US Library Data Archive

NCES/IMLS Raw Public Library files


Data | Documentation | Publications about public libraries | Reports | History

Introduction

This page provides links to the raw Public Library data, documentation, summary analysis of those public libraries from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, reports on specific public library subjects and methodological studies, as well has historic publications about the formation of the public library data collection effort. The data from fiscal years 1987-2005 were collected through the Federal State Cooperative System for Public Library data (FSCS) and those since these data were under the aegis of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services in the Public Library Survey program. However, the collections available here have been gathered from a number of sources and in an opportunistic fashion. Early years of the data were not available the NCES Web site and were collected from original diskettes where possible mostly from the NCLIS collection. 1987-1989 came from the Interuniversity for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

ICPSR also proved have archival copies of other library data, including early public library data collected through the Library General Information Survey (LIBGIS). These data are also on this site with documentation. A spreadsheet lists these data with the ICPSR numbering.

In addition to archiving the data and their documentation, ICSPR also made available programs to read the ASCII files from the early years. These programs were written in SAS and SPSS, two widely used statistical utilities. These programs are included here in the documentation for the three years they are available.

A number of the publications here are the results of scans and conversion of the orginals into pdf files. We are all particularly indebted to Barbara Holton of NCES for many of these fugitive documents. Too many bore a handwritten note: "Only copy."

There is a longitudinal recompilation of two sets of public library data on this site for the years from 1987-2011. There are many, many earlier compilations by the US government going back even beyond the legendary Public Libraries in the United States, with the common title: “1876 Report”.

Names have files have been often been changed for the sake of consistency and to avoid multiple files with the same names. Moreover, on occasion, the (correct) practice has been to republish when errors have been found. The naming convention used by NCES has been to use the year of publication in the file name and then a sequential publication number. The revised publications for any year might have a completely different file name because it was published years later. How would one know which report or data are the most recent? What I have done—until this year—is tie the variable name to the publication. Data from X year have an X year file name. Revised files replace the obsolete files. Given the maturity of the data compilation and publication, I believe that this practice of renaming the files will no longer be necessary. This outcome is a preferred one—a compiler should intrude as little as possible on the path between collection of data and its use—so, I will enjoy the change. As always, we await further information.

Take a look at this excellent page and note several things. One is that data files available here and for years overlapping those in this table are no longer available. To me, the most notable are the files in Microsoft's Access database program which files I had downloaded from the NCES pages. They are gone from this IMLS page but available here. Good or bad? But the fact that IMLS has gone above and beyond the call by going back to 1992 and converted the raw data to file formats more commonly used today is uncommon. I hoist a tankard. Wonderful.

As one who has moved data from obsolete or disused formats to newer and more common formats for a bit of time, I understand the problem. The Access files remain here but what an abundance of new data formats now that the world has seemingly abandoned Access! Here, we have ASCII formatted files (the old standard, AKA “flat files”the ne plus ultra of data transfer...for a few years more—maybe), CSV files, XLS files, and more recently: SAS files, the elephant in the room. Many of the datasets for these years in these formats are new. We owe IMLS and Census thanks. SAS is used by many in this particular data world and the data reside mostly in SAS formatted files with data in other formats derived from these SAS-formatted files. Excel formatted files (xls files) are, of course, widely used, and csv files are a common means of moving spreadsheet data between such spreadsheet programs. As one who has used them all, I would say that Excel files are my last choice and used rarely. I prefer LibreOffice's Calc program for spreadsheet work because I find it has fewer bad habits than Excel. Of course, YMMV, and you have more choices thanks to IMLS. An excellent decision. I have added the csv and xls files to this page and back to their beginning. I have kept the IMLS filenames for these new data even given the episodic and minor name variations.




