Report on Coverage Evaluation of the Public Library Statistics Program: A Report

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U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 1994 - Public libraries - 163 pages
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This report reflects the results of an evaluation of the coverage in the annual Public Library Statistics program, a joint federal-state information collection project. It is the first phase of a broader project of the Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to evaluate the overall statistics available from the annual Public Library Statistics program. The report contains four sections. Section 1 is a summary of findings. Among the findings were the following: (1) the coverage in the annual program is very nearly complete (99.5 percent); and (2) there is a degree of inconsistency for reporting information about public libraries. Section 2 describes the methodology of the evaluation study. Section 3 describes the findings of this first phase of the evaluation in detail. Section 4 consists of individual state descriptions. Each state description contains a summary of the coverage rates, a descriptive evaluation, a brief description of the relationship to the Census of Governments library directory, lists of specific public libraries and sources of undercount or overcount in the NCES dataset, a description of branch library counts, and additional findings of note. There are two broad purposes of this evaluation. First, it is an evaluation of coverage, intended to raise specific issues for discussion among NCES, the Federal State Cooperative System (FSCS), and the states. Secondly, it is the starting point for evaluating additional issues of the statistical program, including definitions and the accuracy/reliability of various library service measures that result from the program. (MES)

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