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Lists of Libraries

ALA Library Fact Sheet Number 3

Companies and products listed in this fact sheet are named for informational purposes only. ALA does not endorse specific products or companies. Contact companies directly for further information.


A directory of all libraries in the United States does not exist. The closest approximation of such a publication is the American Library DirectoryTM 2005-2006, the latest (58th) edition of an annual two-volume set published by Information Today, Inc. (Information Today, Inc., Attn: Customer Service, 143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford NJ 08055-8750; telephone: 1-609-654-6266; fax: 1-609-654-4309; e-mail:; web site:

Volume 1 lists public, academic, and special libraries in the United States, sorted alphabetically by state (with each state's listing sorted alphabetically by city).

Volume 2 lists public, academic, and special libraries in Canada and Mexico, and also lists:

  • Library networks, consortia, and other cooperative library organizations
  • Library and information studies programs (both graduate and undergraduate) at colleges and universities in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada
  • Libraries for the blind and physically handicapped
  • Libraries serving the deaf and hearing impaired
  • State and provincial public library agencies
  • State school library agencies
  • United States armed forces libraries overseas

Volume 2 also includes organization and personnel indexes for all of the libraries within the publication.

Individual library entries in the American Library DirectoryTM provide names of staff and contact information, with the library's address, phone number, fax number, and web site address and e-mail address, if applicable, as well as information about the library's finances, population served, and holdings. Find out more, including pricing information, at the Information Today, Inc. web site, at:

The American Library DirectoryTM 2005-2006 is available over the Internet as the American Library Directory Online, at:

A former edition, American Library DirectoryTM 2003-2004, may still be available on CD-ROM from Information Today, Inc. Find out more, including pricing information, at the Information Today, Inc. web site, at:

The American Library DirectoryTM does not include school libraries. A directory of all school libraries in the U.S. does not exist; however, directories of schools (the vast majority of which have libraries) include Patterson's American Education, Patterson's Elementary Education, and Patterson's Schools Classified, which are published by Educational Directories Inc. (P.O. Box 68097, Schaumburg, IL 60168-0097; telephone: 1-800-357-6183 or 1-847-891-1250; fax: 1-847-891-0945; e-mail:; web site:

Many states have produced local directories of libraries. Contact your local state library for more information; a public library or an academic library in your area can give you the phone number of your local state library. Or see the State Library Web Sites web page compiled by the State of Wisconsin.


As you might expect, a directory of all libraries in the world does not exist. However, several reference sources provide lists of international libraries. You may be able to find one or more of these publications in your local school or public library.

  • World Guide to Libraries is the closest approximation of a list of all the libraries in the world. It is a two-volume set, published in English, which is available from K.G. Saur Publishing of Germany. The latest (19th) edition lists 42,127 entries from 203 countries (including the United States), and lists, in alphabetical order by country, public libraries, academic libraries, national libraries, and various types of special libraries, including corporate and business libraries, ecclesiastical libraries, and government libraries. Find out more about this publication at the web site of the publisher, at:
  • The International Literary Market PlaceTM: The Directory of the International Book Publishing Industry from Information Today, Inc. does contain a section named "Major Libraries," with the description, "The majority of the libraries and archives listed are those associated with government or educational institutions. Many are also involved in publishing activities." Find out more about this publication, which reports various publishing resources found in over 180 countries, at the web site of the publisher, at: 
  • The World of Learning by Europa Publications has a broader scope, and lists over 30,000 educational institutions for over 180 countries (including the United States), including libraries, universities, colleges, museums, art galleries, archives, research institutes, and societies and associations. Find out more about this publication at the web site for its Internet version, World of Learning Online, at:
  • The Subject Directory of Special Libraries and Information Centers is a multi-volume set published by the Gale Group (, which reports on over 34,000 special libraries around the world (including those located in the United States), and lists corporate and business libraries, as well as those libraries, archives, and information centers operating out of nonprofit associations, government agencies, educational institutions, and newspapers. Find out more about the print edition of this publication at the Gale web site. Find out how to access this publication online through the Gale Ready Reference Shelf.


Several companies and groups sell mailing lists and labels which may be arranged and sorted in a variety of ways.

Mailing lists of the American Library Association (ALA) membership are available for rental. The membership lists include nearly 40,000 personal and organizational members active in various special interest ALA divisions and ALA round tables. Full details are provided in the Market Your Publications and Services with ALA Mailing Lists brochure, which is available online as an Adobe PDF document (see "related links" below). Download the free Adobe Reader to properly access the file. For more information, contact ALA directly (Mailing Lists, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795; telephone: 1-800-545-2433, extensions 2460 or 1-312-280-2460; fax: 1-312-280-2438; e-mail:

Please be aware that not every library and librarian in the United States are members of the American Library Association. See the companies below for more comprehensive lists.

Library mailing lists and labels are also available from the following companies:


ALA does not make available any lists of member e-mail addresses.

It is unknown if any of the companies mentioned above collect and sell e-mail addresses. You would need to contact these companies directly for availability of library e-mail lists.

To contact specific libraries via e-mail, find the library's web site, by using an Internet directory such as Yahoo! or the Google Directory, and search for an e-mail address on the site:

Yahoo! -- Libraries

Go directly to the list of Yahoo! United States Public Libraries.

Google Directory -- Libraries

Go directly to the list of Google Directory United States Public Libraries.

August 2005

For more information on this or other fact sheets, contact the ALA Library Reference Desk by telephone: 800-545-2433, extension 2153; fax: 312-280-3255; e-mail:; or regular mail: ALA Library, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795.

Related Links

Number of Libraries in the United States
Market Your Publications and Services with ALA Mailing Lists