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.

1,130

libraries

 
23.4 M+

library cards

 
113.7 M+

virtual visits

435,000

public programs

 
10.6 M+

program attendance

 
119 M+

total collection items

 
24.2 M+

uses of public Internet computers

35.5 M+

e-books

 
24,000

public internet computers

 

Also collected in the April 2021 survey update was information about libraries’ late fines policies. The 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.

California libraries responded to a survey reporting their work with park partners and the methods they use to connect libraries users to public spaces.

All responses to park partners survey (Excel)

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 2020–2021 Public Libraries Survey will open for data input from September 6 to November 5, 2021.

Lunch at the Library/Summer @ Your Library Survey

Resources needed to submit required statistics and programming information for your library’s 2021 Lunch at the Library and Summer @ Your Library programs.

Summer Meals questions? Email latl@plpinfo.org. Summer @ Your Library questions? Email summeratyourlibrary@cla-net.org.

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.

Archived Webinars

Questions about the California Public Library Survey or upcoming training opportunities? Contact Meg DePriest, State Data Coordinator & Library Programs Consultant

Public Library Facilities Needs

In April 2021, the Legislature requested an update on the status of California public library infrastructure needs, by legislative district.