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Library Facts
  • There are an estimated 122,611 libraries of all kinds in the United States today.

  • Two out of three Americans own library cards and use them.

  • 43% of library users are between the ages of 35-54; 35% are 18-34; 22% are over 55.

  • 35% are college graduates; 34% have some college education; 31% have a high school diploma or less.

  • 35% have children and two-thirds say they take their children to the library.

  • 29% have incomes of $20,000 - $40,000; 26% have incomes over $60,000; 20% have incomes of $40,000 - $60,000; 14% have incomes of $20,000 or less.

  • 69% of women and 60% of men own a library card.

  • Americans visited their public library an average of seven times in 1998.

  • One in ten visit the library more than 25 times a year.

  • 81% of library visitors check out books; 65% consult a librarian; 61% use reference materials; 50% read newspapers and magazines; 32% borrow records, CDS, or videos; 30% use a computer; 17% access the internet.

  • Public library budgets rose 4.4 percent in 1998.

  • About 80 percent of funding for the nation's nearly 15, 000 public libraries comes from local taxes. About 20 percent comes from state funding and less than 1 percent from federal dollars.

  • For people without Internet access at home or work, public libraries are the number one point of access.

  • Ten ways Kids Connect at the Library:
      Answers
      Books
      Computers
      Fun
      Homework help
      Librarians
      Magazines
      Preschool learning
      Tapes
      Videos

  • Libraries have always made information affordable, available and accessible to all people.