Public Library Statistics

Quick facts about Alberta public libraries:

The 2016 statistics are a result of the compilation of the data from the 2016 Annual Report as completed by Alberta's library boards.

Library boards and service points

  • 222 municipal library boards responsible for serving Albertans.
  • Seven regional library systems serving 212 library boards, 307 municipalities, and 271 library service points.
  • 322 library service points across Alberta.

Municipalities

  • 351 municipalities in Alberta, including Metis Settlements, Improvement Districts and Special Areas
  • 317 (90%) municipalities provide access to municipal library service.
  • 34 municipalities do not provide any level of public library service (many of these are Summer Villages)
  • 4,011,044 Albertans (based on 2016 population) have access to a public library: 99.8% of the total provincial population
  • Only 0.2% of the provincial population does not have access to public library service

Library use

In 2016,

  • Albertans had access to over 21 million books, CDs, DVDs, eBooks and other materials at Alberta public libraries (5.5 library items per capita).
  • There were 1,395,478 library cardholders in Alberta, representing 35% of the population.
  • Albertans borrowed over 38 million items from public libraries.
  • Alberta libraries circulated 9.5 items per person.
  • Albertans visited their libraries in person over 21 million times.
  • Albertans visited their libraries virtually through their library’s website over 16 million times.
  • Over 1.4 million people took part in one of the over 89,000 programs offered by Alberta’s libraries.

Library funding

In 2016,

  • Provincial operating grants to public library boards (municipal and system) totaled $29,744,701, representing 14% of total library operating revenue.
  • The province also expended $4,446,156 to support the provincial library network. This included funds for SuperNet connectivity for all public libraries, electronic resources, and the resource sharing network.  Total provincial support for public library service amounted to $34,190,857
  • Municipal contributions (including in-kind support) to public library boards (municipal and system) totaled $155,817,341. This represented 73% of total library operating revenue.
  • Public libraries spent $14,145,695 on library materials ($3.53 per capita served).

In the five-year period between 2011 and 2016,

  • Local funding support for public libraries increased by 27%
  • Provincial grants to public library boards increased by 16%
  • Provincial network support increased by 8% 
  • Population served by public libraries increased by 12%

Support for public library service in Alberta

 

 2011

 2016

 Local support per capita served*

$34.37

$38.85

 Provincial support per capita served*

$8.36

$8.52

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

Other facts about Alberta's public libraries

In 2016,

  • There were 1,995 (full-time equivalent) employees in public libraries. In addition, there were 162 full-time employees in library systems. In total, there were 2,157 full-time employees devoted to public library service in Alberta.
  • Public libraries were open on average 36.16 hours per week.

    Source:  Public Library Statistics, 2016, Public Library Services Branch

2016 Summary | 2016 Public Library Statistics2016 Top Thirty

Municipal Support | Provincial Support 


Statistical Reports and Charts:

2016

2016 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation Per Capita (2016) | 2016 Top Thirty | 2016 Quick Facts

2015

2015 Public Library Statistics | Average Local Appropriation Per Capita (2015) | 2015 Top Thirty | 2015 Quick Facts

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

  • Date modified: 2018-11-21