On average, each Colorado resident checked out 12 items from public libraries in 2012

PLAR_circWe know that borrowing books is a very important service libraries provide – 80% of Americans say so. But how does this opinion translate into action? In Colorado last year, libraries circulated more than 66 million items, according to the 2012 Annual Public Library Survey. In other words, each Colorado resident checked out an average of 12 items in 2012, a figure that has generally increased each year since we started collecting these statistics in the late 1980s.

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.


  • 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.


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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.

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

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