Number of Libraries in the United States

ALA Library Fact Sheet 1

There are an estimated 117,341 libraries of all kinds in the United States today. No annual survey provides statistics on all types of libraries.

Public, academic, and school library counts below come from three different surveys by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2004 (August 2006); Academic Libraries: 2000 (2003); and Schools and Staffing Survey, 1999-2000: Overview of the Data for Public, Private, Public Charter, and Bureau of Indian Affairs Elementary and Secondary Schools (2002), respectively.

Figures for special libraries, armed forces libraries, and government libraries come from the American Library DirectoryTM 2006-2007, which is a two-volume set currently published by Information Today, Inc. Find out more about this publication at the Information Today, Inc. web site, at: 
http://books.infotoday.com/directories/amerlib59.shtml
(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: custserv@infotoday.com; web site: http://americanlibrarydirectory.com). 

Public libraries (administrative units)

9,207

Centrals *

9,047

Branches

7,502

Buildings

16,549

Academic Libraries

3,527

Less than four year

1,379

Four year and above

2,148

School Libraries

93,861

Public schools

76,807

Private schools

17,054

Special Libraries * *

9,247

Armed Forces Libraries

306

Government Libraries

1,193

Total

117,341

* The number of central buildings is different from the number of public libraries because some public library systems have no central building and some have more than one.

* * Special libraries include Corporate, Medical, Law, Religious, etc.


August 2006


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: library@ala.org; or regular mail: ALA Library, American Library Association, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2795.



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ALA Library Fact Sheet giving the number of libraries in the U.S.