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

Consumer arts spending steady at $150 billion!

Since 2002, consumer spending on the arts has remained in the $150 billion range, though as a share of all expenditures it has slipped from 1.88% in 2002 to 1.45% in 2010. Following four years of decreases, musical instrument sales rebounded, growing from $5.9 billion in 2009 to $6.3 billion in 2010.