This map shows the number of public libraries and the number of visits to public libraries per municipality in the Nordic Region in 2016.
The purple circles indicate the number of visits to public libraries in 2016. The larger the circle, the greater the number of visits to public libraries. The pink bars indicate the number of public libraries per municipality. The higher the bar, the greater the number of public libraries.
The role of libraries in society is evolving. For this reason, it is essential to consider what the relevant indicators are for measuring accessibility or the possibility of taking part in library activities. Book lending, while still probably the primary task of libraries, is however now only one of the many kinds of services provided and, as such, is no longer a general indicator for library use.
Since library services is a municipal responsibility in the Nordic countries, and there is an international ISO-standard (2789), the conditions for comparability exist on all levels. Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Sweden and Åland all comply with this standard, and from 2016, Norway revised its statistics to comply with the ISO standard. Data on the number of library visits in Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands is however still not openly available. Data on the number of public libraries for the Faroe Islands and Greenland are presented at the national level. There is no data on the number of visitor per library available for the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. The data for Denmark is from 2015 and data for some municipalities is missing.