California Public Library Statistics
California Public Libraries by the Numbers
The State Library annually collects California Library Statistics, a compilation of statistical data from public libraries throughout the state. Data about physical resources refers to the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Library usage in this section refers to the 2018-2019 fiscal year. It represents typical library usage before buildings closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Data can be found on our statistics portal.
total collection items
uses of public Internet computers
public internet computers
Public Library Facilities Needs
In April 2021, the Legislature requested an update on the status of California public library infrastructure needs, by legislative district.
- 19/20 California Public Libraries Outlet Survey dataset
- April 2021 Update of the California Public Libraries Outlet Survey dataset
- Instructions for completing the April, 2021 outlet survey
Also collected in the April 2021 survey update was information about libraries' late fines policies. The California public libraries and late fines document contains library-submitted data and is supplemented by an internet search of public library websites. Please contact Meg DePriest with any changes.
Library Service Area Populations
The State Library produces an annual report of the unduplicated population served by each California public library, titled Persons Served by California Public Libraries according to the provisions of Education Code Section 18021. Population Certification Memo from the State Librarian
Tools and Data for and about California Public Libraries
California Public Libraries Survey Datasets
The State Library annually collects statistics from public libraries. Access the complete datasets from the last five fiscal years here, and find additional years data, trend reports, and comparisons on our statistics portal.
A map of all library branches in the state, with location and contact information. To update your library building’s status, offerings, or other information, please contact Meg DePriest for instructions on how to input new data.
A map of the state outlining the service area of library jurisdictions.
A tool enabling users to compare different library jurisdictions’ data about financial, circulation, collections, programming, and other services.
A map of library branches indicating which are offering summer reading and summer meals programming. Please contact Meg DePriest for instructions on how to input new data for you library.
California libraries responded to a survey reporting their work with park partners and the methods they use to connect libraries users to public spaces.
Resources for Completing the Public Library Survey
Full California Library Statistics are found on the California Library Statistics Portal.
To access reports for your own library's statistics, including infographics and other handouts, visit your LibPAS account at https://ca.countingopinions.com/. Login and passwords are held by library directors and other account holders in your library. Questions? Contact Meg DePriest.
California's 2019–2020 Public Library Survey will open for data input from September 7 to November 6, 2020.
- 19/20 Public Library Survey Instructions (Word)
- 19/20 Blank Survey Form (Excel)
- Counting Electronic Items Flowchart
Recording of PLS 2019–20 Information Session conducted August 19, 2020
If you would like copies of the PowerPoint slides from this webinar, email Meg DePriest.
Online Training Opportunities for California Public Library Staff
Learn about how to access and use your library’s data to meet the needs and aspirations of your community.
- Niche Academy for Gale Analytics Users
- Using Data for Decision Making
- Eliminating Fines: A win-win for your library and community
- Harnessing Library Data: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and eBook Usage
- Basic Guide to the California Public Library Survey: Accessing data and generating simple reports
- The Power of California Public Library Survey Data: Running comparisons, trend reports, and more
Questions about the California Public Library Survey or upcoming training opportunities? Contact Meg DePriest, State Data Coordinator & Library Programs Consultant