Libraries & Archives Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 10/30/2023
SIC Codes: 8231
NAICS Codes: 51912
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Libraries & Archives Industry Profile

Organizations in this industry provide library or archive services, maintaining collections of print and electronic documents (such as books, journals, newspapers, and music) and facilitating their use for informational, research, educational, or recreational purposes. Major libraries and archives include the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the New York Public Library (all based in the US), as well as the British Library, Library Archives Canada, and the Russian State Library.

The world is home to about 320,000 public libraries, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. About 75% of libraries are located in developing and transitioning countries.

The US has about 120,000 libraries of various types, with about 95,000 school libraries, according to the American Library Association (ALA). The Library of Congress is the largest institution by volumes held, holding about 35 million volumes, followed by the Boston Public Library with about 20 million volumes, and Harvard University with about 17 million volumes.


Demand is driven by population. The success of libraries and archives depends on efficient operations and consistent funding. Large organizations may benefit from economies of scale in purchasing and administration. Small organizations can succeed by specializing or by serving an engaged community.

Libraries and archives compete with other nonprofit organizations for public and private funding and with other personal and professional obligations for volunteers. Libraries compete with bookstores for consumer access to books and reading-related programming, ...

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