Texas Public Library Summary for 1999


The Texas Public Library Summary for 1999 contains summaries of the information submitted by Texas public libraries in the 1999 Annual Report/System Membership Application Form (ARSMA) and reported in detail in the Texas Public Library Statistics for 1999.

The Summary provides an overview of Texas public library income, expenditures, services, and staffing, and provides comparisons of libraries serving like populations.

In 1999, there were 542 public libraries that submitted Annual Reports. There were 535 libraries that received public funds, compared to 532 in 1997, and there were 513 public libraries that met or exceeded the criteria for system member for 2000, 9 more than in 1998, and 67 more than a decade ago in 1989. The library community in Texas is growing. The funding, regrettably, is not.

Many of the key measures for public library finances improved only slightly in 1999. Library income per capita rose from $13.94 to $14.98, and total library expenditures per capita rose from $13.67 to $14.58. Expenditures per capita for salaries and benefits rose from $9.11 to $9.63, reflecting the slight rise in salaries and the continuous rise in benefits for library staff. Expenditures for materials per capita rose from $2.15 to $2.30. The total number of library materials per capita fell from 2.79 to 2.53..

Three of the key measures of library services reflect a national trend. Circulation per capita, reference transactions per capita, and library visits per capita slightly decreased for public libraries, both in Texas and nationally. However, there is not a uniform way to count those persons who are served by libraries through electronic resources and the Internet. We are losing valuable counts of those individuals who "visit" the library and find what they need while sitting at home or in the public library at a computer. Hopefully within the next year we will find a uniform way to count these people and the materials they use.

When comparing Texas statistics to those nationally, Texas continues to rank below most of the other states. In salary expenditures per capita, Texas ranks 42nd, and in total operating expenditures per capita, Texas ranks 46th. The only two measures that Texas ranks above 40th are reference transactions (Texas ranks 23rd) and MLS librarians per 1,000 population (Texas ranks 32nd).

Patty Davis

Library Development Division, September 2000

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Table of Contents

Analytical Tables

These tables contain the data most often used by Texas public libraries to compare their expenditures, services, and staffing to other Texas public libraries. These tables include only those libraries that report the data contained in each separate Table, so the number of libraries in each table will vary.

Statistical Summary Overview

Income and Percent of Population Served by Type of Library

A new library designation, Library District, was added to this chart. At the time the Annual Reports for 1999 were submitted, there were nine libraries formed as library districts under the new Library Districts Act. The Library Districts designation was added to this chart to report this governance and funding change to public libraries and to chart the impact library district funding will make. However, only four of the nine library districts actually reported income from the newly formed districts, and the chart reflects only the income from those four library districts. This measure will change each year as more library districts are formed and as they receive and report the income from the districts.

Operating Expenditures Adjusted for Inflation

Texas Library Per Capita Data Compared to U.S. Averages

There are three charts in the Summary that compare Texas public libraries' expenditures, services, and staffing to those of the national average. These charts are Texas Library Per Capita Data Compared to U.S. Averages, Expenditures and Service Indicators, and Texas Rankings in Key Measures. The information in these tables is from Public Libraries in the United States: FY 1998, published by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education, in July 2000. The data in this publication is compiled from the annual reports sent to NCES by the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It is the newest complete national data available. However, it has not yet been adjudicated by the NCES, and the numbers may change very slightly from those that are reported in the Summary.

Salary and Staffing Data

Rank Order of Texas Public Libraries by Population Served

Library Materials Expenditures

Please note that the Library Materials Expenditures graph is no longer part of the Summary. The latest Bowker Annual, Library and Book Trade Almanac, states that "the change in the method for determining average book prices makes it difficult to correlate in the method for determining average book prices makes it difficult to correlate and compare the 1998 average book prices to those of past years." Because the comparisons of 1998 book prices to those of past years could not be calculated in a uniform manner, expenditures adjusted for inflation could not be calculated, and the graph is not included in this Summary.

Page last modified: March 2, 2011