ALA launches public library funding survey

Contact: Denise M. Davis, Director

ALA Office for Research & Statistics

For Immediate Release

October 10, 2005

ALA launches public library funding survey

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) is beginning a program to conduct a “fast response” survey each year on library funding, an issue critical to libraries. The survey is being sent to a representative random sample of libraries and your library has been selected to participate.

This first survey focuses on public library funding changes throughout fiscal years 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. The results of this survey will provide new, more detailed information on library funding that will help us in our efforts to increase library funding at the local, state, and national level.

Although a random sample of public libraries has been selected to participate, any public library may respond. The survey is available on the ALA website at The deadline to respond is November 11, 2005.

“This type of survey is exactly what ALA should be doing – a survey on a specific, critical topic while keeping the survey short. ALA has done a terrific job of capturing the anecdotal information about the funding crisis in public libraries, but cannot rely on national reporting to tell the full story,” said Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “It fits perfectly with the ALA Ahead to 2010 goals and objectives.”

In order to reduce the response burden, we have designed the survey with categorical questions rather than requesting specific dollar amounts. We also provide an opportunity for you to tell us about any specific funding information that you would like to share with ALA. All responses are strictly confidential and only summary results will be reported. Your responses are very important to us and will help us inform the library community about funding trends and to advocate for libraries.

The library's FSCS Key (a national code assigned to each public library in the United States) is required to begin the survey. Libraries may contact their State Library for this number.

Questions about the survey, responding online, or dissemination of the results may be directed to Denise M. Davis, Director of the ALA Office for Research and Statistics at, or Letitia Earvin, ORS Administrative Assistant at or at 312-280-4274.