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Snapshot of Library Usage in California

On a typical day over ONE MILLION Californians visit a library

The library is the one free community space that sustains democracy, levels the playing field, values the individual, nourishes creativity, opens young minds, builds community, supports families, builds technology skills and offers sanctuary--all free of charge to the user. [1]

On California Library Snapshot Day: [2]

  • 1,012,563 Californians visited a library. 
  • Library websites were accessed 1,223,887 times.
  • 770,831 items were checked out or renewed.
  • Librarians answered 93,292 reference questions in person.
  • Librarians answered 16,577 reference questions by telephone, email, instant message, text message, mail and more!
  • 169,707 people used a library computer.
  • 2,170 programs were held for children, teens, adults and families. 62,354 people attended those programs.
  • 26,962 people received literacy tutoring, homework help, and information literacy instruction at a library.

No other organizations or agencies provide Californians with everything that libraries provide and over ONE MILLION Californians on one day in October proved it.

[1] See
[2] Usage figures are based on data captured by 1,140 public, academic, school and special libraries and library jurisdictions for California Library Snapshot Day in October 2010.


The ALA Library Snapshot Day Initiative is co-sponsored by the Committee on Library Advocacy’s (COLA’s) Advocacy Coordinating Group, the ALA Chapter Relations Committee (CRC), the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).

California Library Snapshot Day is a project of the California Library Association (CLA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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Snapshot Day

California Library Snapshot Day