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Public Library Survey - Data
Type of file Year File type File name File size Notes
PLS/FSCS Data          
Data FY 2011 zipped ASCII pupld11a_ascii.zip 3.2MB Contains public library survey (pupld11a), state summary data (pusum11a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout11a).
Data FY 2011 zipped CSV pupld11a_csv.zip 2.9MB "
Data FY 2011 zipped XLS pupld11a_xls.zip 9MB "
Data FY 2011 zipped SAS pupld11a_sas.zip 2.9MB "
DataFY 2010 zipped ASCII pls2010a_ASCII.zip 3.2MB Contains public library survey (pupld10a), state summary data (pusum10a),
and the library outlet (branch) file (puout10a). Filename extensions vary.
Data FY 2010 zipped CSV pupld10a_csv.zip 2.9MB "
Data FY 2010 zipped XLS pupld10a_xls.zip 9MB "
Data FY 2010 zipped SAS pupld10a_sas.zip 2.9MB "
Data FY 2009 zipped ASCII pupld09a_ascii.zip 3.2MB Contains public library survey (pupld09a), state summary data (pusum09a),
and the library outlet (branch) file (puout09a). Filename extensions vary.
Data FY 2009 zipped CSV pupld09a_csv.zip 2.9MB "
Data FY 2009 zipped XLS pupld09a_xls.zip 9.6MB "
Data FY 2008 zipped ASCII pls2008a_ASCII.zip 3.2MB Contains public library survey (pupld08a), state summary data (pusum08a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout08a). Filename extensions vary.
Datasets are the versions with corrected data for Kansas. See IMLS's note on the matter.
Data FY 2008 zipped CSV pupld08a_csv.zip 2.9MB Contains public library survey (pupld08a), state summary data (pusum08a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout08a).
Data FY 2008 zipped XLS pupld08a_xls.zip 8.8MB "
Data FY 2007 zipped ASCII pls2007a_ASCII.zip 3.0MB Contains public library survey (pupld07a), state summary data (pusum07a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout07a).
Datasets are the versions with corrected data for Ohio. See: USER NOTE PUBLIC LIBRARIES SURVEY REPORT For Fiscal Year 2007
Data FY 2007 zipped CSV pupld07a_csv.zip 2.8MB "
Data FY 2007 zipped XLS pupld07a_xls.zip 8.5MB "
Data FY 2006 zipped ASCII pls2006a_ASCII.zip 2,485 KB Contains public library survey (pupld06a), state summary data (pusum06a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout06a). Filename extensions vary.
Data FY 2006 zipped CSV pupld06a_csv.zip 2.2MB "
Data FY 2006 zipped XLS pupld06a_xls.zip 7MB "
Data FY 2005 zipped ASCII pls2005a_ASCII.zip 2,451 KB Contains public library survey (pupld05a), state summary data (pusum05a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout05a). Filename extensions vary.
Data FY 2005 zipped CSV pupld05a_csv.zip 2.2MB "
Data FY 2005 zipped XLS pupld05a_xls.zip 6.8MB "
Data FY 2004 zipped ASCII pls2004a_ASCII.zip 2,406 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf04a), state summary data (pusum04a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout04a). Filename extensions vary.
Data FY 2004 zipped Access pls2004a_Access.zip 2,475 KB "
Data FY 2004 zipped CSV pupld04a_csv.zip 2.2MB "
Data FY 2004zipped XLS pupld04a_xls.zip 6.5MB "
Data FY 2003 zipped ASCII pls2003a_ASCII.zip 2,279 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf03a), state summary data (pusum03a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout03a).
Data FY 2003 zipped Access pls2003a_Access.zip 2,397 KB "
Data FY 2003 zipped CSV pupld03a_csv.zip 2.1MB "
Data FY 2003 zipped XLS pupld03a_xls.zip 6.1MB "
Data FY 2002 zipped ASCII pls2002b_ASCII.zip 2,192 KB Contains public library survey (pupld02b), state summary data (pusum02a), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout02a). (sic)
Data FY 2002 zipped Access pls2002b_Access.zip 2,453 KB "
Data FY 2002 zipped CSV pupld02b_csv.zip 2MB "
Data FY 2002 zipped XLS pupld02b_xls.zip 6.1MB "
Data FY 2001 zipped ASCII pls2001b_ASCII.zip 2,147 KB Contains public library survey (pupld01b), state summary data (pusum01), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout01).
Data FY 2001 zipped Access pls2001b_Access.zip 2,430 KB "
Data FY 2001 zipped CSV pupld01b_csv.zip 1.9MB "
Data FY 2001 zipped XLS pupld01b_xls.zip 5.3MB "
Data FY 2000 zipped ASCII pls2000_ASCII.zip 2,117 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf00), state summary data (pusum00), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout00).
Data FY 2000 zipped Access pls2000_Access.zip 2.4MB "
Data FY 2000 zipped CSV pupldF00_csv.zip 1.8MB "
Data FY 2000 zipped XLS pupldF00_xls.zip 6MB "
Codebook FY 2000 zipped pls2000.zip 4.1M Contains the complete FY 2000 data and documentation with executables.
Data FY 1999 zipped ASCII pls1999_ASCII.zip 2.2MB Contains public library survey (pupldf99), state summary data (pusum99), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout99).
Data FY 1999 zipped Access pls1999_Access.zip 2.3MB "
Data FY 1999 zipped csv pupldf99_csv.zip 1.8MB "
Data FY 1999 zipped xls pupldf99_xls.zip 6.5MB "
