Public Library Statistics

In early 2016, the Alberta Public Library Administrators Council (APLAC) collected and compiled a list of places offering free library cards (updated June 2, 2016).

If your library (or library board) has free cards but is not on the above list, please email jen.anderson@gov.ab.ca.

2014 statistics:

The 2014 Statistics are a result of the compilation of the data from the 2014 Annual Report as completed by Alberta's library boards.

Quick Facts About Alberta Public Libraries

Library Boards and Service Points

  • 223 municipal library boards responsible for serving Albertans.
  • Seven regional library systems serving 212 library boards, 307 municipalities, and 270 library service points.
  • 320 library service points across Alberta.

Municipalities

  • 352 municipalities in Alberta, including Metis Settlements, Improvement Districts and Special Areas
  • 315 (89%) municipalities provide access to municipal library service.
  • 37 municipalities do not provide any level of public library service (many of these are Summer Villages)
  • 3,885,187 Albertans (based on 2014 population) have access to a public library: 99.7% of the total provincial population.
  • Only 0.3% of the provincial population does not have access to public library service

Library Use

  • 40% of adult Albertans have used a public library in the last twelve months.
  • 59% of Albertan households reported having a member who had used a public library in the past twelve months

    Source: Advanis, 2013

In 2014,

  • Albertans had access to over 19 million books, CDs, DVDs, eBooks and other materials at Alberta public libraries (5.1 library items per capita).
  • There were 1,261,267 library cardholders in Alberta, representing 32% of the population.
  • Albertans borrowed over 39 million items from public libraries.
  • Alberta libraries circulated 10 items per person.
  • Albertans visited their libraries in person over 18 million times.
  • Albertans visited their libraries virtually through their library’s website over 23 million times.
  • Over 1.3 million people took part in one of the over 80,000 programs offered by Alberta’s libraries.

Library Funding

In 2014,

  • Provincial operating grants to public library boards (municipal and system) totaled $25,947,650, representing 13% of total library operating revenue.
  • The province also expended $5,094,532 to support the provincial library network. This included funds for SuperNet connectivity for all public libraries, The Alberta Public Library Electronic Network (APLEN) and the resource sharing network.  Total provincial support for public library service amounted to $31,042,183
  • Municipal contributions (including in-kind support) to public library boards (municipal and system) totaled $145,610,300. This represented 72% of total library operating revenue.
  • Public libraries spent $14,364,848 on library materials ($3.70 per capita served).

In the five-year period between 2009 and 2014,

  • Local funding support for public libraries increased by 32%
  • Provincial grants to public library boards increased by 5%
  • Provincial network support increased by 34% 
  • Population served by public libraries increased by 11%

Support for public library service in Alberta

 2009

 2014

Local support per capita served*

$33.93

$37.48

Provincial support per capita served*

$8.82

$7.99

*includes support given to local municipal library boards and regional system boards
 

Other Facts About Alberta's Public Libraries

In 2014,

  • There were 1,955 (full-time equivalent) employees in public libraries. In addition, there were 151 full-time employees in library systems. In total, there were 2,160 full-time employees devoted to public library service in Alberta.
  • Public libraries were open on average 35.49 hours per week.

    Source:  Public Library Statistics, 2014, Public Library Services Branch

2014 Summary | 2014 Public Library Statistics

 2014 Top Thirty

Municipal Support | Provincial Support 


Statistical Reports and Charts

2014

2014 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation Per Capita (2014) | 2014 Top Thirty | 2014 Quick Facts

2013

2013 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation Per Capita (2013) | 2013 Top Thirty | 2013 Quick Facts

2012

2012 Public Library StatisticsAverage Local Appropriation Per Capita (2012)2012 Top Thirty | 2012 Quick Facts

2011

2011 Public Library StatisticsAverage Local Appropriation Per Capita (2011)2011 Top Thirty | 2011 Quick Facts

2010

2010 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation Per Capita (2010) | 2010 Top Thirty | 2010 Quick Facts

2009

2009 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation Per Capita (2009) | 2009 Top Thirty
2009 Library Card Fees | 2009 Quick Facts

2008

2008 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation Per Capita (2008) | 2008 Top Thirty

2007

2007 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation per capita (2007) | 2007 Top Thirty

2006

2006 Public Library Statistics | Average Municipal Support Per Capita (2006) | 2006 Top Thirty

2005

2005 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation per Capita (2005) | 2005 Top Thirty


For More Information

Send requests for additional statistical data and analysis to kerry.anderson@gov.ab.ca