Data Collection


Advocacy efforts at the global, regional and national level are severely hindered by the fact that IFLA and many national associations do not have basic information about the state of libraries in their countries. Reliable global library statistics is our shared vision.

IFLA Library Map of the World aims to address a critical need of the library field to accurately collect and share basic information about the library landscape in countries around the world.

The goal of the Library Map of the World Survey is to collect a basic set of library performance metrics across the world.

Libraries are leading promoters and providers of free access all types of information to all citizens. To demonstrate the potential of the global library field we need reliable data, accurate and comprehensive information about the state of libraries around the world.


The Library Map of the World aims to collect the most recent data from existing sources, if and where available, and from as many countries as possible, and covering all types of libraries:

  • National libraries
  • Academic libraries
  • Public libraries
  • Community libraries
  • School libraries
  • Other libraries

The initial set of performance metrics is the same for all types of libraries:

  • Number of libraries (library service points)
  • Number of libraries (library service points) providing internet access
  • Number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff
  • Number of volunteers (headcount)
  • Number of registered users
  • Number of visitors
  • Number of loans and downloads


IFLA is engaging with a selected data partner (national library association, national library or other institution) in each country around the world to liaise and gather aggregated national level data.

If you are a selected data partner, visit the Guide for Contributors section for more information and supporting materials.

If you want to find out who is the selected data partner in your country, please contact us.


The Library Map of the World is an annual activity, managed and maintained by IFLA.

Data is being collected on an ongoing basis in collaboration with data partners in each country. Received data is being displayed on the map as soon as all quality checks have been finalised.

Library Map of the World data sets as of end of the year

2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021