IMLS Releases FY 2013 Public Libraries Survey Report and Dataset
Research by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) found shifts in Americans’ interaction with public libraries’ materials, programs and services in Fiscal Year 2013.
The survey report, which had a 97 percent response rate, describes findings from public libraries in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. With the available survey data, the report provides aggregated local, state and national information about the nation’s 9,000 public libraries and their 16,500 branches and bookmobiles.
- The survey shows that 96 percent of the total U.S. population, or 304.8 million people, lived within a public library service area in 2013, and Americans made an average of almost four million visits each day to public libraries that year. While this is an 8.2 percent decrease since a peak in visitation in 2009, it is a 17.6 percent increase over 10 years.
Direct to Full Text Report (30 pages; PDF)
- There were 96.5 million attendees at almost 4.3 million public programs at public libraries in FY 2013, an increase in attendance of 28.6 percent for all programs since 2006.The role of public libraries as community gathering places is bolstered by these increases.
- Sessions on public access computers have decreased since 2010. While use of public library Wi-Fi by patrons who bring their own devices to the library is not measured, the survey may indicate a decline in public library computer use due to growth in this behavior.
- There were 333.9 million user sessions on public access computers. This is a decrease of 9.2 percent from FY 2010.
- Libraries increasingly enhance their learning programs by linking them to community support services. There is also a long-term increase in the number of children and young adults attending library programs.
- Attendance at children’s programs has increased by 29.7 percent over 10 years, with 67.4 million attendees at children’s programs and 6.1 million attendees at programs for young adults.
- In FY 2013, 6,569 public libraries reported having e-books, an increase of 14.6 percent from FY 2012. Additionally, 67.3 percent of public libraries offered downloadable audio materials in FY 2013.
- Public libraries circulated 2.4 billion materials of all types and formats in FY 2013, a 10-year increase of 25.4 percent. Libraries lent 835.6 million children’s books and materials in FY 2013. This is a 10-year increase of 22.7 percent.
- In FY 2013, the public invested over $11.5 billion in revenue to public libraries. After adjusting for inflation this reflects no change from the previous year and a 10-year increase of 7.5 percent.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.