They were offline for a while, but the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) tools to search for and compare public libraries are available again. The tools use data from the Public Libraries Survey that collects annual data from approximately 9,000 libraries nationally, including from the annual reports of Wyoming’s 23 county library systems.
The compare tool is a great resource for finding similar libraries and analyzing their statistics for management and advocacy purposes. For example, you might find libraries with a similar legal service area population and see how their per capita revenue compares. You may access the tools and learn more about the survey at www.imls.gov/research-evaluation/data-collection/public-libraries-united-states-survey.
IMLS also recently released Public Libraries in the United States Survey: Fiscal Year 2013, a compilation of national library statistics. Find it, and other IMLS publications, at www.imls.gov/publications.
The Wyoming State Library keeps a page of state-specific data on public, academic, and school libraries at will.state.wy.us/statistics, including links to community data sources. Questions about finding and using statistics for your library may be directed to Thomas Ivie, WSL research and statistics librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-777-6330.