[Libs-Or] 2019 Oregon Public Library Statistics are now available

Ross Fuqua Ross.Fuqua at state.or.us
Fri Jan 10 15:28:51 PST 2020

Hello, lovers of public library stats.... and everyone else, too!
(With apologies for cross-posting this information).

We're pleased to announce that the 2019 Oregon Public Library Statistical data<https://www.oregon.gov/Library/libraries/Pages/Statistics.aspx> is now available on the State Library of Oregon website. The reporting period for this data was July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. This dataset has been reviewed to the best of our ability and is considered at this point to be "finalized." As a small process change going forward, we are no longer releasing preliminary datasets.

The data is available for download as an Excel (.xlsx) file, and this spreadsheet has been formatted to reflect the structure of the 2019 survey (along with a sheet that includes the full data, there is also a sheet for each section, as well as a sheet with additional notes). If you'd like to receive the data (or a subset) in another format, please contact me and I'll try to accommodate!

Some highlights from the 2019 data:

*       On average, each public library in Oregon spent an estimated 12 hours collecting & reporting their data, for a total reporting burden of 1,608 hours! That obviously represents a HUGE effort across our state, and I would like to thank every single library staff person (and volunteer) for helping us gather this information. :)

*       The percentage of Oregonians without public library service has decreased to 7% in 2019 (down from 9% in 2018) - however, about 321,966 Oregonians are still currently without any level of publicly supported library service. Approximately half of this year's gain can be attributed to the opening of several new libraries in Douglas County (way to go, North Douglas Library District, Lower Umpqua Library District, C. Giles Hunt Memorial Library in Sutherlin, and Roseburg Public Library!). We're hopeful to have Oakland City Library and Yoncalla Public Library represented in next year's stats for Douglas County as well. I attribute the other half of this gain to population increases in areas already served by established public libraries. For context, only about 4% of Oregonians were without public library service in 2014.

*       26 Oregon public libraries are no longer charging fines for late books! We'll be revamping our survey questions next year to gather better and more granular information about fines, but this is up from only 17 libraries who were not charging fines on books 5 years ago.

*       On average, about 13% of public library cardholders were patrons newly registered during the reporting period. And about 53% of Oregonians who have library service also currently have a public library card.

*       Oregon public libraries reported a total of 49,776 events which utilized meeting rooms or other library space for non-library sponsored events and/or meetings.

*       Public libraries in Oregon had 19,615,898 library visits. That's 5 visits per Oregonian (in areas with library service) this year!

*       Physical collections in Oregon libraries are getting smaller, as libraries make better use of their physical space and invest more in e-collections. There are currently 10,425,191 total physical items held by our public libraries, down about 11% over the last 5 years.

There is wealth of information about Oregon public libraries here, so please dig in to the data on our website<https://www.oregon.gov/Library/libraries/Pages/Statistics.aspx> or reach out to me for help doing so.

Most of Oregon's data can also be found in the national Public Libraries Survey (PLS) data<https://www.imls.gov/research-evaluation/data-collection/public-libraries-survey> from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and I'll be submitting our 2019 data over the next few weeks. The IMLS also has a Search and Compare Tool<https://www.imls.gov/labs/> for quickly identifying peer library groups nationally based on data points of your choosing - just be aware that the most recent data in the tool is from FY2016.


Ross Fuqua
Data & Federal Programs Consultant
503-378-5027 | oregon.gov/library/libraries<https://www.oregon.gov/library/libraries>
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