About the Public Libraries Survey

The Montana Public Libraries Survey (PLS), also referred to as the Public Library Annual Statistical Report, provides statistics on the status of public libraries in Montana. It is also required under Administrative Rule 10.102.1155 and the Public Library Standards to receive State Aid. These statistics are in turn submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), allowing peer comparisons between libraries of similar variables across the country. 

Data includes information about library visits, circulation, size of collections, public service hours, staffing, electronic resources, operating revenues and expenditures and number of service outlets. These data are used by federal, state and local officials, professional associations, and local practitioners for planning, evaluation, and policy making. 

Montana Public Libraries Survey FY 2023

Collection for fiscal year 2023 (7/1/2022-6/30/2023) opens Monday, October 2, 2023 and closes Thursday, November 30, 2023.

PLS Training and Assistance

New this year, libraries will report their data using the software Counting Opinions LibPAS. Training for this new product will be provided via recorded web tutorials and printable guides.The state data coordinator, Rebekah Kamp, will host a session on LibPAS and the Public Libraries Survey via the MSL Learn Webinar Series on August 31 at 10:00am and at the 2023 Fall Workshop in Great Falls on September 19 at 10:30am. The data coordinator also will host drop-in office hours to address director questions on the following dates:

If the above times do not work for your schedule, please contact Rebekah Kamp at rkamp@mt.gov to make an appointment. 

Survey Changes

The FY 2023 survey eliminates questions related to COVID-19. The Montana State Library will request information regarding buildings, salaries, and broadband. This information will help MSL and its Network Advisory Council better understand opportunities for supporting libraries in Montana. Read more about the rationale for adding these questions. Please see the Survey Instrument: Worksheet for a complete list of questions and Survey Instrument: Data Element Definitions for complete descriptions. 

Guides and Documents