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 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.
Designed to aid and enhance the public library planning and evaluation process, the Public Library Data Service Statistical Report 2011 will help library managers identify top performing libraries, compare service levels and technology usage and provide documentation for funding requests. Also included are the results of a special survey on library finance. The data contained in this year's report was collected from more than 1,000 public libraries
The report is also available in a database subscription format. The online database features a dynamic, web-based format, with searchable data exportable into Excel/CSV file formats, and linked data from other report sections. Users can create customized tables and PLDS datasets. You can get more information and order the database here.