But, Nobody Uses Libraries Anymore!!

Except more people visit their library than attend the NFL, NHL, NBA, Nascar, or the movie theater COMBINED.



One of the things we always hear while campaigning for libraries is that nobody uses libraries anymore. In fact, if we had a $1 for every time we heard this phrase, we wouldn’t need to ask you for donations. But what’s so frustrating about this common response is how completely unfounded it is. There is simply no basis for believing that nobody uses libraries anymore. The truth is that most of the general public have a library card and use their public libraries.

We’re working to educate American voters about the value and importance of libraries in 2020.
Every $10 we raise helps us reach 1,000 more voters with information like this.

But you can help us fight against this common misconception by simply clicking to tweet these facts below or sharing this entire post on Facebook.

  • Did you know that almost 100 million more people visit their libraries (1.3 billion) each year than see a movie at the theater (1.2 billion)? (CLICK TO TWEET)
  • Did you know that libraries are visited over 1.3 billion times a year which is 10 times more than MLB (68 million), NFL (17 million), NBA (22 million), Hockey (21 million), and Nascar (4 million) combined? (TWEET THIS)
  • Did you know that 5 million more people attend just library programs than go to MLB (68 million), NFL (17 million), and NBA (22 million) games combined each year? (TWEET THIS)
  • Did you know that more than 172 million Americans have library cards? That means that more than half of the American public has a library card right now. (TWEET THIS)
  • Did you know that librarians answer around 250 million questions from the public each year? (TWEET THIS)
  • Did you know that millenials use libraries more than any other generation? (TWEET THIS)
  • Did you know that Americans check out over 2.1 billion items from their public library every year? That’s an average of 16 items a year for every American or 32 items a year for every card holder.(TWEET THIS)

Did you know that these statistics are only from public libraries? These numbers don’t even include elementary, middle, or high school libraries and they don’t include data from Academic libraries on college and university campuses. They also don’t include data from private or membership libraries or corporate, legal, or other special libraries. That means that the statistics for all library usage in the United States is wildly under-reported and the actual statistics for library use are even greater than what we’re reporting here.

If you don’t believe these stats, you can check them for yourself. All of the data on public library usage comes from the Annual Institute of Museum and Library Services report. This report includes data on the over 18,000 public libraries in the United States and the latest data is from 2017. You can find the data on professional sports attendance here and on movie theater attendance here. The data on millenial library use comes from the PEW report on libraries available here.