Review of Library Data Reports, September 2002 (v.5, n.6)

The Board of Library Commissioners has been collecting public library statistics since 1890 when there were 362 independent main libraries and 108 branch libraries serving 2,238,943 residents. Today we have 370 independent main libraries and 118 branches serving 6,349,097 people. In FY2001, libraries received a total of $204,917,563 ($32.27 per capita) for operations and in 1890 libraries received $580,096, roughly equivalent to $10,534,543 ($4.70 per capita) in today's dollars. Libraries reported holding 2,759,400 print materials with a circulation of 5,040,629 in 1890. This meant about 1.2 books circulating 2.2 times per person. In FY2001, libraries reported 30,425,434 print materials circulating 34,653,753 times, or 4.8 items circulating 5.5 times per person.

In the early years, the information that librarians provided was included in the Board of Library Commissioners' Annual Report. Today, information reported by library directors is distributed in print and electronic formats (pdf, spreadsheet and database) on the agency website: In addition to public library data, the agency also collects information and issues reports of Special, School and Academic library data. Below is a list of all the reports available from the State Aid and Data Coordination Unit at the Board of Library Commissioners.

Public Library Data Reports

If you have any questions, or would like to receive one of the reports listed above, please contact Dianne Carty, Mary Litterst or Anne Meringolo at the Board of Library Commissioners.

Prepared by Dianne L. Carty, Head of State Aid and Data Coordination

Page last updated on 05/22/2015