IFLA Statistics and Evaluation Section has proposed
- A global Library Statistics Manifesto
- A standard set of global statistics
The list of potentially robust and available statistics agreed was:
1. Library provision
- 1.1 Number of libraries
- (categorised as academic, public, school and other)
- 1.2 Number of staff (full-time equivalent)
- 1.3 Number of user places
- 1.4 Number of computers for users
- 1.5 Number of libraries with networked catalogues
- 2.1 Number of physical items held
- 2.2 Number of physical items acquired each year (by all methods)
- 2.3 Number of print journal subscriptions
- 2.4 Number of E-journal subscriptions
- 2.5 Expenditure on acquisitions (of all kinds)
- 3.1 Number of loan transactions
- 3.2 Number of user visits
- 3.3 Number of registered library users
- Statistics and Evaluation Section Annual Report September 2003-August 2004
The Hackett study
Theresa Hackett (2003). Global library statistics 1990-2000
- This is a first attempt to provide a snapshot of the world’s libraries. The compilation of accurate, up-to-date and reliable statistics on a global level involves combining data from two sources, UNESCO and Libecon.
- The availability of global data lags behind that of nationally available statistics. Although international standards on library statistics (ISO 2789) and performance indicators (ISO 11620) are used internationally, not all countries collect the same data or include the same sectors. This inevitably leads to gaps in country data and sometimes whole sectors e.g. registered users for school libraries.
- New media and electronic services are largely underrepresented, as the data is often not available. As data collection criteria evolve to take ICTs into account and as international standards are updated, it should be possible in future to obtain global statistical information on the role of libraries in the information society. For now, we can provide some regional data.
- The value of statistics is as an advocacy and lobby tool to illustrate to policy-makers, politicians and partners how libraries provide access to our cultural and scientific heritage; contribute to the development of the knowledge economy; support the democratic process; help bridge the digital divide; support lifelong literacy; represent good value for money. Data in the tables has been converted into a selection of Fast Facts for re-use and comparison.