Earlier this summer, the Oxford University Press’ Social Explorer analyzed the evolution of the library profession through 120 years of census data. The report revealed that Vermont, Washington D.C., Rhode Island, Alabama, and New Hampshire have the highest concentrations of librarians in the country.
Here’s more from the article: “For the first 110 years of data, the number of librarians increased, especially after World War II. In 1990, the trend reversed. Over the past 20 years, the number of librarians has dropped by 31 percent, though the decline has slowed. Considering the nation today, the states with the largest librarian populations are: Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Texas and California.”
The report outlined a distressing decline in the number of working librarians over the last 30 years–a trend we fear will only increase during our deep recession. The American Library Association (ALA) has some current facts in its 2011 State of America’s Libraries Report. Track library funding at these three ALA sites: Federal Library Funding News, Public Library Funding News and School Library Funding News.