Submitting the Annual Report for Public Libraries

The annual report provides a broad statistical summary of a year in the life of a public library, from visitation and programming, to finances and staffing, to circulation and holdings (both physical and digital). The report is submitted each year by every public library, and is used by our department as well as IMLS to help plan for the future, and to document the significance of libraries throughout the nation.

Most questions are determined by IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) with input from the State Data Coordinators. A few questions have been specifically added by the Vermont Department of Libraries.

Updated dates for this year's submission:

  • Dates for 2021: Oct. 28, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021
  • Extension available (by request) to Jan. 14, 2021
  • Web Address -
  • Username and passwords are unchanged, and are being sent (along with other pertinent info) to the point of contact for each library.

What time period does the report cover?

This is one of the most potentially confusing aspects of the report. Libraries use many different fiscal calendars: Calendar Year (Jan 1-Dec 31), Traditional Fiscal Year (July 1-June 30), Federal Fiscal Year (Oct 1-Sept 30), and others!

Libraries should submit their last fiscal year that ended by Oct. 15. If they follow the traditional (July-June) or Federal (Oct-Sept) fiscal years, submit the current year (2020-2021. However, if you follow the calendar year (Jan-Dec), you should submit last year’s data (2020). I know this seems weird.

Please note – Libraries who are off schedule (who submitted Jan-Dec of 2020 last year, for example), should reach out to me.

Screenshot of New Portal

What's new for 2021?

  • New Questions - Do you charge fines (yes/no). Non-tradition items, number and circulation. We've added a question for Bookmobile/Branch hours and weeks open (rather than just asking via email).
  • Changed Questions - The programming questions have added two new age categories (0-5 and general audience), and one new location (off-site, as opposed to on-site or virtual). We've simplified the grant questions, so that there are checkboxes for which grants you received, but then we just ask for totals by category (state, federal, other). We've clarified the technology training question.
  • Removed Questions - We took out the "Successes" and "What's New" narrative questions, and are going to ask them in a separate survey twice a year.
  • Updated language and fixed questions so that they aren't presented out of order.

Important Tips

  • Browser Buttons - You should avoid using your browser's back and forward buttons with the survey site, and should only use the site's Prev / Next buttons and the left side navigation to move between the pages. The survey is made to save content when any of those are clicked, while forward and back can cause it to lose filled-in information or otherwise behave strangely.
  • Browsers - Google Chrome seems to work best (if available). Mozilla Firefox should work, but could have quirks. Please avoid Microsoft Edge, as there are reports of issues.
  • Multiple Users - You should avoid having more than one person (or even more than one tab) open in the report at once, as their work can easily overwrite one another.
  • Stats for Online Resources - We've added a page to help with finding statistics for Vermont Online Library, Learning Express, Overdrive, and more - Online Stats Help Page (still needs to be updated for the current year)
  • Write It Down - The report shouldn't be the only place a number is written down, in case any of the data in the report disappears or gets overwritten. If you have any numbers that would be hard to come up with again (i.e. from a report, or that you were told over the phone), I recommend writing them down at least until you've submitted.

Useful Information

Data from Previous Years

You can find the data submitted from previous years on our Public Library Statistics page.