Data FY 1998 zipped ASCII pls1998_ASCII.zip 2,052 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf98), state summary data (pusum98), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout98).
Data FY 1998 zipped Access pls1998_Access.zip 2.4 MB "
Data FY 1998 zipped csv pupldf98_csv.zip 1.8 MB "
Data FY 1998 zipped xls pupldf98_xls.zip 5.2 MB "
Data FY 1997 zipped ASCII pls1997_ASCII.zip 2 MB Contains public library survey (pupldf97), state summary data (pusum97), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout97).
Data FY 1997 zipped Access pls1997_Access.zip 2.2 MB "
Data FY 1997 zipped csv pupld97a_csv.zip 1.8 MB "
Data FY 1997 zipped xls pupld97a_xls.zip 6 MB "
Data FY 1996 zipped ASCII pls1996_ASCII.zip 1,940 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf96), state summary data (pusum96), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout96).
Data FY 1996 zipped Access pls1996_Access.zip 2,176 KB "
Data FY 1996 zipped csv pupld96a_csv.zip 1.7 MB "
Data FY 1996 zipped xls pupld96a_xls.zip 5.7 MB "
Data FY 1995 zipped ASCII pls1995_ASCII.zip 1,904 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf95), state summary data (pusum95), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout95).
Data FY 1995 zipped Access pls1995_Access.zip 2.2 MB "
Data FY 1995 zipped csv pupld95a_csv.zip 1.7 MB "
Data FY 1995 zipped xls pupld9a5_xls.zip 5.5 MB "
Data FY 1994 zipped ASCII pls1994_ASCII.zip 1,855 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf94), state summary data (pusum94), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout94).
Data FY 1994 zipped Access pls1994_Access.zip 2,045 KB "
Data FY 1994 zipped csv pupld94a_csv.zip 1.7 MB "
Data FY 1994 zipped xls pupld94a_xls.zip 5.5 MB "
Data FY 1993 zipped ASCII pls1993_ASCII.zip 1,853 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf93), state summary data (pusum93), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout93).
Data FY 1993 zipped Access pls1993_Access.zip 2,137 KB "
Data FY 1993 zipped csv pupld93a_csv.zip 1.7 MB "
Data FY 1993 zipped xls pupld93a_xls.zip 5.5 MB "
Data FY 1992 zipped ASCII pls1992_ASCII.zip 1,837 KB Contains public library survey (pupldf92), state summary data (pusum92), and the library outlet (branch) file (puout92).
Data FY 1992 zipped Access pls1992_Access.zip 2.1 MB "
Data FY 1992 zipped csv pupld92a_csv.zip 1.6 MB "
Data FY 1992 zipped xls pupld92a_xls.zip 5.4 MB "
Data FY 1991 ASCII pls1991universe.txt contains the data file
pls1991summary.txt has state summary data
3,827 KB
25 KB
The original file was PUBLIB91.EXE, a self-extracting file. It is located in the PublicLibs\Data directory. It will execute on Windows machines. The various files this program creates are filed where they belong, that is, data are with data and documentation with documentation.
Data FY 1990 ASCII pls1990universe.txt contains the data file
pls1990summary.txt has state summary data
4,165 KB
25 KB
The original diskette contained PUBLIB90.EXE, a self-extracting file. It is located in the PublicLibs\Data directory. It will execute on Windows machines but will only extract PUBLIB90.TXT PUBLIB90.TXT was renamed pls1990universe.txt for this compilation. The diskette also contained CEFSUMM.TXT which was renamed pls1990summary.txt.
Data FY 1989 ASCII pls1989universe.txt
pls1989summary.txt has state summary data.
da2212.txt is the later edition.
4,318 KB
25 KB
This copy comes from ICPSR 9596, September 1991. It was also published as ICPSR 2212, March 2002. 9596 was used in PLDF3. By inspection, da2212.txt and pls1989universe.txt (originally da9596i.gz) appear to be the same. The summary file appears not to be available with the later version.
Data FY 1988 ASCII pls1988universe.txt 3,816 KB 7,910 library records, 45 summary records
ICPSR 2211
Data FY 1987 ASCII pls1987universe.txt 1,839 KB Summary data for each of the 19 reporting states is found as the first observation for that state.
ICPSR 2210, March 2002
LIBGIS Data          
Data 1981 ASCII da2279.txt 1,455 KB Library General Information Survey (LIBGIS) from ICPSR
Public Library Universe, 1981
A directory of "main" public libraries. 8,611 cases
ICPSR 2279, March 2002
Data FY 1977-1978 ASCII da2209.txt 1,558 KB Library General Information Survey (LIBGIS) III from ICPSR
Public Libraries, FY 1977-1978
ICPSR 2209, May 2002
Data 1977 ASCII da2207.txt 1,453 KB Library General Information Survey (LIBGIS) III
Public Library Universe, 1977
ICPSR 2207, March 2002
Data FY 1974 ASCII da2208.txt 1,143 KB Library General Information Survey (LIBGIS) I from ICPSR
Public Libraries, FY 1974
1,460 cases. Brief data on public libraries, branches, and some state libraries.
ICPSR 2208, March 2002
Data 1973 ASCII da2206.txt 1,521 KB Library General Information Survey (LIBGIS) I from ICPSR
Public Library Universe, 1973
8,996 cases. Stratified random sample.
ICPSR 2206, March 2002



