What are we measuring?

This measure tracks the annual spending on operations for the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System.  The annual figures include expenditures for staff, collection materials, and other operational expenses but exclude capital expenditures, which may be large but vary drastically from year to year.

Why are we measuring it?

The quality of the services a library system provides is largely determined by the the amount of funding it receives.  The largest part of a library's expenditures generally goes into maintaining a professional staff, but as technology plays an increasingly important role in library services, funding is critical in building and maintaining a digital collection and computer-based resources.  

How are we doing?

In 2018, the Fulton County Library System spent $24.41 per resident, ranking it above only one of its national benchmark counties (see the chart below). The Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, ranked first among the national benchmarks, spent over four times as much in 2018. The Fulton County Library System fell in between the two regional library systems for which data were available (Gwinnett and DeKalb).
Total per capita expenditures by the Fulton County Library System have generally trended downward since 2010, at which time the library system spent about $30 per resident.