Public libraries are part of community engagement in arts and culture through their collections and their frequent use as venues for presenting performing and visual arts . Additionally, their core function of curating and maintaining collections of books and other media also have an inherent cultural function .

Access to public library services varies across the country . This indicator is new to the Local Arts Index in 2015, reflecting the availability of data from the federal government Institute of Museum and Library Services. It measures the number of public libraries in every county for every 100,000 residents, using the most recent data file, for information gathered in 2012.

Additional Information: Counties with indicator value = 3,099. Average county indicator value = 18.7 Median county indicator value = 10.6.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

The nonprofit arts grow – despite a recession!

The number of nonprofit arts organizations has grown annually, reaching 113,000 in 2010. In the past decade, nonprofit arts organizations grew 49% (76,000 to 113,000), a greater rate than all nonprofit organizations, which grew 32% (1.2 million to 1.6 million).