The 2009 Public Libraries Survey report has been released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). See the report at: https://harvester.census.gov/imls/pubs/Publications/pls2009.pdf.
Based on data from public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, highlights from the 2009 Public Library Survey (PLS) include:
* Visitation and circulation per capita have both increased in public libraries over the past 10 years. Per capita visitation increased 5 percent from the prior year. Visitation and circulation were highest in suburban public libraries.
* The number of public libraries has increased over the past 10 years. However, this growth has been outpaced by changes in the population.
* The nature and composition of collections in U.S. public libraries is changing, indicating the more varied types of materials found in modern public libraries. Although the volume of print materials has decreased over the past 10 years, collections overall continue to grow because of increases in the number of audio, video, and electronic book materials.
* The role of public libraries in providing Internet resources to the public continues to increase. The availability of Internet-ready computer terminals in public libraries has doubled over the past 10 years. Internet PC use has also increased.
* Public libraries have increased their program offerings to meet increased demand and to allow for more individualized attention through smaller class sizes. This is particularly true of public libraries in rural areas, where the number of programs per capita and attendance per capita are both higher than the national average.
IMLS Research PLS web page: http://www.imls.gov/research/public_libraries_in_the_united_states_survey.aspx