The Nation’s Largest Public Libraries: Top 25 Rankings
ALA Library Fact Sheet 13
This fact sheet lists the top 25 public libraries in the United States by four specific statistical measures; namely, by size of population served, by the size of the library collection, by the number of times items in the collection were checked out, and number of visits to the library.
These public library statistics come from the Public Libraries in the United States Survey of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) provides statistics on the status of public libraries in the United States. The data are collected from approximately 9,000 public libraries with approximately 17,000 individual public library outlets in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and outlying territories.
Specifically, all four tables were created with the IMLS Compare Public Libraries data analysis tool, which currently uses PLS Fiscal Year 2012 data.
You’ll need to click on the link above to see the list as the table did not translate well. This fact sheet also provides the following caveat:
PLEASE NOTE: In contrast to the twenty-five public libraries listed below that serve in excess of 1,000,000 people, it’s important to keep in mind that these are the anomaly; nearly 80% of the public libraries in the United States serve populations under 25,000 people.
Here in Alaska, all but three of our 100 or so public libraries serve populations serve MORE than 25,000 people and most serve under 4,000. It’s a different library world.