Public Library Survey - Documentation
Type of file Year File type File name File size Notes
Documentation FY 2011 PDF pls20110doc.pdf 2.0 MB  
Documentation FY 2010 PDF pls2010doc.pdf 3.9 MB  
Documentation FY 2009 PDF pls2009doc.pdf 3.9 MB  
Documentation FY 2008 PDF pls2008doc.pdf 658 KB  
Documentation FY 2007 PDF pls2007doc.pdf 653 KB  
Documentation FY 2006 PDF pls2006doc.pdf 1,616 KB  
User note FY 2007 PDF USER NOTE PUBLIC LIBRARIES SURVEY REPORT For Fiscal Year 2007 20KB One page.
Documentation FY 2005 PDF pls2005doc.pdf 353 KB  
Documentation FY 2004 PDF pls2004doc.pdf 526 KB  
Documentation FY 2003 PDF pls2003doc.pdf 661 KB  
Documentation FY 2002 PDF pls2002bdoc.pdf 341 KB  
Documentation FY 2001 PDF pls2001bdoc.pdf 1,036 KB  
Documentation FY 2000 PDF pls2000doc.pdf 1,278 KB  
Documentation FY 1999 PDF pls1999doc.pdf 1,278 KB  
Documentation FY 1998 PDF pls1998doc.pdf 434 KB  
Documentation FY 1997 PDF pls1997doc.pdf 222 KB  
Documentation FY 1996 PDF pls1996doc.pdf 193 KB  
Documentation FY 1995 PDF pls1995doc.pdf 193 KB  
Documentation FY 1994 PDF pls1994doc.pdf 162 KB  
Documentation FY 1993 PDF pls1993doc.pdf 165 KB  
Documentation FY 1992 ASCII pls1992doc.pdf 152 KB  
Documentation FY 1991 ASCII pls1991doc.txt 105 KB  
Documentation FY 1990 ASCII pls1990doc.txt 77 KB  
Documentation FY 1989 ASCII pls1989doc.txt
Also published as cb2212.pdf
33 KB ICPSR 9596, September 1991.
ICPSR 2212, March 2002.
Each says "First ICPSR edition."
Documentation FY 1988 ASCII pls1988doc.pdf 402 KB ICPSR 2211, March 2002
Documentation FY 1987 ASCII pls1987doc.pdf 513 KB ICPSR 2210, March 2002
LIBGIS Documentation          
Documentation LIBGIS, 1981 PDF cb2279.pdf 1,306 KB ICPSR 2279, March 2002
Documentation LIBGIS III, FY 1977-1978 PDF cb2209.pdf
SAS program to read the data—sa2209.txt
SPSS program to read the data—sp2209.txt
1,306 KB ICPSR 2209, May 2002
Documentation LIBGIS III, Public Library Universe, 1977 PDF cb2207.pdf
SAS program to read the data—sa2207.txt
SPSS program to read the data—sp2207.txt
442 KB ICPSR 2207, March 2002
Documentation LIBGIS I, FY 1974 PDF cb2208.pdf
SAS program to read the data—sa2208.txt
SPSS program to read the data—sp2208.txt
1,600 KB ICPSR 2208, March 2002
Documentation LIBGIS I, Public Library Universe 1973 PDF cb2206.pdf
SAS program to read the data—sa2206.txt
SPSS program to read the data—sp2206.txt
1,600 KB ICPSR 2208, March 2002



