4.7 million educational programs in 2016 adds a concrete dimension to the larger narrative of the essential, evolving role these institutions play within their communities. Public libraries are no longer simply repositories of hardcopy books, but have metamorphosed into vibrant hubs of continuous learning and exchange, actively contributing to public literacy and education. Placed alongside other data, this statistic underscores libraries’ commitment to learning, their responsiveness to societal needs, and their vital part in stimulating intellectual growth and curiosity. This only enhances our appreciation of their value and importance in society, supporting the advocacy for continued funding and recognition.

Public libraries in the US are visited more than a billion times per year.

Encapsulating the essence of the profound value that public libraries offer, the astounding statistic of more than a billion visits per year in the US transports us into the heart of their importance. This powerful testament of public engagement showcases these institutions not simply as book repositories, but as dynamic, multifaceted sanctuaries of learning, social interaction, cultural exploration and community connection. In a blog post about Public Libraries Statistics, each visit in this massive figure can be seen as an affirmation of the enduring relevance and influence public libraries hold in our society, reminding us they continue to thrive as an indispensable resource hub for citizens of all ages and walks of life.

Public libraries in Australia lent out approximately 174 million items in 2017-2018.

Highlighting the astonishing figure of approximately 174 million items borrowed from Australian public libraries in the 2017-2018 period demonstrates an undeniable reality – the enduring relevance and popularity of public libraries. Amidst a rapidly digitalizing world, this statistic presents a narrative of a thriving library culture and a still-strong community reliance on these establishments. This is a testament to the invigorating power of shared knowledge resources, and serves as an eye-opening reminder to policymakers and society about the importance of such institutions in fostering education, literacy, and social cohesion.

New York Public Library held about 53 million items as of 2019.

In the realm of Public Libraries Statistics, the New York Public Library’s position becomes intrinsic as it was found to be the custodian of approximately 53 million items as of 2019. Emerging as more than mere repositories of books, modern libraries circulate a variety of resources, from physical artifacts to digital media. This figure not only emphasizes the vast scale of the NYPL’s collection, but also exemplifies the rich cultural resources that public libraries provide to their communities. In a city as diverse as New York, such a colossal catalogue serves as an invaluable asset, facilitating wide-ranging learning and knowledge dissemination, thereby magnifying the societal influence and intellectual capacity of libraries as pivotal public entities.

The annual per capita public library income is $39.02 in the US.

Delving into the intriguing world of public library statistics, we uncover the revealing figure of $39.02, emblematic of the annual per capita public library income in the US. This figure serves as a concrete symbol of the monetary resources public libraries have at their disposal to cultivate rich knowledge environments. It denotes the level of financial support from the community and governmental entities, impacting everything from the variety of books and materials available to the quality and extent of programs offered. Consequently, this statistic enlightens us about the economic realities that shape the accessibility, content, and quality of public library services.

More than 93% of public libraries offer online homework assistance in the US.

Highlighting the availability of online homework assistance in 93% of US public libraries is a testament to the poignant role that libraries play in supporting education outside the traditional classroom environment. Not only does this indicate the extent to which these institutions have modernized and incorporated digital services into their offerings, it also underscores their dedication to promoting learning and academic success among all demographic groups irrespective of socio-economic backgrounds. This significant percentage shows how public libraries are crucial in bridging the educational gap and fostering individual growth by providing free access to vital academic resources, redefining their roles beyond just book lending facilities to becoming indispensable academic support platforms.

There are approximately 200,000 hired staff working in public libraries across the United States.

Unveiling the magnitude of employment in the realm of public libraries, the numerical inventory of approximately 200,000 hired staff across the nation conveys a robust infrastructure in function. In a meticulously put together dissertation on Public Libraries Statistics, it provides a key insight into not only the scale of operations managed by these institutions, but also their contribution to the economy. Examining this statistic permits a comprehensive understanding of public libraries as important epicenters of employment, supporting multitudes of careers, and facilitating the dispersal of knowledge across our communities, states, and the country as a whole.

66% of Americans aged 16 and over used a public library in the last year.

Highlighting that “66% of Americans aged 16 and over used a public library in the last year” underscores the significant role that public libraries play in contemporary American society. Within the context of a blog post on Public Libraries Statistics, this particular statistic is a compelling testament to the extended reach and importance of these institutions. It signals that beyond their traditional role as realms of books, libraries are vibrant community hubs that cater to various age groups. Be it internet access, educational resources, community programs or a quiet study space, this utilization by a substantial majority reflects the diverse services offered and the inherent value Americans find in their local libraries.

National and international internet connectivity in public libraries around the world is at 98%.

