The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) just released its Public Libraries in the United States Report for Fiscal Year 2012, which is based on a survey of 97% of public libraries across the United States and parses out national and state-by-state trends. We contribute data to this survey about Colorado’s public libraries through our Public Library Annual Report. (And data collection for 2014 is open now!)
In this latest report, general post-recession trends—such as declines in revenue, staffing, circulation, and visits—from the last couple of years have continued or remained stable. Public libraries continued to see a positive link between investment and usage. Libraries that had more full-time staff and programs, for example, also had increases in circulation and visits.
There were 1.5 billion in-person visitors to public libraries in FY2012, about the same as FY2011 and up 21% in the past 10 years. Public libraries also reported considerable growth in the circulation of e-books and downloadable audio and video. Nearly 93 million people attended a program at a public library in FY2012, more than a 50% increase in the past 10 years. Children’s programs were especially popular, so even as many visits migrate online, the library’s place as a community center seems firmly established.
Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.