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Digest of Education Statistics: 2018
Digest of Education Statistics: 2018

NCES 2020-009
December 2019

Appendix A.4. Institute of Museum and Library Statistics

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).

IMLS Library Statistics

Public library statistics are collected annually using the PLS and disseminated annually through the Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) for Public Library Data. Descriptive statistics are produced for over 9,000 public libraries. The PLS includes 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 the FSCS, respondents supply the information electronically, and data are edited and tabulated in machine-readable form.

PLS respondents are public libraries identified by state administrative library agencies in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and certain U.S. territories. At the state level, FSCS is administered by State Data Coordinators, who are appointed by the chief officer of each state library agency. The State Data Coordinator collects the requested data from local public libraries. The 50 states, District of Columbia, and territories submit data for individual public libraries, which are aggregated to state and national levels.

Further information on these library surveys can be obtained from

Institute of Museum and Library Services
Office of Policy, Planning, Research, and Communication
Research and Statistics Division
955 L'Enfant Plaza North SW
Washington, DC 20024-2135