Frequently Asked Questions

About the Library Map Of the World

What is the Library Map of the World?

IFLA Library Map of the World is a representative source of basic library statistics and a tool providing a worldwide comparison of different library performance metrics mapped by country level data.

Where can I access the Library Map of the World?

You will be able to access the Library Map of the World at librarymap.ifla.org after its launch at IFLA WLIC 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland in August, 2017.

What will I be able to find on the Library Map of the World?

The Library Map of the World is intended to provide you with basic library statistics for each country, including:

  • 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

You will be able to compare these library performance metrics across all library types (national libraries, academic libraries, public libraries, community libraries, school libraries and other libraries), and across countries worldwide.

The statistics available will depend on the range of data collected in each country for each type of library.

Who do I contact for more information?

You may contact the Library Map of the World team at librarymap@ifla.org or Kristine Paberza, Member Engagement Officer at IFLA HQ, at kristine.paberza@ifla.org.

About the Library Map of the World 2017 Survey (General Overview)

What is the Library Map of the World 2017 Survey?

The Library Map of the World 2017 Survey is a tool to collect aggregated national level data for the basic set of library performance metrics from existing sources from as many countries around the world as possible. Survey results will be used to make a visualisation of the data available via the IFLA website for all to use.

Who is conducting the Survey and why?

The Survey is being conducted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to create the IFLA Library Map of the World. The aim is to be able to show the capacity and potential of the global library field in providing free access to information. Basic information about the state of libraries in countries across the world is needed to support advocacy efforts at the global, regional and national level. Data collected through the Library Map of the World 2017 Survey will be used to maximize advocacy efforts and to increase the capacity of library associations and institutions to advocate for the best policy frameworks and conditions including those centred on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

How often will the survey be conducted?

After the 2017 Survey, the Library Map of the World will become a continuing activity at IFLA and the survey aiming to update existing data and/or to collect more or different data will be conducted annually.

How can I take the Survey?

Invitations to participate in the 2017 Survey have been emailed to the selected data partners (national library associations, national libraries or other institutions) who are invited to submit aggregated national level data. The email contains instructions and a link to the online questionnaire. If you are a selected data partner, visit the Data 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.

Is new data being collected?

No. The Library Map of the World asks data partners to collate existing data collected in their country and submit it via the online Survey. Many countries will not have data for each indicator – they can be left blank. The Library Map of the World will accept and display whatever data currently exists for each country. IFLA is not asking data partners to collect new data, simply to submit existing data at the national level.

How will the data collected through this Survey be used?

Survey results will be used to make a visualisation of the data available via the IFLA website for all to use. You will be able to access the Library Map of the World at this website after its launch at IFLA WLIC 2017 in Wrocław, Poland in August 2017.

When will the results of the Survey be announced?

Survey results in the form of visualisation of data via this website will be announced during the official launch of the Library Map of the World at IFLA WLIC 2017 in Wrocław, Poland in August 2017.

Who do I contact for more information?

You may contact the Library Map of the World team at librarymap@ifla.org or Kristine Paberza, Member Engagement Officer at IFLA HQ, at kristine.paberza@ifla.org.

About the Library Map of the World 2017 Survey (for Invited Data Contributors)

Can I see all the Survey questions before I answer them?

Yes. You can access PDF versions of the survey questionnaire from the link below. Please note that the print and online surveys are slightly different, not in terms of the questions but in terms of layout and presentation.

Survey Questionnaire: English | Español | Русский | more translations coming soon

What languages is the Survey available in?

The Survey language is English. You will mainly have to submit numeric data; however, it is expected that you provide explanations and/or clarifications of submitted data in open ended questions of the Survey in English. Please note that translated versions of Survey Definitions and Questionnaires are prepared for you to get acquainted with what is asked by the Survey and to support you during the data gathering; do not use translated versions of questionnaires to fill in your data. If you want to submit completed questionnaire in paper, please use the English version of the Questionnaire.

Survey Definitions: English | Español | Русский | more translations coming soon

Survey Questionnaire: English | Español | Русский | more translations coming soon

Where the Survey definitions come from?

