Public libraries

Table description


This table presents an overview of the number of public libraries, the number of volumes in collections, the number of volumes lent out to the public, registered users, the staff working for public libraries and their operating costs and revenues.

Data available from: 1999.

Status of the figures:
The figures for 2020 are preliminary. All other figures are final.

Changes as of 8 July 2021:
The final figures for 2019 have been published.
The preliminary figures for 2020 have been added.

When will new figures be published?
Preliminary figures for 2021 will be published in July 2022.

Description topics

Volume collections
The overall collection including material lent out and specific sub collections for educational purposes, for lending counters in hospitals, homes for the elderly, etc. excluding mobile libraries.
From 2006 onwards there are no figures on magazine single issues and other collections due to a lack of quality in the underlying data. E-books are excluded from these numbers.
More information on the digital public library can be found in the table explanation.
Books
Physical books. E-books are excluded from these numbers.
More information on the digital public library can be found in the table explanation.
Books for adults >= 18 yrs
Fiction
Stories mainly derived from the imagination of the writer. For example: fairy tales, novels, plays, poetry and comic books are often classified as fiction.
Non-fiction
Texts mainly used to convey information. For example: informative books in general, dictionaries, essays, scientific works, study books and travel guides. Newspaper and magazine articles are classified as non-fiction as well.
From 2008 onwards including reference books.
Books for young people =< 17 yrs
Fiction
Stories mainly derived from the imagination of the writer. For example: fairy tales, novels, plays, poetry and comic books are often classified as fiction.
Non-fiction
Texts mainly used to convey information. For example: informative books in general, dictionaries, essays, scientific works, study books and travel guides. Newspaper and magazine articles are classified as non-fiction as well.
From 2008 onwards including reference books.
Volumes lent out to the public
Total number of volumes lent out to the public by libraries, excluding mobile libraries and excluding e-books. More information on the digital public library can be found here in the table explanation.
From 2006 onwards there are no figures on magazine single issues and other material due to a lack of quality in the underlying data. In 2008 libraries adjusted their reported data on volumes lent out to the public for the number of extensions of items already lent out. Because of this the number of volumes lent out to the public is somewhat lower than would have been the case without the adjustment.
Books
Books for adults >= 18 yrs
Fiction
Stories mainly derived from the imagination of the writer. For example: fairy tales, novels, plays, poetry and comic books are often classified as fiction.
Non-fiction
Texts mainly used to convey information. For example: informative books in general, dictionaries, essays, scientific works, study books and travel guides. Newspaper and magazine articles are classified as non-fiction as well.
From 2008 onwards including reference books.
Books for young people =< 17 yrs
Fiction
Stories mainly derived from the imagination of the writer. For example: fairy tales, novels, plays, poetry and comic books are often classified as fiction.
Non-fiction
Texts mainly used to convey information. For example: informative books in general, dictionaries, essays, scientific works, study books and travel guides. Newspaper and magazine articles are classified as non-fiction as well.
From 2008 onwards including reference books.
Operating costs and revenues
Operating revenues excluding withdrawals from reserves and negative balances.
Operating costs excluding transfers to reserves and positive balances.
Costs
Excluding transfers to reserves and positive balances.
Administration and ICT