January 24, 2022

How About Some Public Library Statistics and Rankings From Around the World? Two Reports to Know About

First, many thanks to our friends and colleagues Stephen Abram and Matt Weaver for pointing out this report prepared for the Canadian Urban Libraries Council by Lumos Research that’s loaded with stats and facts about Canadian public libraries.


Direct to Full Text: An Analysis of Public Library Trends [Canada] (10 pages; PDF)

Fast Canadian Public Library Facts

Canadian Urban Libraries Council members comprise most of Canada’s largest libraries. Here are a few facts about the 35 member libraries and 9 subscribers who have contributed data to this report (figures are averages for 2009):

• They serve a population of 17,589,000 Canadians in urban centres across Canada
• They serve 8,221,000 active borrowers currently registered with library cards
• They operate 609 branch locations, and have total facilities with close to 10,000,000 square feet of floor space, the equivalent of 200 large supermarkets
• They employ over 13,000 staff in full and part-time positions
• They host approximately 108,000,000 in-person visits each year
• They have circulation of about 211,000,000 items each year, including 71,000,000 items for children
• They operate programs for 4,184,000 participants each year, including 2,964,000 children
• They hold approximately 51,000,000 items in their collections

Global Public Library Statistics

About a month ago we shared a post about a new report and slide desk from IFLA’s Metropolitan Libraries Section that featured 2010 usage and collection statistics from 59 public libraries in 23 countries. Libraries Include:

  • Hong Kong Public Libraries
  • LAPL
  • Montreal Public Library Network
  • NYPL
  • San Jose Public Library
  • Stockholm Public Library

Today, we want to point out that the Metropolitan Libraries Section has just updated the report web page with 2010 rankings.

They consist in comparison and ranking files related to circulation, visits, collections, cost per use, expenditures, opening hours, programs, reference requests, Internet sessions and population.

They were compiled by Toronto Public Library on behalf of the Section.

Reports back to 2000 are also available.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.