2023 Public Library Technology Survey - NOW OPEN
All U.S. public libraries are invited to complete this survey to help us better understand technology capacity, resources for patrons, infrastructure, digital literacy, and staffing. This survey was first administered in 2020 and it has been updated by PLA’s Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Committee to meet library needs for actionable data to support digital equity initiatives.
To complete the survey, login to your library’s Benchmark account. Click on “Surveys” in the menu and you will see the 2023 PLA Technology Survey listed under “Open Surveys.” All public library directors or your library’s contact in Benchmark should have received an invitation to this year’s survey. If you did not, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in accessing your Benchmark account. Additional information about the survey can be found in this document (PDF). View a recording of the information session held on October 12 to learn more.
Please complete the survey by Saturday, December 16, 2023. Survey participants will be entered into a drawing to win free group registration for up to three staff members for a live or on-demand PLA webinar. We will announce four winning libraries (one per locale type – rural, town, suburban, city) in January 2024. Survey participants are also eligible for discounted subscriptions for upgraded access to the Benchmark data dashboards.
2022 Public Library Services for Strong Communities Survey
PLA administered this survey in fall 2022 to understand how libraries utilize their unique programs, services, partnerships, and facilities in support of community needs. This, the third of three topical surveys developed by PLA’s Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Committee, responds to a need for actionable data to understand how and in what circumstances libraries engage, through their own efforts and partnerships, to help foster resilient communities. Read the full survey summary report (published June 2023) and explore the data in Benchmark.
On Tuesday, July 11, 2023, PLA presented a free overview of the results of the 2022 annual survey, highlighting how libraries can apply the results to planning and advocacy. This webinar recording is freely available to view.
2021 Public Library Staff and Diversity Survey
In fall 2021, PLA administered this survey better understand public library staff roles, hiring and retention practices, and equity, diversity, and inclusion work in US public libraries. The survey was developed by PLA’s Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment Committee in response to field-wide discussions and demand for actionable data about evolving staff roles and diversity and inclusion staffing efforts. Read the full survey summary report (published August 2022) and explore the data in Benchmark.
On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, PLA presented a free overview of the results of the 2021 annual survey, highlighting how the data suggests both opportunities and challenges for the future of public libraries. This webinar recording is freely available to view.
2020 Public Library Technology Survey
In late 2020, PLA fielded the 2020 Public Library Technology Survey to a national sample of public library directors at the administrative entity level. The survey gathered information about libraries’ public access technology infrastructure, technology-related programming, and technology-related funding streams.
Survey of the Public Library Field
PLA administered a Survey of the Public Library Field in February 2021. The survey was designed to inform PLA’s strategic planning process and to better understand the current needs of our members and the field. A selection of the survey results is presented here.
PLA Resources on COVID-19: Interactive Data Visualization
To address questions from library workers, policymakers, and the media, the Public Library Association (PLA) led a 2020 March survey and coordinated a May 2020 survey with others at the American Library Association (ALA) to understand library responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This interactive visualization brings together public library data from both surveys.