Annually, public libraries throughout the country are required to report statistics about their operations for a survey administered by all state libraries. Once the data is collected at the state level, it is reported to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). In Alabama, the reporting period is October 1st to September 30th, and survey data must be submitted by December 15th each year in accordance with the state aid rules. The survey, titled the Public Library Survey, is used to help libraries evaluate their effectiveness and plan for the future. The results provide information that policymakers and practitioners can use to make informed decisions about the support and strategic management of libraries. Libraries are asked to report on services, circulation, staffing, hours of operation, collection, revenue, and expenditures. Data for every library in the country is available on the IMLS website.
FY2018 Statistical Summary
Each year APLS adds the latest statistics summary to our website so that libraries can review Public Library Survey data from the entire state. This summary can be found here:
FY2018 Statistical Summary
The Stats Guide is a quick introduction to navigating the Public Library Survey. It provides tips and advice on using Bibliostat Collect to report your data.
For statistics training videos visit our training page here
Monthly Stats Keeper
All public libraries should be keeping up with their statistics on a regular basis. APLS created this spreadsheet to help you with this task. If you enter in monthly data for each element, the spreadsheet automatically totals it so you can easily input your data into the Public Library Survey: Stats Keeper
Daily Stats Keeper
If your library staff prefer to track statistics on a daily basis, we have created this tool to help. It is editable and works just like the Monthly Stats Keeper, except it allows for daily input. Daily Stats Keeper
What Goes Where PLS
This document is purposed to help you figure out where to count all of your services and items on the Public Library Survey:
Camellia Net How to Collect Stats
Login to Bibliostat COLLECT
The Public Library Survey is completed online through Bibliostat Collect. Libraries can also access previous years’ surveys here: Bibliostat COLLECT
Login to Bibliostat CONNECT
Customizable statistics are also available to all public libraries through Bibliostat CONNECT
. Library staff must use the same login information as when completing their Public Library Survey. They can gather any data that is collected on the Public Library Survey from libraries all over the country dating back to 1999. Connect also allows libraries to do peer comparisons, meaning that, in addition to viewing data about an individual library, data can be generated to compare libraries of similar sizes and service areas. Data can be formatted into tables or graphs and downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet. This information can be especially useful for spotting trends, planning for the future, and recognizing areas that need improvement versus areas that are successful. The survey should be seen as not just a requirement to receive state aid, but an important tool that libraries can use to their advantage.