May 25, 2022

New Online: IMLS Releases FY 2014 Public Libraries Survey Data, New Visualization Tools Also Available

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released FY 2014 Public Libraries Survey data earlier today. Links below.

From IMLS:

2016-08-08_15-32-20Today, the Institute of Museum and Library Services released the data for the FY 2014 Public Libraries Survey.

Accompanying FY 2014 data are new online visualizations and tools to make the data easier to explore and use.

Since 1988, the annual Public Libraries Survey has provided a national census of public libraries in the United States. The data are collected from approximately 9,000 public library systems comprised of over 17,000 individual main libraries, library branches, and bookmobiles in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and outlying territories.

“We know that researchers, journalists, librarians, and officials at every level of government rely on these valuable data for an accurate picture of the status and trends in public libraries in America,” said Ammie Farraj Feijoo, IMLS Deputy Director of Digital and Information Strategy. “We are delighted to provide online discovery tools that will make the information more useful to all our stakeholders.

[Our emphasis] The Public Libraries Survey added a new data element in FY 2014: the number of Wi-Fi sessions provided by libraries annually. As more states report on this element in coming years, a more accurate picture of annual Wi-Fi use in libraries will emerge. Other d

Other data collected by the survey include information about library visits; circulation; size of collections; staff; operating revenues and expenditures; and number of service outlets.

Findings Summary

The 2014 PLS shows libraries continuing to adapt to 21st century needs and a growing population. More than 306 million Americans lived within a public library service area in 2014, compared to 305 million in 2013. Libraries offered more children and young adult programs, with an estimated 5 million more Americans attending library programs compared to the previous year. In addition, the number of downloadable audio, video, and electronic books available to the public grew significantly.

FY 2014 Data Files and Definitions

See Also: Direct to All Public Libraries Survey Data (1988-2014)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.