Facts At A Glance (Library of Congress Annual Report 2021)

NISO Member News

The Library of Congress’ Annual Report for 2021 was published in August of 2022. The 50-page report documents accomplishments in researcher access, acquisitions, collection use and preservation. Of particular interest as institutions consider their own productivity, page 11 is entitled Facts at a Glance, providing statistics on the volume of work handled by a Library staff of just over 3100 individuals. Below is a sampling of what's included on that page:

+731k responses to reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies. (Note: Direct use of Congressional Research Service reports is included in this calculation.)

86 petabytes of digital storage in use recorded. The material on the Library’s websites alone totals 5 petabytes.

More than 21.5m copies of braille, audio and large print items circulated to patrons, via the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled and its network of state and local libraries 

403.6k copyright registrations issued and recorded 

154.5k items circulated for use inside and outside the Library 

2.2m preservation actions performed on items in the Library’s physical collections, with a further 3.4m pages of materials prepared and shipped to vendors for preservation reformatting services 

7.5m items placed under inventory control in the Library’s preservation facility at Fort Meade

$802.1m total operating budget authority, including $757.3m in appropriations and the additional authority to spend $44.8m in offsetting receipts. 

The Library recorded a total of 173,731,463 items in its collections, including: 

  • +25.2m cataloged books in the Library of Congress Classification system 
  • +15.7m items in the nonclassified print collections 
  • +132.7m items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including: 
  • 4.2m audio materials 
  • 75.7m manuscripts 5.6m maps 
  • 17.5m microforms 
  • 1.9m moving images 
  • 8.2m items of sheet music 
  • 2m other (including machine readable items) 
  • 17.5m visual materials

For in-depth information, we encourage you to read the full report: https://www.loc.gov/static/portals/about/reports-and-budgets/documents/annual-reports/fy2021.pdf