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IMLS Publishes FY 2007 Public Libraries Survey Report

Ahhh, remember 2007. Good times! And then that nasty economic downturn hit.
IMLS Publishes FY 2007 Public Libraries Survey Report
“The report includes a number of key findings to assist the library community, and policymakers, at the local, state, and national level, in making decisions to better their communities.
– The growth in per capita circulation from FY 2006 to FY 2007 was a continuation of the steady growth that has occurred since FY 2000. Per capita circulation grew from 6.4 materials per person to 7.4 materials per person from FY 2000 to FY 2007, an increase of 16 percent.
– Nationwide, visits to public libraries totaled 1.4 billion, or 4.9 library visits per capita, a small increase from the 4.8 visits per capita that were made during FY 2006. As in the case of per capita circulation, this is a continuation of a larger, longer upward trend. Per capita visitation increased from 4.2 to 4.9 between FY 1998 and FY 2007, an overall increase of 17 percent (Figure 1).
– In FY 2007, total nationwide circulation of public library materials was 2.2 billion, or 7.4 materials circulated per capita; these were slight increases from the 2.1 billion total materials and 7.3 materials per capita that were circulated during FY 2006.
– Internet terminals available for public use in public libraries nationwide numbered 208,000, or 3.6 per 5,000 people. These were increases from the previous year’s figures of 196,000 total terminals and 3.4 terminals per 5,000 people.
– Nationwide circulation of children’s materials was 739.7 million, or 34 percent of total circulation during FY 2007. Attendance at children’s programs was 59.0 million in FY 2007, up from 57.6 million the prior year.
The FY 2007 survey is the 20th in the series. On October 1, 2007 responsibility for the PLS was transferred from to IMLS from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), along with the State Library Agencies Survey. The U.S. Census Bureau collects the data under a contract with IMLS. The survey’s extraordinary response rate results from the cooperative effort between the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, IMLS, and the Census Bureau.”
For more information on library statistics, visit
The report is available in PDF format.


Posted on: June 30, 2009, 9:45 pm Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Michael Golrick said

    As a state data coordinator, I am familiar with these data. One chart which stood out for me was in the section about funding. It showed the % of all library funding which is local (and it climbs fairly steadily) and on the same page, the percent of funding from state government — which declines precipitously. This is not good news for public libraries given the frequent local fights to limit local expenditures. I am afraid that it will make the “have-not” libraries have even less.

  2. Really useful information