New York's Libraries: How They STACK UP!

Image of the printed flyer; click on the flyer to download the .PDF version

A look at how New York's Public Libraries are
good for the economy

Libraries as:
Valued Destinations | Public Computing Centers
Information Suppliers | Economic Engines
Home to a Vibrant and Sizeable Profession

This information is also available as a printable brochure in .PDF.

Libraries as Valued Destinations

Library users:

  • Registered public library users:
10.02 million
  • Population of New York State:
19.4 million

53% of New Yorkers are registered public library users!

2011 Library Visits

159.4 million

New York Walmart Yankee and New York Mets home game attendance: 6 million
Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and 2011 Super Bowl Champions New York Giants  Total Game Attendance: 3.4 million

Libraries vs. Other Valued Destinations

  • New York Barnes & Noble:
  • New York Walmart Supercenters:
  • New York public library outlets:

There are many more public libraries in New York State than
Barnes & Noble and Walmarts combined!

Libraries as Public Computing Centers

Over 17,300 public terminals are Connected to the Internet.

New Yorkers logged in for 21.9 million sessions last year!

Public Libraries NYS US
Have wireless availability 98.4% 90.5%
Offer technology training to patrons 98.4% 82.7%
Report helping patrons complete online job applications 81.8% 76.0%
Offer E-Books 96.8% 76.3%

63.6% of New York public libraries are the
ONLY free access to computers/Internet in their communities

Libraries as Information Suppliers

NOVELNY - New York Online Virtual Electronic Library Home

Saves more than $87 million through centralized licensing.

Provides $35 in information resources for every $1 spent at the state level.

Contains approximately 17,000 information resources, including online magazines, newspapers and journals!

Library Volumes

The average hardcover book costs $90.50

The average paperback costs $36.98

New York public libraries 68.7 million books circulated 92.6 million times in 2011,
saving New Yorkers over $7.1 billion

Libraries as Economic Engines

For every $1 invested in public libraries throughout the US, patrons receive $4 to $10 worth of services in return!

Library expenditures:

Library Expenditures

Estimated US public library Expenditures: $10.77 billion

Estimated NY public library Expenditures: $1.1 billion

New York’s public libraries account for about 10.2% of the
$10.77 billion spent on public libraries nationwide!

Library Programs Save New Yorkers Money!

7.7 million New Yorkers attended over 407,000 free public library programs in 2011.

Early Literacy: 1.6 million attendees

English for Speakers of Other Languages: 328,000 attendees

Summer Reading at New York Libraries: 1.74 million participants

Libraries as Home to a Vibrant and Sizable Profession

There are some 4,273 librarians in New York State public libraries,
delivering about 8.9 million hours of service each year!

Over 28 million Reference Questions are asked each year!


Revised April 2013. Adapted from Libraries: How They Stack Up. © 2003 OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Adapted with OCLC's permission.

This information is also available as a printable brochure in .PDF pdf file

Last Updated: September 23, 2019