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Public Libraries Survey Design

Descriptive statistics are collected for all public libraries. Data are available for individual public libraries and are also aggregated to state and national levels.

Survey methodology

Click the "Appendix B: Technical Notes" bookmark in:
E.D. TAB: Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2004 PDF File (1.02 MB)

Who is surveyed?

Over 9,000 public libraries identified in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the outlying areas. Beginning with Fiscal Year 1989, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have submitted their annual data. Unit and item response to this survey are very high.

Who administers the survey?

At the state level, FSCS is administered by Data Coordinators, appointed by each of the state's or outlying area's chief officer of the state library agency. State Data Coordinators collect the requested data from local public libraries and submit these data to NCES.

The FSCS Steering Committee representing State Data Coordinators and other public library constituents is active in the development of FSCS data elements, software, and training.

Annual training

An annual training conference sponsored by NCES is provided for the State Data Coordinators.

Technical assistance

Technical assistance to states is provided by phone and in person by:

Survey manual - User's Guide (WebPLUS Version 1.0)

Guide For Reporting Data For The Public Libraries Survey, FY 2005 Using The Web Public Library Universe System Software

  • Full User Manual PDF File (1.36 MB)

  • Title Page, Contents, and Sections 1-7 PDF File (686 KB)
    • Section 1—Introduction
    • Section 2—Overview
    • Section 3—Import
    • Section 4—Data Keying
    • Section 5—Match Routine
    • Section 6—Edit Report
    • Section 7—Survey Lock

  • Appendixes A–D PDF File (811 KB)
    • Appendix A—Web Instructions
    • Appendix B—Survey Instrument (Data Entry Screens and Data Element Definitions)
    • Appendix C—Import File Specifications
    • Appendix D—Name, Address, and Structure Changes

  • Appendixes E–I PDF File (1.01 MB)
    • Appendix E—Resolving the Match Report
    • Appendix F—Edit Messages and Conditions
    • Appendix G—PLS Contacts
    • Appendix H—Francis Keppel Award Criteria
    • Appendix I—Standard Abbreviations


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