On October 1, 2007, the administration of the Public Libraries Survey (PLS) and the State Library Agencies (StLA) Survey was transferred from the National Center for Education Statistics to the Institute of Museum and Library Statistics (IMLS). The transfer of these surveys is the result of the fiscal year 2007 President's budget request.
Public library statistics were collected annually by NCES using the PLS and disseminated annually through the Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) for Public Library Data. Descriptive statistics were produced for over 9,200 public libraries. The PLS included information about staffing; operating income and expenditures; type of governance; type of administrative structure; size of collection; and service measures such as reference transactions, public service hours, interlibrary loans, circulation, and library visits. In FSCS, respondents supplied the information electronically, and data were edited and tabulated in machine-readable form.
The respondents were 9,200 public libraries identified in the 50 states and the District of Columbia by state library agencies. At the state level, FSCS was administered by State Data Coordinators, appointed by the Chief Officer of each State Library Agency. The State Data Coordinator collected the requested data from local public libraries and submitted these data to NCES. An annual training conference sponsored by NCES was provided for the State Data Coordinators. All 50 states and the District of Columbia submitted data for individual public libraries, which were also aggregated to state and national levels.
From 1994 through 2006, NCES conducted the StLA Survey for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. A state library agency is the official agency of a state that is charged by state law with the extension and development of public library services throughout the state and that has adequate authority under state law to administer state plans in accordance with the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) of 2003. The StLA Survey collected data on services, collections, staffing, revenue, and expenditures.
Further information on the Public Library Survey and State Library Agency Survey can be obtained from
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Office of Policy, Planning, Research, and Communication
Research and Statistics Division
1800 M Street NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20036-5802