PLDS and PLAmetrics

Public Library Data Service

The Public Library Data Service (PLDS) survey data collection will take a pause next year (in 2020) while PLA and the Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment Committee (MEAC) re-envision the survey and how it could better serve the field. Even though the survey won’t take place in 2020, a new data collection system is being developed which will replace the PLDS. You can still subscribe to PLAmetrics to get access to the FY2018 and prior year data through to July 31, 2020. Beyond July 31, 2020 PLA will make the historical data available to current subscribers. You will still have the ability to run reports, download the data into Excel as well as download all pamphlets and infographic documents. If you have any questions or comments please email PLA at Also, you can sign up for PLA notifications regarding the future of the PLDS.

PLDS fiscal year 2017 data is now available, and includes a special section on value added services. This valuable data from more than 1,590 North American libraries can be accessed and customized through the online data portal PLAmetrics.

The 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.

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 (FY2002–2017), but also public-use IMLS data (FY1998–2016), 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:

  • Current PLDS contributors: $200
  • Previous online subscribers: $200
  • PLA Members: $250
  • Nonmembers: $300

For more details visit

Have questions? Contact PLA Support at or 800-542-8963.

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, Director, Counting Opinions, or 866-850-8366.

PLDS Statistical Report

PLDS Reports in PRINT once again

A number of library community members asked that the Public Library Data Set (PLDS) be available, once again, in print format. 

Introducing print editions for FY2014–FY2017 data. 

Each annual print edition consists of four or five publications—libraries serving different populations. Each print edition costs $99 + tax and shipping. This covers the cost of production and administration. Order one, or more, or complete sets. 

To order, go to