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IMLS Releases 2015 Public Libraries Survey Data

2017 September 19
by Valicia Greenwood

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has released theHome dataset from the 2015 Public Library Survey, and a new report based on the 2014 data. Those links can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/IMLS-PLSdata.

Since 1988, IMLS has been examining key indicators of public library use, financial health, staffing and library resources. Currently, over 9,000 public library systems participate, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.

IMLS Director Dr Kathryn K. Matthew suggests, “We encourage the use of this information to uncover opportunities to improve library services and to demonstrate the continuing value of public libraries in American life.”

Findings include:

  • While the majority of library collections are still print materials (66%), the number of downloadable materials continues to rise.
  • The decline in traditional library services continues, however, attendance at library programs is increasing every year. Over 4.5 million programs were offered last year, a ten-year increase of 68%.
  • There have been slight increases in revenue, expenditures and staffing, but all of these measures remain below 2009 levels.

State Library staff extend their gratitude to all of the public librarians in Texas who carefully work through the Texas Public Libraries Annual Report each year. This information is vital to researchers, journalists, and policymakers, as well as the general public, to help evaluate and plan for libraries now and in the future.

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