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State Quotable Facts

Page history last edited by Kim Miller 5 years, 6 months ago


September 30, 2015


Kristen Stehel (UT)


Hi all,


We are trying to come up with new quotable facts with our state statistics. Can other states please share what they have to spark some new ideas? I would be most grateful.


Here is what we have:


The total number of visits to public libraries in Utah outnumbers the passenger traffic out of Salt Lake City International Airport.


FY2014 Library Visits: 16,901,411 – Source: FY2014 Statistical Report of Public Library Services. Utah Dataset.


Total Passengers Enplaned: 10,571,935 – Source: Salt Lake City International Airport, Summary Statistics for 2014  http://www.slcairport.com/cmsdocuments/airstatsSummary2014.pdf



More Utahns (1,776,961) are registered to use the public library than are registered to vote (1,396,276).


FY2014 Registered Borrowers: 1,776,961 – Source: FY2014 Statistical Report of Public Library Services. Utah Dataset.


Total Utah Registered Voters: 1,396,273 – Source: State of Utah Elections Office, Voter Statistics (Updated 07/27/15) http://elections.utah.gov/party-and-status



Participants in library programs in 2013 would fill the Maverik Center over 104 times or the Energy Solutions Arena almost 63 times.


FY2014 Total Program Attendance: 1,252,300 – Source: FY2014 Statistical Report of Public Library Services. Utah Dataset.


Maverik Center seating capacity for basketball: 12,000 – Source: http://www.maverikcenter.com/about_maverik_center.aspx


Energy Solutions Arena seating capacity for basketball: 20,000 – Source: http://www.energysolutionsarena.com



Almost twice as many people visited Utah public libraries than all Utah’s National Parks, Monuments, Recreation Areas and Historical Sites – combined.


FY2014 Library Visits: 16,901,411 – Source: FY2014 Statistical Report of Public Library Services. Utah Dataset.


10,551,040 recreation visitors to all Utah’s national parks, monuments, recreation areas and historical sites. Source:  https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/Reports/National



There are almost twice as many public libraries in Utah than there are McDonalds.


FY2014 Number of Libraries: 118 – Source: http://heritage.utah.gov/library/directory


Number of McDonalds: 61 – Source: http://www.hoursguide.com/mcdonalds/utah



The average household in Salt Lake County pays $158.76 per year for library service.  For that amount you could…


Buy about 6 hardcover fiction books (2013 Adult Fiction hardcover = $26.63) Source: http://www.slj.com/2013/06/research/sljs-average-book-prices-2013


Buy 3 or 4 Utah Jazz basketball tickets


Buy 2 or 3 PS3 New Release Games


A couple of all-day ski lift tickets


2014 Proposed Tax Rate for Salt Lake County = 0.000715 – Source: 2014 Proposed Tax Rate for Libraries http://heritage.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/USL-2014-Library-Tax-Rates.pdf


Single Family Home Median Price in Salt Lake County = $232,450 – Source: http://www.bestsaltlakehomes.com/historic-prices/slc-annual-2013.html



Katrice Stewart (FL)


These are fabulous, Kristen! 


I usually do the “we have more library visitors in FL than all of the Orlando theme parks” but that is getting old. I’m going to R&D (rip off and duplicate).





Nicolle Steffen (CO)


Indeed, these are fabulous comparisons. It’s always a challenge for us to come up with meaningful data points and comparisons.


We’ve done several version of QF, including booklets and printable PDFs. Here’s our resource page: http://www.lrs.org/reports/quotable-facts/.


Thanks for sharing, Kristen.


Jamie McCanless (WI)


We publish Fast Facts About Wisconsin Public Libraries, but the last one I published at http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/pld/pdf/wiplfastfacts.pdf was for FY2012 data


Like Utah, “more than six in ten [Wisconsin] residents are regis­tered library users. By comparison, fewer than six in ten state residents are registered voters.” I think I like this one a lot more than my director does.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (608) 266-3939 or jamie.mccanless@dpi.wi.gov.


Laura Stone (AZ)


These are a bit out of date, but we’ve done these. I like the card holder to registered voters number too. (We just ignore that the under-18 crowd can have library cards even if they can’t vote!)


Library Visits


Arizonans visited their public libraries 28 million times in 2010-11, or more than 2.3 million times per month.


