V-16a: Per Capita Public Library Use, Fiscal Years 1995–2014*
* Values presented are for the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Calculations were performed on all surveyed libraries, not just those meeting Institute of Museum and Library Services criteria for public libraries.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Public Libraries Survey (1995–2005); and Institute of Museum and Library Services, Public Libraries in the United States Survey (2006–2014).
The per capita values included in this graph are based on the total unduplicated population of libraries’ legal service areas, as reported by libraries themselves. A library’s legal service area is the geographical area that by state or local statute a library is mandated to serve. “Unduplicated” refers to the fact that the population figures have been adjusted to compensate for overlapping service areas. To simply sum the populations of all service areas within a state would be to double count those people residing in areas served by more than one library.