The Seattle Public Library

Your Account | Print-Friendly

February 22, 2018

About the Library

Library News Releases

Header Image

Library News Release

Release Date: 08/23/2012

The Seattle Public Library tops international survey in circulation and visits

The Seattle Public Library ranks first in circulation, in-person visits, and virtual visits, according to a survey from the Metropolitan Libraries section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).


Based on 2010 statistics from 59 libraries from around the world, Seattle ranked ahead of libraries in comparably-sized cities, including Boston, Helsinki and Vancouver, British Columbia.


"We are extremely proud to receive this recognition," said Seattle City Librarian Marcellus Turner. "We have been ranked one of the best library systems in the country based on the use of our services, and now also one of the best libraries in the world. This shows the high value and importance our community places on our public libraries and the resources we provide."


In 2010, The Seattle Public Library had a circulation of 11.4 million items. It had 7 million in person visits and 7.3 million virtual visits. This put the Library at the top of the rankings for cities with a population of between 500,000 and 749,000. The Seattle Public Library ranks second for number of Internet sessions on Library computers and third in library cardholders measured as a percentage of the population. 


"Our Library is well-loved and well-used," said Marie McCaffrey, president of The Seattle Public Library board of trustees. "We strive to provide all members of our community with world-class services and resources."


The IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Annual Statistical Survey collects information from member libraries in cities with populations above 400,000. Data collected includes population, number of libraries and staff, budgets, acquisitions, fees, collections and materials, membership, visitors, loans, opening hours, enquiries, Internet provision and usage, multicultural activities and outreach services.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

< Back To Index