In this report, OCLC compiles data to highlight several enlightening economical comparisons between libraries and other major business sectors, professions, and destinations worldwide. This report discusses libraries as:
- Economic engines
- U.S. libraries purchase an estimated $14 billion ($31 billion for libraries worldwide) in goods and services annually
- Logistics experts
- U.S. libraries circulate 1,947,600,000 items a year
- U.S. public library cardholders outnumber Amazon customers by almost 5 to 1 and circulates nearly 4 times more items daily than Amazon handles
- Valued destinations
- Five times more people visit U.S. public libraries each year than attend U.S. professional and college football, basketball, baseball, and hockey games combined
- Global information suppliers
- The estimated value of collections for the world’s one million libraries is $720 billion
- Home to a vibrant and sizable profession
- There are 690,000 librarians employed worldwide with 203,000 of them working in the U.S. ³
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³All bulleted items summarized from OCLC’s “Libraries: How They Stack Up” (2003).