The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.
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The Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report, a project of the Public Library Association, is designed to meet the needs of public library administrators and others for timely and effective library-specific data that illuminates and supports a wide variety of management decisions. Since its beginning in 1988, PLDS reports have also been used extensively by the press to better understand public libraries.
Published annually, the PLDS report presents exclusive, timely data from more than 800 public libraries across the United States and Canada on finances, library resources, annual use figures, and technology. In addition to these valuable topics, each year's edition contains a special survey highlighting statistics on one service area or topic. The 2008 report contains a special survey on public library finance.