Facts and Figures

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Have you ever needed a statistic to help argue your case about the importance of school libraries? Here are a few sources to help you. They include sources with current as well as historical information about school libraries.


Characteristics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Library Media Centers in the United States: Results From the 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey As the title suggests, this is a brief summary of data from the 2011-12 School and Staffing Survey. Published in 2013 the document includes basic information about school libraries, school library staffing, school library holdings and expenditures.


Characteristics of Public and Bureau of Indian Education Elementary and Secondary School Library Media Centers in the United States: Results From the 2007–08 Schools and Staffing Survey The Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) is the nation’s most extensive sample survey of elementary and secondary schools and the teachers and administrators who staff them. Sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), SASS has been conducted six times: in school years 1987-88, 1990-91, 1993-94, 1999-2000, 2003-04 and 2007-08 by the United States Census Bureau. This document includes material regarding school libraries from the 2007–08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS). Review the Selected Findings for a concise description of facts. A Summary Chart of Results is also available.


Digest of Education Statistics: 2011 The 46th update of the Digest of Education Statistics. This is an essential source of statistics related to education at all levels. The Tables in Chapter Seven cover statistics on libraries and educational technology.


Fifty Years of Supporting Children's Learning: A History of Public School Libraries and Federal Legislation From 1953 to 2000 Drawn from more than 50 sources, this report from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) presents descriptive data about public school libraries since 1953. Along with key characteristics of school libraries, the report also presents national and regional standards, and federal legislation affecting school libraries. Data from sample surveys are presented at the national, regional, and school levels, and by state.


Library Operating Expenditures: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. ALA Library Fact Sheet 4 This fact sheet describes sources of information on library revenues and operating expenditures in public, academic, and school libraries. Additional resources for information is given. August, 2013.


Office of Research and Statistics (2009) The Condition of U.S. Libraries: School Library Trends, 1999‐2009 Chicago, American Library Association. This report is excerpted from the "The Condition of U.S. Libraries: Trends, 1999 - 2009" and presents the economic landscape and detail about school libraries.


School Libraries Count! AASL's National Longitudinal Survey of School Library Programs AASL's School Libraries Count! annual longitudinal survey is an online survey that is open to all primary and secondary school library programs to participate. The first survey was conducted in 2007, with annual results posted each year. Most of the questions are tracking questions, though each year the survey includes a short series of topical questions.


School Library Media Centers: Selected results from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 The U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) created this document with some of the findings from the base year data of a longitudinal study of 10th graders. Reported findings show seventy-six percent of U.S. school libraries had state certified librarians on staff in 2002, 96 percent reported Internet access in the library, 88 percent had reference databases, 56 percent had academic subject databases and 80 percent of students reported school library reference materials to be useful or very useful.


The Second Evaluation of the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program (2009) provides findings on how grant funds are targeted to schools, uses of the grant funds, staff collaboration and professional development, and the relationship between participation in the program and reading achievement scores. The report analyzes data from a survey of school libraries, district performance reports, case studies and test scores.



More topic-specific statistics may be found on other Essential Link pages, such as Budget, Student Achievement, etc.