In comparison, the 2012 total attendance for the Diamondbacks was 2.1 million people; 514,000 for the Phoenix Suns; 509,241 for the Coyotes, and 487,125 for the Arizona Cardinals.


Internet Usage

There are 5,248 computers in public libraries that connect to the internet. Almost 6 million uses were noted in 2010-11.


Books Borrowed


Arizonans borrowed almost 53 million items from their libraries, 8.1 items for each person in the state.

In comparison, the average American attends the movies 6.8 times each year.


Library Cardholders

There were 3,387,355 registered library cardholders in Arizona 2010-11.


In comparison, 3,221,133 Arizonans had voter registration cards in January, 2013; 2,323,679 voted in November, 2012.


Library Collections


There are 200 public library buildings in Arizona. They hold 8.3 million print books; 1.3 million e-books; 655,000 audio materials, and 940,000 videos.  More than 50 rural Arizona communities have no bookstore.


Sam Shaw (NE)


Hi Kristen:


Not sure if it will help, but here are links to our most recent handouts:


Data Summary


Libraries are the Equalizers



Jamie McCanless (WI)


Kristen and Sam and all,


Sam’s handout reminds of me of something I’ve been enthusing about here. Most of our statewide totals have been decreasing since an all-time high in 2009, and they seem progressively less useful to individual libraries. So, I’ve been compiling data by the library locale codes that Census added to the FY2012 data (see https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/rural_locales.asp for locale info) with interesting results.


By way of example, an excerpt of a youth services document is attached. Statewide, our total circulation has decreased 12.0% since 2009. But by locale, circulation at libraries in rural locales decreased only 4.8%. All of our circulation totals decreased except for circulation of children’s materials in rural locales, which increased 1.9% from 2009 to 2014. I think I’m on to something.


Is anyone else working with locale designations?


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (608) 266-3939 or jamie.mccanless@dpi.wi.gov.


Terry Blauvelt (MO)


Ours is similar (see attached).


Kristen Stehel (UT)


I have qualms with the following factoid because it doesn't seem accurate when one person has 3 different library cards: "X million people have library cards."


The language in the PLS report (number of registered borrowers) is more clear, honest, and accurate.


Jamie McCanless (WI)


Yes, indeed. You can view the Public Library Survey Trend File (1992-2012) - Administrative Entity in the IMLS Data Catalog at https://data.imls.gov/Public-Library-Survey-PLS-/Public-Library-Survey-Trend-File-1992-2012-Adminis/uzd7-qfwt. Locale codes for outlets are also included in the PLS FY2012 Outlet file at data.imls.gov.


I saved a filtered view of the file as https://data.imls.gov/dataset/AE-data-WI-2012/9d46-g3ev with STABR = WI and PLSYEAR = 2012. The LOCALE column is far to the right, before YAPRO, YAATTEN, AUDIO_PH, and AUDIO_DL.


Since you asked, I also saved a view for MO libraries at:  https://data.imls.gov/dataset/AE-data-MO-2012/d3bu-2bbm


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (608) 266-3939 or jamie.mccanless@dpi.wi.gov.


Kristen Stehel (UT)


I see registered borrowers more as registrations, but I also see what you mean Terry.


Scott Dermont (IA)


I agree. But I also think that the general public may not understand the difference.


Michael Golrick (LA)


Was eBook circulation included in the circ numbers?


When I look at the data for 2014 (which I am trying hard to publish today) of the 20 million circulations (up 3.4% from last year), about 10% is eBook circulation with a very modest amount for electronic items (Kindles, laptops, et al.)


I hope I did not greatly muddy your waters….


Jamie McCanless (WI)




No, in our state-level data, total circulation of material and total uses of downloadable content are separate. Here, the latter was much lower:  5.9% of statewide circulation.


I also had access to uses of children’s downloadable content for the first time this year (for 2014) so I couldn’t develop trends for 2009-14 that included both physical material and downloadable content for youth services.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (608) 266-3939 or jamie.mccanless@dpi.wi.gov.


Patrick Bodily (ID)




Here’s what we have for FY14 for Idaho.


Michael Golrick (LA)


I guess when I hear reports of circulation going down, it goes against what I see based on the data for this one, relatively small, state. The trend is not true here.


































Items per capita












Shawn Behrends (SD)


From our Data Digest this year…







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