Public Library Blogs: Your help requested, maybe?

Monday update: With only six libraries left, please see this post instead. Tuesday update: DONE! Thanks to all who responded so promptly.

As noted in the revised version of this post, I’ve completed Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples–but it won’t be available as a book for a few more weeks.

One reason for that is that I’m lacking really solid service area population figures for a few of the 196 libraries involved. These libraries don’t have administrative data in Worldcat Registry (which I used for most libraries), either because they’re not U.S. libraries, they’re part of a larger administrative unit, or whatever reason. I was able to use library annual reports or other indirect but clear counts for library service area population in some cases, but in others I relied on census data for the town, city or region (as reported in Wikipedia, which I do regard as reasonably reliable for that sort of information).

The service area population for a library doesn’t affect its blogs directly, of course, and isn’t used in any of the metrics for the book. But it is a factor in considering “comparable libraries” when you’re thinking about blogging, so I’d like to have numbers that aren’t too far off.

I’m going to do a little more looking for solid numbers and will try to send email to each of the libraries involved. If you’re at one of these libraries or knows someone who is, could you (or could you ask them to) email me the current service area population? ( You or they might also want to flesh out the Worldcat Registry entry…

UPDATE: I’ve found 2004 NCES figures for all but two of the U.S. libraries, and Simon Chamberlain provided NZ census figures for Wellington. Those lines now appear in italics [changed to strikeout on Monday, August 13], with the new number in square brackets. So it’s only the ones not in italics where I still need numbers–unless you know that the NCES numbers are seriously out of date.]

Second Update: Turns out Clearwater has a number in a page on their blog that I just missed (essentially identical to the number I already had), and a librarian at Pelham has given me a response…so I’m really down to one U.S. and a few other libraries still not quite accounted for. I’m working on emails now. To make the ones still open more obvious, I’ve changed the others to strikeout instead of italics and boldfaced the ones still missing.

Here’s the list:

  • The Village Library of Morgantown, Morgantown, Pennsylvania 19543. [9,200 NCES]
  • West Palm Beach Public Library, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401. [101,000 NCES]
  • Clearwater Public Library, Clearwater, Florida 33755. [110,000 website]
  • St. Joseph County Public Library, South Bend, Indiana 46601. [173,000 NCES]
  • Delphi Public Library, Delphi, Indiana 46923. [7,900]
  • River Rouge Public Library, River Rouge, Michigan 48218. [9,900 rounded,confirmed by director]
  • Hibbing Public Library, Hibbing, Minnesota 55746. [17,000 rounded]
  • Fargo Public Library, Fargo, North Dakota 58102. [91,000]
  • Kansas City, Kansas Public Library, Kansas City, Kansas 66101. [150,000]
  • County of Prince Edward Public Library, Picton, Ontario K0K 2K0.
  • Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 1X8.
  • The Town of Pelham Public Library, Fonthill, Ontario, Canada L0S 1E0. [16,000]
  • Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library, Bradford, Ontario, Canada L3Z 2A7.
  • Georgina Public Libraries, Keswick, Ontario, Canada L4P 3P7 [45,000
  • Guelph Public Library, Guelph, Ontario N1H 4J6. [115,000]
  • Cambridge Libraries & Galleries, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada N1S 2K6 [124,000, city site]
  • Waterloo Public Library, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 5E2 [113,000]
  • John M. Cuelenaere Public Library, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada S6V 1B7.
  • Brooks Public Library, Brooks, Alberta, Canada T1R 1B9. [15,700]
  • St. Albert Public Library, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada T8N 3Z9.
  • Greater Victoria Public Library, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3H2. [300,000: library website]
  • Sutherland Shire Libraries, Mitcham, Victoria, Australia 3132.New South Wales, Australia [205,000 Au census]
  • Galway Public Libraries, County Galway, Ireland.
  • Wellington City Libraries, Wellington, New Zealand [180,000 NZ census]

I’d really appreciate responses within a week, if possible. If no responses are received, I’ll use the figures I currently have, which are (giving just the Zip/post cod and population pairs):

19543/3,800; 33401/108,000; 33755/109,000; 46601/266,000; 46923/8,200; 48218/9,900; 55746/17,000; 58102/93,000; 66101/147,000

K0K 2K0/25,000; K7L 1X8/152,000; L0S 1E0/15,000; L3Z 2A7/24,000; L4P 3P7/42,000; N1H 4J6/115,000; N1S 2K6/124,000; N2L 5E2/113,000; S6V 1B7/34,000; T1R 1B9/12,000; T8N 3Z9/56,000; V8W 3H2/312,000

Sutherland Shire 392,000; Galway, Ireland 231,000; Wellington, New Zealand 449,000

Any help greatly appreciated!

7 Responses to “Public Library Blogs: Your help requested, maybe?”

  1. Simon Chamberlain says:

    Your numbers for Wellington, NZ are high.

    You’ve probably posted the population for the Wellington region as a whole. There are actually three other library systems in that region (Porirua, Lower Hutt, and Upper Hutt). Wellington City Libraries itself serves a population of around 180,000 (source, Statistics NZ Census, Regional Summary Tables:; also

    (Don’t get me started on why a region of 450,000 people has four different city councils…..)

  2. walt says:

    Simon, Thanks! That’s one down, several to go. (Actually, I’ve found three-year-old NCES figures for some of the U.S. libraries, and I’ll use those if I don’t hear better ones: 9,200 for Morgantown, 101,000 for West Palm Beach, 173,000 for St. Joseph County, 7,900 for Delphi, 17,000 rounded for Hibbing–no change, 91,000 for Fargo, and 150,000 for Kansas City.)

    So that really leaves Clearwater, River Rouge, and the Canadian, Australian, and Irish systems.

  3. Walt,

    Sutherland Shire – is actually in NSW. Their stats can be found at There is a Mitcham in Victoria, but its part of the Whitehorse Manningham Library Corporation. If its not either one of these, let me know and I’ll see what I can find out for you.


  4. Nancy says:

    Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 1X8 – population for Frontenac County is 143,865 (2006 census figures at

  5. walt says:

    Nancy: That’s pretty close to the figure I already had (152,000); I guess the question is whether I should assume that county population is the same as service area population.

    Michelle: I don’t know how I managed to relocate Sutherland Shire to Victoria from New South Wales, but I’ve fixed that in my master spreadsheet and will fix it in the book. And unless I hear differently from the library, I’ll reduce the service area population to 205,000, what I find at the link you provided. THanks.

  6. Just sending this to confirm that Pelham’s postal code is L0S 1E0 however our population has increased to 16,000. Stephanie Stowe Library Director

  7. walt says:

    Stephanie, thanks!

    In general: There’s enough new data that I’ve now used strikeouts for all the ones where I think I have solid numbers and boldface for the ones I’d still like better info… and I’m working on the emails.