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

U.S. Share of World Creative Goods Trade is Rebounding! Overall, America’s role in global cultural trade declined steadily from 2002 through 2009, but we have seen a rebound in 2010 and 2011. Almost all of this is due to exports, which change more—both up and down—than imports in the U.S. Trade surpluses are good news for the U.S. economy!