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In addition to making a wide variety of reading, audio, video, reference, and archival materials available to children and adults, public libraries nationwide have been developing programs to reinforce their value to the community. As the Institute of Museum and Library Services notes, public libraries support lifelong learning by “offer[ing] a wide range of programs for people of all ages, including story time for toddlers and preschoolers, homework and after-school programs for teens, author book readings, and computer classes for adults and seniors.”1

Endnotes

  • 1D. W. Swan, J. Grimes, T. Owens, R. D. Vese Jr., K. Miller, J. Arroyo, T. Craig et al., Public Libraries Survey: Fiscal Year 2010, IMLS-2013-PLS-01 (Washington, DC: Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2013), 10.
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* 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 Sciences 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.

V-16b: Public Library Program Attendance, Per 1,000 U.S. Population, Fiscal Years 1995–2014*

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* 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 Sciences 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.

V-16c: Public Library Visits, Circulation, and Program Attendance, by State, Fiscal Year 2013 (Choropleth)

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* Libraries are those performed on all surveyed libraries, not just those meeting Institute of Museum and Library Sciences criteria for public libraries.


Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Public Libraries in the United States Survey (2013).

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.

V-16d: Public Library Visits, Circulation, and Program Attendance, by State, Fiscal Year 2013* (Compare Up to Six States)

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* Libraries are those performed on all surveyed libraries, not just those meeting Institute of Museum and Library Sciences criteria for public libraries.
** Average of circulation, visits, and total program attendance rankings.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Public Libraries in the United States Survey (2013).

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.

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