Guide for Contributors

Thank you for your willingness to participate in the creation of the Library Map of the World!

Finding it hard to get started, don’t know where to look for existing data or who else you could involve? Don’t worry, here’s some advice and ideas to get you engaged. The process is easy!

This Step-by-Step Guide for Data Contributors will support and help you in gathering and supplying the existing data from your country.

Learn More

The Library Map of the World aims to gather the most recent existing data that are already collected or aggregated at the national level in your country. It is not expected that you collect new data especially for the Library Map of the World.

Data is being collected on an ongoing basis through an online data submission form.

The language of data submission form is English. You will mainly have to submit numeric data; however, it is expected that you provide explanations and/or clarifications about the submitted data in open ended questions of the submission form.

These translated versions of definitions of library types and performance metrics may be helpful for you to get acquainted with what is asked and to support you during the data gathering.

Definitions of Library Types:

English | Arabic | Chinese | French | German | Russian | Spanish

Definitions and Counting Instructions of Performance Metrics:

English | Arabic | Chinese | French | German | Russian | Spanish

Definitions of Data Sources

English | Arabic | Chinese | French | German | Russian | Spanish

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the Library Map of the World in the FAQ section.

Find Out

The Library Map of the World is looking for data from all types of libraries, including national, academic, public, community, school and other libraries. You may not have all the data; therefore, it is expected that you find out who might hold the relevant data in your country both in terms of library type as well as library performance metrics.

Situations vary from country to country. Here are some ideas of other institutions that you may want to contact during data gathering phase:

National or regional statistical offices
Government entities responsible for data collection from libraries (e.g. ministries)
NGOs (e.g. ones that work in the field of public access to internet and information)
Universities and/or research institutes
National libraries
Library associations


The Library Map of the World only accepts data that refers to an annual cycle of operation of libraries.

Liaise with other institutions to collate the most recent existing data that is available in your country. Gather what is possible for you with the resources you have.

You shouldn’t be worried in case you are unable to deliver a complete dataset covering all types of libraries and all metrics. It is possible to supply partial data that you have both in terms of library types and metrics. It is also expected that you provide your data even if it deviates from provided definitions. The submission form provides a space for you to include any explanations to help clarify the nature of the provided data or the state of data collection in your country.

Fill In

Once you have gathered existing data from your data sources and partners, you can fill in the Data Submission Form. To access the form please use the submission link received by email from IFLA.

Additionally, for all library statistics that are to be published on the IFLA Library Map of the World, contributors must complete a Data Contributor' Permission Form that will allow IFLA to publish the library data that you provided as well as acknowledge the contribution of your organisation. The form is enclosed at the end of the Data Submission Form.

Keep In Touch

In case you have any questions during the process of data gathering or need any clarification related to the Library Map of the World data collection, the Library Map of the World team is at your assistance to help you with any questions and/or issues relating to data you are about to provide. Please do not hesitate to reach out at:

To stay up to date with the latest news, follow us on Twitter @IFLA_LibraryMap and use the hashtag #WorldLibraryMap.