Research & Links About Public Libraries

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Research & Links About Public Libraries

Americans say public libraries are essential

A recent study sponsored by Americans for Libraries Council, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, reports that Americans prize public library service in the Internet Age and see libraries as well-equipped to meet 21st Century challenges in their communities. Read more about the study.

Articles and Studies Related to Library Value (Return on Investment)
This web page is from the Research & Statistics section of the American Library Association web site.

ALA Library Fact Sheet Number 6:  Public Library Use
This fact sheet contains information from recent studies that document public library use by patrons as well as report the opinions that patrons have about public libraries.

Library Statistics Program:  Public Libraries
A variety of data about public libraries is available from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

Report on public library data by NCES new
The report includes national and state summary data on public libraries in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, with an introduction, findings, and numerous tables. The report is based on data from the Public Libraries Survey for fiscal year 2004, and includes information on population of legal service area, service outlets, public service hours, library materials, total circulation, circulation of children's materials, reference transactions, library visits, children's program attendance, interlibrary loans, electronic services and information, full-time-equivalent staff, operating revenue and expenditures, and capital expenditures. The report includes several key findings: Nationwide, library visits to public libraries totaled 1.3 billion, or 4.7 library visits per capita. The average number of Internet terminals available for public use per stationary outlet was 10.3.

The Wisconsin Library User (and Non-User): Outcomes of a Statewide Survey
A study prepared for the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium by Morrill Solutions in 2003.  This study was funded in part by the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation.

Toward Equality of Access: The Role of Public Libraries in Addressing the Digital Divide[pdf]
This report was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Wisconsin Public Library Service:  2004 State Summary [pdf]
This article summarizes public library services, technology, staffing, collections, demographics, and income and expenditures.

Wisconsin Public Library Statistics: 1996 - 2004
A compilation of statistics collected by the Department of Public Instruction, Public Library Development Team.

More About Wisconsin's Public Libraries

  • Economic Impact of Public Libraries

    $4.06 is returned to Wisconsin taxpayers for every $1 invested in public libraries. View the complete Economic Impact Study An economic impact research report produced by NorthStar Economics, I…

  • Fast Facts About Public Libraries

    LIBRARY USE Six out of ten state residents are registered library users. These library users made over 35.5 million visits to Wisconsin public libraries in 2009. Season attendance for Brewer home…

  • Profile: Appleton Public Library

    Library Profile It’s the main resource library for the Outagamie-Waupaca Library System (OWLS); it’s deeply involved in local Web initiatives; and it also fulfills the typical duties of local public…

  • Profile: Rhinelander District Library

    Library Profile While 388 public libraries exist in Wisconsin, not every municipality can support a library within its own borders. Sometimes communities join together to share a public library. Such…

  • Research & Links About Public Libraries

    Research & Links About Public Libraries Americans say public libraries are essential A recent study sponsored by Americans for Libraries Council, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foun…

If the cost of People magazine had risen as fast as the cost of academic library periodicals since 1990, it would cost about $182 for a one-year subscription.

ALA Office for Research & Statistics, ALA Public Information Office

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation

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