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ERIC Number: ED507731
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Service Trends in U.S. Public Libraries, 1997-2007. Research Brief Number 1
Henderson, Everett
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Libraries are operating in a fluid service environment in which people increasingly turn to the Internet to address everyday concerns. They also face competition from large booksellers that offer potential library patrons access to a virtually unlimited selection of books. These developments have understandably provoked questions and concerns about the future of libraries. Given this state of affairs, it is important to look beyond conjecture and assess the state of U.S. public libraries using actual visitation and circulation figures. This report uses the past 11 years (FY 1997-FY 2007) of the annual Public Library Survey (PLS) data to analyze public library statistics on circulation, visitation, and information technology resources. In addition to reporting trends at the national level, the researchers have disaggregated the data by urban/nonurban county status to examine whether library use patterns in rural areas differ from those in urban areas. This brief aims to provide a clearer, more complete picture of recent public library circulation and use trends than has previously been available. (Contains 17 footnotes and 5 figures.)
Institute of Museum and Library Services. 1800 M Street NW 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802. Tel: 202-653-4657; Fax: 202-653-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Museum and Library Services