Libraries - Statistics & Facts

There are more than 119 thousand libraries in the United States. Most of these libraries, almost 100 thousand, are school libraries. The Library of Congress is the largest institution by far in terms of volumes held, with more than 34.5 million volumes. With around 19 million volumes the Boston Public Library is ranked second in this category.


Total expenses of libraries and archives in the U.S. amount to approximately 2.27 billion U.S. dollars each year. Around 166 thousand librarians are employed by these libraries in the United States. In addition to the librarians, U.S. libraries employ more than 197 thousand people in other capacities.

Traditionally libraries housed only paper publications such as books, magazines and newspapers. Today, however, technological provisions are common place, especially in public libraries where there is an average of 12.7 access internet workstations which are four years old or less per library. There is also an average of 4.7 workstations which are older than four years. Public libraries are not limited to offering only the provisions, many also provide technology training. As of 2014, over 80 percent of the 2,304 public libraries asked offered courses in general internet use, general computer skills and general computer software use.

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Libraries in the U.S. - Important statistics

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