Skip Navigation
Digest of Education Statistics: 2018
Digest of Education Statistics: 2018

NCES 2020-009
December 2019

Appendix A.2. Library Statistics

In the past, NCES collected library data through the Public Libraries Survey (PLS), the State Library Agencies (StLA) Survey, the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS), and the Library Media Centers (LMC) Survey. On October 1, 2007, the administration of the Public Libraries Survey (PLS) and the State Library Agencies (StLA) Survey was transferred to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) (see below).

NCES administered the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) 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 in the year 2000, ALS began collecting data independent from the IPEDS data collection, but it remained on a 2-year cycle. ALS provided data on approximately 3,700 academic libraries. In aggregate, these data provided an overview of the status of academic libraries nationally and statewide. The survey collected data on the libraries in the entire universe of degree-granting institutions. Beginning with the collection of FY 2000 data, ALS changed to web-based data collection. ALS produced descriptive statistics on academic libraries in postsecondary institutions in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the outlying areas. Academic Libraries: 2012 (NCES 2014-038) presented tabulations for the 2012 survey. In 2014, ALS was reincorporated into the IPEDS collection. Since then, it has been collected annually, as the Academic Libraries component, in the IPEDS spring data collection.

School library data were collected on the School and Principal Surveys of 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 of the survey. Thus, readers should refer to the section on the Schools and Staffing Survey, below, regarding data on school libraries. Data for the 2011–12 LMC Survey are available on the NCES website at

Further information on library statistics may be obtained from

Christopher Cody
Postsecondary Branch
Administrative Data Division
National Center for Education Statistics
550 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20202