Highlighting an impressive statistic such as a 98% internet connectivity rate in public libraries both nationally and internationally underscores the vital role these institutions play in the digital age. It illustrates that libraries are no longer confined to physical books, but have navigated the digital terrain successfully, serving as hubs for global internet connectivity. Such a statistic emphasizes libraries’ commitment to bridging the digital divide, enabling access to online resources and educational opportunities, and manifesting their adaptability to technological changes. Therefore, this information is crucial to shaping our understanding and appreciation of modern public libraries in a blog post about Public Library Statistics.

The UK has seen a reduction of nearly 800 public libraries since 2010.

The gravity of the statistic, detailing an alarming loss of nearly 800 public libraries in the UK since 2010, provides a poignant insight into the progression of library trends over the decade. It corroborates a sobering narrative of the enduring challenges faced by public libraries such as financial constraints, digital shift, and changing user needs, painting a picture of their ongoing decline in the UK. This singular numerical evidence, therefore, serves as a crucial vantage point from which to evaluate the strategies required for revitalization and aids in sparking constructive dialogue on public library sustainability issues within the blog post.

American residents visited a public library more often than going to a movie in the theater in 2019.

Highlighting the statistic that American residents visited a public library more often than going to a movie theater in 2019 enriches the narrative of our blog post on Public Libraries Statistics. It underlines the pivotal role libraries continue to play in American society and their unmatched popularity, despite the digital age challenges and the spread of various forms of entertainment. This further emphasizes the continued relevance and the strong footing of public libraries in local communities and their potential for outreach and impact. This statistic serves as a fascinating starting point to examine more closely the reasons behind this preference and how libraries might evolve to meet growing and changing public demand in future.

The largest public library in the United States is the Library of Congress, which includes more than 38 million books.

Highlighting the fact that the Library of Congress holds the title for being the largest public library in the United States with over 38 million books underscores its pivotal role as a major knowledge hub. This vast collection represents a rich repository of information, shaping the landscape of public libraries and setting a benchmark for other institutions. In the larger picture of Public Libraries Statistics, it underscores the unwavering commitment to preserve the literary heritage, the widespread access to information, and the emphasis on lifelong learning across the nation.

In 2015, over 113 million people attended nearly 4.3 million programs at public libraries in the U.S.

Appreciating the gravity of the striking figure ‘over 113 million people attended nearly 4.3 million programs at public libraries in the U.S in 2015′ provides key insights into the pulsating vitality of public libraries as dynamic centers of engagement, education, and innovation. The sky-high attendance underscores the significant role public libraries play as important hubs of community activities and interaction, nurturing literacy, fostering life-long learning, and providing access to a broad range of information resources. These numbers offer an empirical testament of public libraries’ continued relevance and growing vitality in an increasingly digital age, strongly refuting notions of their decline or faded importance.

Conclusion

The analysis of public library statistics underscores the pivotal role that libraries play in both local communities and the wider society. Despite digital media’s surge in popularity, the steady visitor numbers and consistent check-out rates reflect a continued reliance on and deep-seated appreciation for public library resources. In fact, the expansive range of services and the growth in ancillary programs, such as digital literacy training and community events, signify a shift in libraries’ roles beyond just book lending. These observations and data posit that public libraries remain a vital and dynamic fixture in our communities, adapting to changing times and continually serving the diverse needs of the public.

References

0. – https://www.www.imls.gov

1. – https://www.www.infoplease.com

2. – https://www.librariestaskforce.blog.gov.uk

3. – https://www.www.nsla.org.au

4. – https://www.www.pewresearch.org

5. – https://www.www.ala.org

6. – https://www.www.statista.com

7. – https://www.data.bls.gov

8. – https://www.www.bbc.com

9. – https://www.www.gallup.com

10. – https://www.www.ifla.org

11. – https://www.www.cbsnews.com

12. – https://www.libguides.ala.org

FAQs

How many public libraries are there in the United States?

According to the American Library Association, there are approximately 9,057 public libraries in the United States as of 2021.

What percentage of U.S. population uses public libraries?

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, around 53% of American adults reported that they used a public library or bookmobile in the previous year.

What is the average number of books circulated annually per user at U.S. public libraries?

This number varies widely, but according to the Public Libraries in the United States Survey, the annual median library circulation per user for all U.S. public libraries is 7.5 items.

How many public library branches are there in the United States?

According to the data from Institute of Museum and Library Services, there are 16,568 branches of public libraries in the U.S.

How many people are employed in public libraries across the U.S?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 138,200 people employed as librarians and library media specialists in the U.S., with a significant number of these working in public libraries.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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