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Digest of Education Statistics: 2007
Digest of Education Statistics: 2007

NCES 2008-022
March 2008

Appendix A.2. Library Statistics Program

Beginning on October 1, 2007, the Public Libraries Survey (PLS) and the State Library Agencies (StLA) Survey will be conducted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The transfer of these surveys to IMLS is the result of President Bush's fiscal year 2007 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.

Under the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS), NCES surveyed academic libraries on a 3-year cycle between 1966 and 1988. From 1988 through 1999, ALS was a component of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and was on a 2-year cycle. Beginning with fiscal year (FY) 2000, ALS was no longer a component of IPEDS, but it remains on a 2-year cycle. ALS provides data on about 3,700 academic libraries. In aggregate, these data provide an overview of the status of academic libraries nationally and statewide. The survey collects data on the libraries in the entire universe of degree-granting institutions. Beginning with the collection of FY 2000 data, the ALS changed to web-based data collection. ALS produces descriptive statistics on academic libraries in postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the outlying areas.

School library data were collected on the School and Principal Surveys during the 1990–91 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). The School Library Media Centers (LMC) Survey became a component of SASS with the 1993–94 administration. Since then, the LMC Survey has been conducted during the 1999–2000 and 2003–04 school years. During the 2003–04 administration, only the public and Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) school library media centers were surveyed. The next LMC survey will be administered in the fall of 2007. School library questions focus on staff, collections, equipment, services, and expenditures.

Further information on library statistics may be obtained from

Tai Phan
Elementary/Secondary and Library Studies Division
Elementary/Secondary Sample Survey Studies Program
National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006