Note: This is just a first stab at extracting information from IMLS reports, which it turns out is not as easy as I had originally hoped ;) see next post for more accurate findings.
Preliminary closing data
I recently came across a few blog posts that discussed having some difficulty finding data on public library closures. So I decided to dive into the raw data files from the IMLS and see what I could find. Here are the numbers for 2008 and 2009 the only years that specifically record closures. For a sense of scale each year we see about 1/2% of public libraries close, and half of that are branch libraries.
I have a few ideas on how I can expand this (look for libraries that don’t repeat in the next years data). I’d really like the expand on this is data a bit more, and I have a few interesting projects I’d like to try out as well. Sometime soon expect data for years from 1998-2009 if not further back.
As an added bonus I’ve also posted the source for the code I’ve been working on tonight in order to pull this data together. Feel free to play on your own!
Data Source: IMLS