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In 2020–21, some 88 percent of all public schools had a library media center. Some 91 percent of traditional public schools and 52 percent of public charter schools had a library media center.

Percentage of schools with a library media center1, by selected school characteristics: 2020–21
[Standard errors appear in parentheses]
Selected school characteristic Percent
All schools 84.8 (0.45)
Public schools
All public schools 87.6 (0.44)
School classification
Traditional public 91.3 (0.45)
Charter school 52.3 (1.73)
Community type
City 83.0 (0.87)
Suburban 89.8 (0.67)
Town 85.8 (1.28)
Rural 90.5 (0.91)
School level2
Elementary 92.5 (0.51)
Middle 94.1 (0.76)
Secondary/high 75.5 (1.25)
Combined/other 74.4 (2.45)
Student enrollment
Less than 100 53.0 (3.18)
100–199 75.2 (2.10)
200–499 90.1 (0.67)
500–749 92.3 (0.69)
750–999 94.7 (0.81)
1,000 or more 94.2 (0.85)
Percent of K–12 students who were approved for free or reduced-price lunches
0–34 86.7 (0.93)
35–49 94.4 (0.81)
50–74 87.4 (1.08)
75 or more 86.0 (0.70)
Reported effect of COVID-19 on instruction3
Offering only distance-learning instruction 84.5 (0.98)
Offering a hybrid of in-person and distance-learning instruction 88.9 (0.54)
Offering only in-person instruction or no effect on the instruction offered 83.2 (2.05)

1 A library media center is an organized collection of printed and/or audiovisual and/or computer resources, which is administered as a unit, is located in a designated place or places, and makes resources and services available to students, teachers, and administrators. A library media center may be called a school library, media center, information center, instructional materials center, learning resource center, or any other similar name.
2 Elementary schools offer at least one grade of K to 4, and the number of elementary grades is higher than the number of middle grades. Middle schools offer at least one of grades 5 to 8, and the number of middle grades is greater than the number of elementary or secondary grades. Secondary/high schools are defined as schools that enroll students in more of grades 9 through 12 than in lower grades. Combined/other schools include all other combinations of grades, including K–12 schools. School level categories in the 2020–21 NTPS differ from those in previous survey administrations; caution should be exercised when comparing estimates by level over time. For more information, see Appendix C: Description of Variables in the SOURCE document.
3 Schools were asked to report the current effect of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on instruction at the school at the time they completed the survey. Thus, this was the reported effect on instruction at the time the survey was completed, not a summary of the school year.

NOTE: Data are weighted estimates of the population.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2022). Characteristics of 2020–21 Public and Private K-12 Schools in the United States: Results from the National Teacher and Principal Survey First Look, Table A-4.

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