PLDS and PLAmetrics

Invitation to submit to the Public Library Data Service (PLDS)

Every year public libraries across the U.S. and Canada submit their data to the Public Library Association's PLDS survey. The PLDS is an important resource for planning, advocacy, management, benchmarking, trend and comparative analysis. This year, PLA's Performance Measures Task Force has added a special section on outcome measures. It is especially critical that you respond to this year’s survey to help the task force understand what outcome measurements may be currently captured by libraries and to find out what libraries are interested in capturing. Responses to the survey will inform the future of comparative performance measures for public libraries and enable further research in the library profession. Please respond by March 7th, 2014 to be counted in time for the PLA Conference.

Any library who has not received, or who has misplaced, their PLDS login info, can submit their contact details and request access using the following link:


Public Library Data Service

The Public Library Data Service (PLDS) captures valuable, data (voluntarily submitted annually) on staffing, operating finances, output measures, interlibrary loaning, and technology provisions, from public libraries throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition, each year's survey contains a special survey highlighting statistics on one service area or public library topic.

For an overview of the 2012 data, see the article "The Public Library Data Service 2012 Statistical Report: Characteristics and Trends," which was published in the November/December 2012 issue of Public Libraries.

PLAmetrics: a PLDS Online Database

PLAmetrics logoPLAmetrics is the online portal to the PLDS. An annual subscription to PLAmetrics offers the most efficient, customized, and user-friendly way to analyze all the data that PLDS provides. With PLAmetrics, subscribers can access not only PLDS data (2002–2011), but also public-use IMLS data (1998–2009), and then take advantage of unique sorting and reporting features. Data can be employed for peer comparisons, benchmarking and/or trend analyses, as well as to meet local, custom needs.

Subscriptions to PLAmetrics

Subscriptions include 24/7 access to PLAmetrics from any web-enabled device for one year. Subscription costs are:

  • Previous year PLDS contributors/previous online subscribers: $200
  • PLA Members: $250
  • Nonmembers: $300

Visit for more details and to purchase a subscription. Have questions? Contact Ryan Patrick, customer support specialist, Counting Opinions, or 866-850-8366.

Get an Inside Look at PLAmetrics

Whether you’re already a PLAmetrics subscriber or just considering a subscription, check out this free on-demand webinar: "PLAmetrics: How to Make Public Library Data Work for You." Learn how to navigate available data, make the most of reporting templates, and create your own dataset.

Don’t have time to build your own report?

Get a customized PLAmetrics report. The data collected for the PLDS is versatile and can be manipulated to provide a customized report about how your library compares to other libraries. The basic fee is $100/hour for PLAmetrics subscribers, $150/hour for non-subscribers. If you are interested in learning more about customized reports, contact Ryan Patrick, customer support specialist, Counting Opinions, or 866-850-8366.

2011 PLDS Statistical Report

PLA discontinued printing a paper report in 2011. This final report, 2011 PLDS Statistical Report cover imagethe 2011 PLDS Statistical Report, which includes a special survey on library finance, is available from the ALA Store. An overview of the 2011 data is provided in the Public Libraries article, "The Public Library Data Service 2011 Statistical Report: Characteristics and Trends" (PDF, 9 pgs.).