Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Indiana Libraries: fact sheet

Indiana Libraries: A Proud Tradition of Local Service
Indiana residents are served by 238 independent town, city, township, and county library systems.
Libraries in these communities were established by local residents and stand as proud reflections of their unique histories and of the choices their library boards have made in regard to the programs, services, and collections that are needed and preferred by their communities.

What Is the Library Policy of the State of Indiana?
The state shall encourage the establishment, maintenance, and development of public libraries throughout Indiana as part of its provision for public education. Public libraries provide free library service for all individuals in order to meet the educational, informational, and recreational interests and needs of the public. These library services include collecting and organizing books and other library materials and providing reference, loan, and related services to library patrons. These library services are provided by public libraries supported by public funds. (Indiana Code 36-12-1-8)

How are Indiana Public Libraries Governed?
Seven community residents, appointed by the elected members of the local school board and the elected representatives of local governmental units, serve without pay as library trustees for each library district. Appointing authorities provide public oversight for the library board and the library and they can recall an appointee if his or her service is deemed unacceptable. Library trustees set policy for their local libraries, provide administrative oversight, and serve as contacts for local citizens’ concerns and suggestions in regard to the services, programs, and collections of their libraries.

How are Indiana Libraries Funded?
Indiana public libraries are independent taxing authorities, each with the ability to levy a portion of the local property tax to fund the library. Library taxes are not layered, taxpayers pay only one library tax to a single library district no matter however many library districts might be in a county. Library tax levies (property tax collections) have been controlled by the state since 1973, allowing only small increases each year. New controls approved in 2008 will further, greatly limit property tax collections in Indiana. Indiana’s public libraries account for only 3.33% of all property taxes collected per year. Public library budgets must be approved by the Department of Local Government Finance and audited by the State Board of Accounts.

Public libraries do not have access to all of the funding sources available to other local units of government. Libraries do not usually benefit from gambling revenues, funds generated by the lease of the toll road, and the Community Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT). Cities, towns and counties may also capture revenue from new developments for their own purposes at the expense of schools and public libraries through the establishment of Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts.

Nationally, libraries are a great American bargain. “More than three-quarters of library users believe libraries spend tax dollars well. Even among non-users, 6 in 10 say they believe libraries use their funds wisely.” (source: Americans for Libraries Council)

What Library Services Do Indiana Libraries Provide?

The Indiana State Library reported the following statistics for 2006:
Total population of Indiana 6,080,485
Residents taxed for library service 5,690,040
Number of independent Indiana library systems 238
Individual and family resident registered borrowers 3,773,171
Individual & family borrowers as % of total pop. taxed for libraries 62.06%
Annual library visits by Indiana residents 37,371,757
Total state circulation of library materials 72,897,834
Circulation per capita 12.81
Annual reference transactions 5,463,901
Number of public libraries with Internet access 235
Number of public computers connected to Internet 6,311
Indiana users of public library internet terminals 8,564,650
Number of children’s library programs 65,834
Attendance at children’s programs 1,650,685
Number of adult and children’s library programs 107,450
Attendance at all adult and children’s library programs 2,537,951
Number of libraries that agree to participate in free reciprocal borrowing 155

Statistics are not the whole story. Because each library system is governed by an appointed board of seven local residents, individual libraries are able to respond to the needs and preferences of their communities with a wide variety of unique and special services, programs and collections. Examples are libraries that house an adult learning center, that schedule evening story hours for working parents of young children, that provide homebound delivery for those who are not able to come to the library, that operate local history museums and genealogical departments, and that provide public meeting rooms and kitchens.

How Do Indiana Libraries Rank Nationally?*

Library visits per capita: Indiana ranks 2nd in the United States
Circulation per capita: Indiana ranks 4th “
Reference transactions per capita: Indiana ranks 8th “
Computer terminals per 5,000 pop Indiana ranks 7th “
Audio materials per 1,000 pop. Indiana ranks 2nd “
Video/DVD materials per capita Indiana ranks 3rd “
Books and magazines per capita Indiana ranks 12th “
ALA-MLS librarians per 25,000 pop. ** Indiana ranks 8th “
Operating expenses per capita Indiana ranks 5th “
Number of public libraries Indiana ranks 14th “
Number of public libraries per capita Indiana ranks 22nd “
Collection expenditures per capita Indiana ranks 3rd “

*Statistics from the 2007 edition of The Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac and from the National Council on Educational Statistics

**American Library Association approved Masters Degree in Library Science

1 comment:

Cindy Sermersheim (csermers@yahoo.com) said...

Your info is helpful. Do you know where I can find the actual requirements (number of LEUs per year or over how many years) for various library workers in Indiana? Our board of trustees changed my job title so that my job supposedly no longer requires any LEUs and now refuses to approve my attending CYPD or any other workshops/roundtables.