There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S …and 58% of adults in the U.S. have public library cards

Did you ever need a handy brochure to whip out and show people that libraries are still relevant? Of course you do. As a teaser, this is what’s included (factual as of 2012):

● Americans go to school, public and academic libraries more than three times more often than they go to the movies.

• Americans spend nearly three times as much on candy as they do on public libraries.


• There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S.—a total of 16,766 including branches.

• If the cost of People Magazine had risen as fast as the cost of academic library periodicals since 1990, it would cost about $182 for a one-year subscription.

• The average copyright year for health and medicine titles in school libraries is 1996. A student using these resources would not learn about the cloning of Dolly the sheep (1997) or that the United Kingdom handed sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China (1997).

● Reference librarians in the nation’s public and academic libraries answer nearly 6.6 million questions weekly. Standing single file, the line of questioners would span from Ocean City, MD to Juneau, AK.

• Academic libraries held approximately 158.7 million e-books and public libraries held more than 18.5 million in 2010.

• Americans check out more than eight books a year, on the average. They spend $35.81 a year for the public library—about the average cost of one hardcover book.

• Americans spend over 18 times as much money on home video games ($18.6 billion) as they do on school library materials for their children ($1 billion).

Find the printable brochure here:

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