Library Budget Reports - 2017 Library Spending Plans
Libraries: At the Epicenter of the Digital Disruption - Public Libraries Edition

This is the definitive guide to public library spending and spending priorities for 2013-2014. Data is reported by size of patron population served by public libraries: fewer than 25,000, 25,000-100,000, and patron populations greater than 100,000.

Trending data for the past 3 years is also included in this 36-page PDF report. The findings summarize responses from 268 public libraries of all sizes. All information is supported by an extensive explanatory narrative by Unisphere Research analyst Joseph McKendrick.

Key findings from Libraries: At the Epicenter of the Digital Disruption, Public Libraries Edition” include:

  • Public library budgets are on the upswing, having perked up significantly after several years of an uncertain economy. Library managers are optimistic for the year ahead as well. The bulk of library budgets go to personnel and staffing. In terms of content acquisition, the lion’s share still goes to printed material. While a small share is going to digital resources, this share has doubled over the past two years.
  • While three-fourths of public libraries are seeing rising demand for electronic resources, demand for print is also resilient. Nine out of 10 respondents say they are seeing demand for ebooks, and ebook readers lead the way in purchasing intentions. There is also rising demand for libraries to function as technical training resource centers. One-fourth of public libraries now use cloud-computing services.
  • Increasing the level of customer service continues to be public libraries’ top priority, and a majority of respondents are now concentrating on providing ways for patrons to make use of the technology coming into the library space. However, these goals continue to clash with tight budgets, which makes selecting and maintaining platforms and skills an ongoing challenge.

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