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Public Library Annual Survey

OLIS collects and analyzes financial, service and staffing data from Rhode Island public libraries annually through the Rhode Island Public Library Annual Survey (PLAS). The survey is administered using the Rhode Island LibPAS Portal. The PLAS also serves as the certification and application process for state aid to libraries, often referred to as state grant-in-aid (GIA). Public libraries applying for state GIA must submit the Public Library Annual Survey each year.

The reporting period for the PLAS is the state fiscal year, July 1 - June 30. The survey opens July 15 and closes September 15 every year, providing directors a two-month window for reporting data.

Rhode Island LibPAS Portal

Instructions, guides, and other support materials for completing the PLAS are available in two locations.

RI LibPAS Portal: The Public Libraries page on the portal contains links to documents and external resources that provide general guidance about the survey, as well as guidance for collecting specific types of data. 

Public Library Annual Survey LibGuide: Visit this LibGuide to find video tutorials, written instructions, forms, presentation slides and recordings, and FAQs, in addition to tools and materials for individual sections of the PLAS.

About Grant-in-Aid and Standards Certification

Public Library Grant-in-Aid: Visit this page for information about the program, eligibility, procedures, and payments.

Public Library Standards: Visit this page for information about public library standards and waiver procedure.

GIA & Certification on the PLAS

Instructions, guides, required forms, and other support materials to assist in the completion of the grant-in-aid process and standards certification are available in the two locations linked in Support Materials (above).

Request to Reallocate GIA

Request for Waiver of Minimum Standards

In addition to the comparative statistics reports produced by OLIS, public libraries can access their survey data though the Rhode Island LibPAS Portal. Several templates have been created to allow users to quickly obtain data about their library and compare their library to others. Users can also create custom reports.

Instructions: Using merge documents and report templates

Screencast: Demo of creating custom reports using LibPAS

Recording: Webinar demonstrating custom reports and report filters (2021)

Contact Kelly Metzger for assistance with reports in LibPAS.


Comparative Statistics Reports

OLIS participates in the national Public Libraries Survey (PLS), which is administered annually by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Data submitted to the PLS goes through a vetting process to ensure accuracy. Preliminary data is returned to the states annually, but is not considered finalized until published by IMLS. The data made available by OLIS through comparative statistics reports is preliminary data.

Below are the most recent comparative statistics reports from the PLAS. To view reports from previous years, visit the Document Repository, choose 'Public Library Annual Survey' from the Area dropdown menu, and click Apply.