Libraries & Archives Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 5/6/2024
SIC Codes: 8231
NAICS Codes: 51921
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Libraries & Archives Industry Profile

Organizations in this industry provide library or archive services, maintaining collections of print and electronic documents (such as books, journals, newspapers, and music) and facilitating their use for informational, research, educational, or recreational purposes. Major libraries and archives include the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the New York Public Library (all based in the US), as well as the British Library, Library Archives Canada, and the Russian State Library.

The world is home to about 320,000 public libraries, according to the British Council. About 75% of libraries are located in developing and transitioning countries.

The US libraries and archives industry includes 2,000 establishments with combined annual revenue of about $2 billion.


Demand is driven by population. The success of libraries and archives depends on efficient operations and consistent funding. Large organizations may benefit from economies of scale in purchasing and administration. Small organizations can succeed by specializing or by serving an engaged community.

Libraries and archives compete with other nonprofit organizations for public and private funding and with other personal and professional obligations for volunteers. Libraries compete with bookstores for consumer access to books and reading-related programming, and with the internet, TV, museums, and parks for consumer leisure time.


School libraries account for about 85% of US libraries, according to the American Library Association (ALA). Public libraries, established under state laws to serve a community, district, or region, account for ...

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