The items in the Survey Questionnaire are defined according to international standards, mainly ISO 2789, and endorsed by the IFLA Statistics and Evaluation Section. Please note that in some cases you can submit data that deviates from the Library Map of the World definitions. In this case, please add explanation and/or clarification of submitted data (Survey Questionnaire have designated place for this under each library type). To support you during the process of data gathering, IFLA has prepared translations of the Library Map of the World Definitions:

Survey Definitions: English | Español | Русский | more translations coming soon

How long does it take to complete the Survey?

Once you have gathered existing data from your data sources and partners it should take no more than one hour to fill in the questionnaire either electronically or in paper form.

How can I take the Survey?

You can complete the questionnaire either electronically or in paper form.

If your choice is to submit completed questionnaire in paper, you should use the printed version of the Library Map of the World Survey 2017 Questionnaire that you received enclosed with your invitation letter.

If your choice is to submit completed questionnaire electronically, you should use the link to access the Online Questionnaire that was e-mailed to you. If you haven’t received an invitation e-mail with the link three weeks after receiving the invitation letter, please contact us.

Where can I access the Online Questionnaire?

If you are an invited data contributor who received an invitation letter, you should have received a following invitation e-mail containing instructions and a link to the Online Questionnaire about two weeks after received invitation letter. If you haven’t received an invitation e-mail with the link three weeks after receiving the invitation letter, please contact us.

Can I save my answers and finish the Online Questionnaire later?

Yes, you can start filling in the questionnaire and return to your responses to complete them at a later time. To return to your responses you must use the same link to the Online Survey received in your email; when you click the link a second time you will return to the same response.

Can I change or add additional (missing) data after I completed and submitted the Survey?

Yes, in that case you would need to contact the Library Map of the World team at librarymap@ifla.org or kristine.paberza@ifla.org who can assist you with updating your responses and data after its submission.

Do I have to take the Survey if I don’t have any data in my country?

IFLA wants to learn about the state of data collection in your country to be able to support your future data needs. Therefore, we encourage you to take the Survey even if you don’t have any data. In the Survey questionnaire under each library type you will be able to select a “Data for this library type is not available” option and include an explanation and/or clarification and/or any other information that you think is relevant for IFLA to better understand the state of data collection in your country.

Do I have to answer every question?

The 2017 Survey asks to submit the most recent existing data that are collected or aggregated at the national level in your country. If you don’t have data for some of the library types or for some of the metrics, there’s no need to worry.  However, you still should answer every question. For cases where you don’t have data, you must choose the option “Data for this library type is not available” or “Data is not available”.

Will my responses be anonymous and confidential?

At the beginning of the questionnaire you will be asked to provide contact information of your association/organisation and contact information of the person completing the survey. Contact details that you provide will remain confidential and access to your contact information will be restricted to the Library Map of the World team for purposes of contacting and communicating with you.

Data on library performance metrics gathered through the 2017 Survey will be used for production of the Library Map of the World that will be publicly accessible at on this website after its launch in Wrocław, Poland in August 2017. Apart from information about data sources, your responses to open-ended questions of this survey will remain confidential and may be used only in aggregate form (with no possibility to identify your individual response) for internal planning and decision making purposes by the IFLA Library Map of the World team to support your future data needs.

When is the submission deadline?

For countries who want to be mapped on this website and have been noted as data contributors at its premiere in Wrocław, Poland in August this year, the deadline for data submission is 31 May 2017. The Library Map of the World will be continuing activity at IFLA and you will also be able to provide your data after 31 May 2017.

Who do I contact for more information?

Kristine Paberza, Member Engagement Officer at IFLA HQ is at your assistance to help you with any questions and/or issues relating to the Library Map of the World and 2017 Survey. Do not hesitate to reach out to the Library Map of the World team at librarymap@ifla.org and Kristine Paberza at kristine.paberza@ifla.org.

Who Do I Contact For More Information?

You may contact the Library Map of the World team at librarymap@ifla.org or Kristine Paberza, Member Engagement Officer at IFLA HQ, at kristine.paberza@ifla.org.