Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Global Library Information Site from OCLC

Via the OCLC cooperative website an announcement about the launch of their global library information website.
Our library often gets requests for combined statistics of this second kind that don't take into account the fact that there is no one, single global repository of library data. In order to help provide that kind of comparative information, we've created the Global Library Statistics page for the use of the entire library community. The service was originally a joint project of OCLC Research and the OCLC Library, and Research has contributed to its development.

Just choose a region and then a country from the drop-down menus or click on the map arrows to narrow your search. Then click on the tabs at the top of the table below the map for information about a specific category.

The page has information about (as much as possible) the total global library universe. It includes data for the total number of libraries, librarians, volumes, expenditures, and users for every country and territory in the world broken down into the major library types: academic, public, school, special and national. These figures do not represent OCLC membership, although the information is broken down into three regions that represent those used by the OCLC Global and Regional Councils: the Americas (North and South America), EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India), and Asia Pacific (Asia, Australia and Oceania). The statistics also include available data for languages used, and the number of library schools, publishers, and museums.

The staff of the OCLC Library extracted data from respected third-party sources, both electronic and print, that in their judgment are the most current and accurate sources to which they have access. For many countries, data were either unavailable (indicated in the charts as NA) or sporadic. Also, for a lot of the world, the data were not as current as we would have liked. We felt, though, that a fairly recent figure was better than none at all.

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