National Statistics

Statistics are collected at the Institute of Museum and Library Services from more than 9,000 public libraries, via the Federal State Cooperative System (FSCS). Data are available for individual public libraries and are also aggregated to state and national levels.

Public Libraries in the United States

IMLS Reports, 2007 and prior

IMLS also makes available computer files of annual data for about 9,000 administrative entities (i.e., jurisdictions) and about 16,000 outlets. Data files are available for 1992 to the present. Earlier files are available in both ASCII and .dbf formats, while more recent ones are available in both ASCII and MS Access (.mdb) formats. MS Access, SPSS, SAS, or similar statistical analysis software is recommended to users of these files. MS Excel and other spreadsheet applications are not recommended due to the structure and size of the files.
Data File Download

Comparison Tools

NCES Tools

Other Tools

  • Compare Public Libraries:  Use this site to create reports comparing one library of interest to other libraries.
  • Search for a Public Library
  • US Library Data Archive:  Formerly housed by tht National Commission of Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), LRS now hosts files consist of compilations of raw annual data, longitudinal recompilations of those annual data, summary analysis of the libraries, reports on them, methodoligical studies, and documentation.


  • Public Library Statistics & Profiles
    Dive into annual statistics from the Colorado Public Library Annual Report using our interactive tool, results tailored to trustees, and state totals and averages.
  • School Library Impact Studies
    School libraries have a profound impact on student achievement. Explore studies about this topic by LRS and other researchers in our comprehensive guide.
  • Fast Fact Reports
    Looking for a quick rundown of library research? Check out our Fast Facts, which highlight research and statistics about various library topics.


See more @


LRS is part of the Colorado State Library, a unit of the Colorado Department of Education. We design and conduct library research for library and education professionals, public officials, and the media to inform practices and assessment needs. We partner with the Library and Information Science program at University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to provide research fellowships to current MLIS students.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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