Library Patronage

URL: https://data.ccrpc.org/dataset/4454517f-4b0f-4a6b-95b2-731491b12e4e/resource/4b9b615d-7d0c-42b4-9e87-50a064c98a1b/download/library-patronage.csv

The library patronage indicator measures the percentage of the total resident population served by each public library (the percentage of eligible residents that holds an unexpired library card). Ten public libraries and public library districts in Champaign County are included: the Champaign Public Library, the Homer Community Library, the Mahomet Public Library District, the Ogden Rose Public Library, the Philo Public Library District, the Rantoul Public Library, the St. Joseph Township-Swearingen Memorial Library, the Sidney Community Library, the Tolono Public Library District, and the Urbana Free Library. Public libraries often serve as community hubs and offer a number of educational and social opportunities and services for their population served. Registration for and maintenance of a library card is one way a resident can engage in recreation and other community involvement.

In 2021, five of the ten libraries analyzed had residential participation rates between 20 and 30 percent: Champaign Public Library, 27.57 percent; St. Joseph Township-Swearingen Memorial Library, 25.12 percent; Mahomet Public Library District, 22.38 percent; Tolono Public Library District, 21.82 percent; and the Philo Public Library District, 21.3 percent.

The libraries with the greatest percentage of the resident population with unexpired library cards were the Homer Community Library, at 38.96 percent, and the Urbana Free Library at 30 percent. The libraries with the smallest percentage of the resident population with unexpired library cards were the Sidney Community Library, 18.13 percent; Rantoul Public Library, 17.22 percent; and the Ogden Rose Public Library, at 13.85 percent.

All ten public libraries in Champaign County saw the percentage of their resident population with unexpired library cards decrease between 2015 and 2021. It is worth noting that many library buildings were closed during part of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that along with statewide stay-at-home orders may have deterred residents from renewing or obtaining library cards.

The release of the 2020 Census results in 2021 shows that the population in eight of the ten library districts decreased from 2010 to 2020. It is important to note that the population of a library district sometimes differs than the population of the municipality where it is located (e.g., Tolono).

The two library districts that saw a population increase in 2020 were the Champaign Public Library and Tolono Public Library District. However, the number of unexpired library cards in those districts decreased in 2021, so the decrease in the percentage of the population with library cards cannot be explained by population growth.

The two library districts that saw an increase in the percentage of the population with library cards from 2020 to 2021 are the Homer Community Library and Urbana Free Library. The number of unexpired library cards at the Homer Community Library increased from 2020 to 2021, which explains the percentage increase. However, the number of unexpired library cards at the Urbana Free Library decreased from 2020 to 2021, so the percentage increase is due to the library district’s population decrease.

Data was sourced from the Illinois Public Library Annual Report (IPLAR), an annual report from the Illinois State Library and Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. The population data included in the IPLAR dataset is sourced from the 2020 Census. To be consistent with the data source, we have also calculated the percentage of residents with library cards based on the number of cardholders divided by the total 2020 Census population.

Source: Illinois State Library, Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.

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Data last updated June 8, 2022
Metadata last updated unknown
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Format CSV
License Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL)
Createdover 2 years ago
Media typetext/csv
Size2618
Has viewsTrue
Id4b9b615d-7d0c-42b4-9e87-50a064c98a1b
On same domainTrue
Package id4454517f-4b0f-4a6b-95b2-731491b12e4e
Revision idd2eaf050-2670-416b-9167-dd672f01a1ae
Stateactive
Url typeupload