A centralized resource for and about libraries
Just choose a region and then a country from the drop-down menus or click on the map arrows to narrow your search. Then click on the tabs at the top of the table below the map for information about a specific category.
The page has information about (as much as possible) the total global library universe. It includes data for the total number of libraries, librarians, volumes, expenditures, and users for every country and territory in the world broken down into the major library types: academic, public, school, special and national. These figures do not represent OCLC membership, although the information is broken down into three regions that represent those used by the OCLC Global and Regional Councils: the Americas (North and South America), EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India), and Asia Pacific (Asia, Australia and Oceania). The statistics also include available data for languages used, and the number of library schools, publishers, and museums.
The staff of the OCLC Library extracted data from respected third-party sources, both electronic and print, that in their judgment are the most current and accurate sources to which they have access. For many countries, data were either unavailable (indicated in the charts as NA) or sporadic. Also, for a lot of the world, the data were not as current as we would have liked. We felt, though, that a fairly recent figure was better than none at all.
Because of these and other issues, it is possible that the figures represent an underestimate of worldwide totals in all categories; other more current and accurate sources may exist that we're unaware of. If you know of, or can recommend additional sources, please send an email to us at email@example.com.
While challenging, putting together this resource was also a great exercise in data exploration and combination. We had a lot of fun working on it, and hope that you find it interesting and useful in your work.Larry Olszewski
Director, OCLC Library
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