NCES/IMLS Summary Data Publications about Public Libraries
Type of file Year File type File name File size Notes
Summary Report FY 2009 PDF PLS2009.pdf 3.9MB Public Libraries Survey, Fiscal Year 2009
Release date: October 2011.
Summary Report FY 2008 PDF PLS2008.pdf 1.8MB Public Libraries Survey, Fiscal Year 2008
Release date: June 2010. Revised: January 2011.
Summary Report FY 2007 PDF PLS2007.pdf 1.8MB Public Libraries Survey, Fiscal Year 2007
Release date: June 2009. Revised: September 2010.
Summary Report FY 2006 PDF PLS2006.pdf 1.6MB Public Libraries Survey, Fiscal Year 2006. December 2008
E.D. Tab/First Look FY 2005 PDF EDTabPLS2005.pdf
Supplementary Tables EDTabPLS2005_s.pdf
1,616 KB 608 KB
431 KB
 
E.D. Tab FY 2004 PDF EDTabPLS2004.pdf 1,055 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 2003 PDF EDTabPLS2003.pdf 1,066 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 2002 PDF EDTabPLS2002.pdf 1,075 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 2001 PDF EDTabPLS2001.pdf 507 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 2000 PDF EDTabPLS2000.pdf 447 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 1999 PDF EDTabPLS1999.pdf 437 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 1998 PDF EDTabPLS1998.pdf 431 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 1997 PDF EDTabPLS1997.pdf 610 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 1996 PDF EDTabPLS1996.pdf 1,125 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 1995 PDF EDTabPLS1995.pdf 968 KB  
E.D. Tab FY 1994 PDF EDTabPLS1994.pdf 548 KB  
(state rank order tables for FY 1994) FY 1994 PDF NCLIS 1994 public library state rankings 1,467 KB No title page. Handwritten note on first page: "Final / NCLIS Mailout / 4-17-97 (received in mail) / (second copy)"
Provenance is not clear but the typeface resembles that in NCES publications. The state rank order tables did not appear in the FY 1994 E.D. Tabs (above) but began appearing in FY 1995 and after.
E.D. Tab FY 1993 ASCII EDTabPLS1993.txt 59 KB  
(state rank order tables for FY 1993) FY 1993 PDF Public Libraries in the United States, FY 1993: Selected Data and Rankings, by state 6,077 KB First page of this pdf file is a fax transmittal sheet dated "6-25-97" to Keith Lance from Elaine Kroe. The state rank order tables are now published in the E.D. Tabs but did not appear there before the FY 1995 report.
E.D. Tab FY 1992 ASCII EDTabPLS1992.txt 90 KB  
(state rank order tables for 1991) 1991 PDF State Rankings of Selected Public Library Data, 1991 2,441 KB The state rank order tables are now published in the E.D. Tabs but did not appear there before the FY 1995 report. However, the data for 1991 are not comparable to those for 1992 or later.
Historical Report 1982 PDF Statistics of Public Libraries, 1982 223 KB Four page summary statistics. Published in 1986
8,597 public libraries in 1982
  1977-1978 PDF Statistics of Public Libraries, 1977-1978 6,930 KB Equivalent to a current E.D. Tab or First Look
8,456 public libraries in 1978



