May 22, 2022

Connecticut State Library Releases Two New Reports: “Connecticut’s Public Libraries: A Statistical Profile, July 2020 – June 2021” & “Statistical Trends in Connecticut Public Libraries, 2021”

From the Connecticut State Library:

The Connecticut State Library is pleased to announce the release of two reports, “Connecticut’s Public Libraries: A Statistical Profile, July 2020 – June 2021” and “Statistical Trends in Connecticut Public Libraries, 2021.”


Over the last 2 years, libraries in Connecticut, like those in all states, added brand new services in response to the pandemic, often launching them in a matter of days. These included curbside and drive-through pickups, library card registrations online and over the phone, remote reference assistance via phone and live-chat, expanded electronic collections, virtual programs both live and on-demand, lendable hotspots and laptops, and extended Wi-Fi access. While many library use indicators were in decline during this period due to the pandemic and its impact on building closures, open hours, budgets, and staffing resources, there are a number of highlights:

  • Starting in mid-March 2020, libraries pivoted their program offerings from in-person to virtual, and over the last year, libraries continued to broaden the range of program types being offered for all ages to include outdoor, recorded, virtual, and live programming.
    • As COVID-19 and pandemic guidelines shifted, libraries were able to offer 7,708 in-person programs with 145,928 attendees.
    • Libraries grew their success with online programs, offering a total 43,991 live virtual and prerecorded programs for 582,671 attendees and 913,672 views.
  • Driven by the ease of access from home, borrowing of electronic materials, including e-books and downloadable audio and video, represents almost a quarter of all circulation, up from just 10% two years ago. As libraries noted the upward usage, they responded with increased budget allocations for e-materials.
  • As library leaders and boards joined the growing social justice movement, many of our libraries went fine free, taking a stand for equity and inclusion. The number of public libraries in CT that are now fine-free more than doubled in the last year from 31 to 64 libraries, with many more currently working towards this goal.
  • Connecticut public libraries received over $8 million in federal funds, representing an infusion of PPP, CARES, and ARPA dollars to sustain operations and services for our local communities throughout the pandemic.

“The data compiled in these reports tells the story of Connecticut libraries and the fortitude and creativity with which they have responded to the pandemic,” said Deborah Schander, Connecticut State Librarian. “While services and access may look a little different from how they have in the past, our libraries are open, responsive, and an integral part of community life.”

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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.