Created in partnership with Community Attributes Inc. as part of the Digital Inclusion Survey, our data visualization tool maps all public libraries using the FY2013 Public Library Survey data file released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for library locations, names, and other library demographic data. The tool overlays Census data (demographic, economic, health, and education) from the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year dataset (2009-2013). The map also includes selected 2013 and 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey data from participating libraries, thus showing the roles that libraries play regarding digital inclusion in their communities. [Note: If you have been using our map recently, you may need to "hard refresh" (ctrl-F5) to make sure you can access recent enhancements].
We are also adding new features such as the ability to update selected library data, as well as enhanced print capabilities from the mapping tool. We anticipate the availability of those features by the end of October 2015.
PLEASE NOTE: The name of any given public library, its address, and other demographic data included in the map are taken directly from the national Public Library Survey data file released by IMLS (FY 2013, the outlet file). If a library name or other information (e.g., address) is incorrect or otherwise inaccurate, it is inaccurate in that dataset. Libraries should contact their State Library Agency to ensure that their library information is accurate.
The tool does have limitations. One challenge, for example, is that community data (e.g., education, poverty) come in various levels of aggregation. Another is that certain geographic regions present challenges in drawing a service area, and this can affect the ability of the tool to represent some community data around the mapped public libraries (fewer than 100 that we have been able to identify so far out of the nearly 17,000 mapped libraries contained within the tool).
Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. We welcome your feedback!