Alaska’s public libraries file an annual report each year with the Alaska State Library in order to remain eligible for the annual public library assistance grant. The state data from these annual reports is published in two formats:
- As Excel spreadsheets of the entire data set collected annually and found on this web page; and
- As specialized tables which can be generated upon request. Please contact the State Library offices in Anchorage (269-6570) if you need special statistical information from the annual spreadsheets of Alaska’s public library statistics.
This data is also submitted each year to the Public Libraries in the United States survey. This national program compiles data from over 9,000 public libraries located in every state. The National Center for Education Statistics operated this program from 1989 to 2007. The Institute of Museum and Library Services became responsible for this program late in 2007. The national data is published in two formats:
- As the publication Public Libraries in the United States
- As data tables on the Public Libraries page of the Library Statistics Program
The purpose for the public libraries statistics program states: “Public libraries across the nation fill important educational, informational, economic, cultural, and recreational needs of the people they serve. Their continuing ability to fill these needs is essential to the life of the nation. Reliable, consistent public library statistics will provide both the basis for effective management and a continuing assessment of the status of public libraries.”
Alaska Annual Spreadsheets of Data FY1987 - Date
These annual Excel spreadsheets include data for every question asked on the annual report form sent to every Alaska public library. The annual report form asks questions that are sent to every public library in the country as part of the national public library statistics program described above; the form also asks questions that are collected on a statewide basis alone. These spreadsheets are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the community.
Alaska Data Tables FY1999 - FY2005
For each year, the data tables are presented as PDFs with the data sorted in descending order by the population of the community served by the library. Starting with FY2006, data is available in both PDF and Excel formats. As new statistics have been gathered over the years, the content in tables 7 thorough 9 has changed.
Table 1: Circulation and Interlibrary Loan
This table shows how often different types of library materials (books, magazines, audiotapes, videos, etc.) were checked out of the library, how often the library lent or received materials through interlibrary loan; and provides circulation per capita.
Table 2: Collections
This table provides an overview of the size of a library's book, audio; video, electronic and magazine collections, the number of book volumes added during the year, and the number of book volumes per capita.
Table 3: Income (FY1999 – FY2003) and Revenue (FY2004 – date)
This table provides information on the sources of income for Alaskan libraries: local (city or borough), state, or federal government, and other funding. Other is important for many of Alaska's smaller libraries because they are operated by private, non-profit organizations. The income from these non-governmental sources is reported under this category. The name of this table changed from Income to Revenue in FY2004, but the content remained the same.
Table 4: Expenditures
This table shows how libraries spend their budgets. Columns are included for salaries, benefits, collections (books, magazines, audiovisual materials, etc.), operating expenditures (maintenance, travel, services and supplies), operating expenditures per capita, and capital expenditures.
Table 5: Expenditures on Collections
This table subdivides the library collection expenditures by format: books, subscriptions, audiovisuals and other (microforms, software, maps, etc.), and includes collection expenditures per capita.
Table 6: Staff and Volunteers
This table shows the composition of the library staff: librarians with a master’s degree in library science (MLS), all people working as librarians, and the technical and clerical staff. It also includes data on the number of patrons per staff, as well as information on volunteers and the number of hours contributed to the library by volunteers, although these numbers may not be as reliable as the numbers reported for paid staff.
Table 7: Hours, Attendance, Reference, and Programs (FY1999 – FY2001)
Table 7: Library Services (FY2002 – FY2003)
Table 7: Library Programs (FY2004 – date)
Table 8: Technology and Facility (FY2002 – FY2003)
Table 8 for FY2002 and FY2003 includes information on Internet access, the number of terminals in the library with Internet access, and the number of people who use electronic resources each week in the library. Table 8 also includes the square footage of each main library and the aggregate square footage for branch libraries.
Table 8: Library Services and Technology (FY2004 – date)
Table 8 for FY2004 and subsequent years shows annual library attendance, the number of reference transactions, indicates whether the library provides public access to the Internet, the number of public terminals that can access the Internet, and number of people who used electronic resources from terminals located within the library.
Table 9: General Information and Hours (FY2002 – FY2003)
Table 9: Library Facility, Board, and Hours (FY2004 – date)
National Library Statistics Resources
The Library Statistics Program from the National Center for Education Statistics provides links to statistics for:
- academic libraries 1988 to date
- school libraries 1953 to date
The Library Statistics Programs from the Institute of Museum and Library Services provides links to statistics for:
- public libraries 1989 to date
- state libraries 1994 to date
The Research and Statistics About Libraries page from Colorado’s Library Research Service reports and analyzes statistics on school, public, and academic libraries, and conducts studies on major library issues that are reported in their Fast Facts and Closer Look series.
The American Library Association’s Office for Research and Statistics provides links to a wide variety of information about libraries in the United States.