Public Library Statistics
The 2015 statistics are a result of the compilation of the data from the 2015 Annual Report as completed by Alberta's library boards.
Quick facts about Alberta public libraries:
Library boards and service points
- 222 municipal library boards responsible for serving Albertans.
- Seven regional library systems serving 211 library boards, 307 municipalities, and 270 library service points.
- 322 library service points across Alberta.
- 351 municipalities in Alberta, including Metis Settlements, Improvement Districts and Special Areas
- 315 (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)
- 3,974,820 Albertans (based on 2015 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
- Albertans had access to over 22 million books, CDs, DVDs, eBooks and other materials at Alberta public libraries (5.7 library items per capita).
- There were 1,397,276 library cardholders in Alberta, representing 35% 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 20 million times.
- Albertans visited their libraries virtually through their library’s website over 26 million times.
- Over 1.3 million people took part in one of the over 84,000 programs offered by Alberta’s libraries.
- Provincial operating grants to public library boards (municipal and system) totaled $29,195,715, representing 14% of total library operating revenue.
- The province also expended $4,491,156 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 $33,686,871.
- Municipal contributions (including in-kind support) to public library boards (municipal and system) totaled $152,933,580. This represented 73% of total library operating revenue.
- Public libraries spent $14,673,648 on library materials ($3.69 per capita served).
In the five-year period between 2010 and 2015,
- Local funding support for public libraries increased by 35%
- Provincial grants to public library boards increased by 18%
- Provincial network support increased by 13%
- Population served by public libraries increased by 13%
Support for public library service in Alberta
|Local support per capita served*||
|Provincial support per capita served*||
*includes support given to local municipal library boards and regional system boards
Other facts about Alberta's public libraries
- There were 1,977 (full-time equivalent) employees in public libraries. In addition, there were 151 full-time employees in library systems. In total, there were 2,128 full-time employees devoted to public library service in Alberta.
- Public libraries were open on average 35.59 hours per week.
Source: Public Library Statistics, 2015, Public Library Services Branch
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