NCES Reports
Title Date File size Notes
Bridge Study of the Imputation Methods for the Public Libraries Survey (PLS): FY2006-08 2009? 578 KB ED Tab
19 pages
IMLS changed and adapted the imputation methods with the FY 2008 Survey.
Households' Use of Public and Other Types of Libraries: 2002 January 2007 165 KB
NCES 2007-327,
98 pages
Measuring Inflation in Public Libraries: A Comparison of Two Approaches, the Input Cost Index and the Cost Services Index April 1999 6.6 MB Statistical Analysis Report
NCES 1999-325,
96 pages
from ERIC: ED 428 780
Use of Public Library Services by Households in the United States: 1996 February 1997 48 KB Statistics in Brief
NCES 97-446,
12 pages
Public Library Structure and Organization in the United States March 1996 2,170 KB Technical Report
NCES 96-229,
48 pages
Report on Evaluation of Definitions Used in the Public Library Statistics Program January 1995 4,828 KB Technical Report
NCES 95-430,
132 pages
Services and Resources for Children and Young Adults in Public Libraries August 1995 5,710 KB Fast Response Survey System
NCES 95-357,
132 pages
Finance Data in the Public Library Statistics Program: Definitions, Internal Consistency, and Comparisons to Secondary Sources April 1995 4,834 KB Technical Repor
NCES 95-209,
69 pages
Staffing Data in the Public Library Statistics Program Definitions, Internal Consistency, and Comparisons to Secondary Sources August 1995 4,556 KB Fast Response Survey System
NCES 95-186,
70 pages
Data Comparability and Public Policy: New Interest in Public Library Data; Papers Presented at Meetings of The American Statistical Association November 1994 11,408 KB Working Paper No 94-07,
94 pages
Services and Resources for Children in Public Libraries, 1988-89. Contractor Report March 1990 1,997 KB Survey Report
NCES 90-098,
40 pages


The following are documents funded or sponsored by NCES and/or NCLIS but not published by NCES.

Historical Documents
Title Date File size Notes
Report on the Library and Information Services Policy Forum on Impact of Information Technology and Special Programming on Library Services to Special Populations May 20-21, 1996 4,166 KB 74 pages
Proceedings of the Library and Information Services Policy Forum; Changes in Library and Information Services: 1996-2001 May 15-16, 1995 6,890 KB Funded by NCES and Co-sponsored by the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
116 pages
Library and Information Services Policy: A Forum Report September 23-24, 1993 6,077 KB Sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
113 pages
An Action Plan for a Federal-State Cooperative System for Public Library Data April 1989 2,880 KB Supported by the U.S. Nation Commission on Libraries and Information Science and the National Center for Education Statistics
70 pages
Analysis of Library Data Collection and Development of Plans for the Future, Final Report to the National Center for Education Statistics November 15, 1984 6,521 KB by Mary Jo Lynch
153 pages
Library Human Resources: A Study of Supply and Demand: A report prepared for the National Center for Education Statistics and the Office of Libraryies and Learning Technology by King Research, Inc 1983 10,401 KB issued by the American Library Association
243 pages

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