Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ALA releases final version of Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2011-12

The American Library Association has released the final version of its Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2011-12. Here's a summary of selected findings:

* For FY2011-12, the average total operating expenditures funding for U.S. public libraries dropped by 2.4%, the third year in a row where available funding declined. Survey respondents anticipate that funding in FY2012-13 will drop by another 5.3%.

* Collections expenditures dropped an average of 1.64% in FY 2011-12, and libraries expect them to drop another 4.61% in FY2012-13. However, the numbers vary considerably by library location: Urban libraries' collection expenditures rose 3.2% in FY2011-12, and suburban libraries' collection expenditures also increased by 12.6%. By comparison, rural libraries' collection expenditures declined 37%.

* 76.3% of public libraries now offer eBooks to their patrons in their facilities, and 76.1% offer eBooks to patrons remotely (for example, over the Web.)

* 39.1% of public libraries make eReaders such as Kindles or Nooks available to their patrons for reading eBooks.

* 14.2% of public libraries have optimized their websites for use on mobile devices.

* 7.2% of public libraries have developed smartphone apps for access to library services and content.
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