CIPFA statistics headlines
The latests library statistics on libraries from the professional body CIPFA are now out and reveal some interesting trends.
There has been a big increase in volunteering capacity within libraries with a rise of 22.3% in the numbers of people volunteering between 2009/10 and 2010/11. There has been an overall increase of 69% in volunteering since 2006/7.
There has been a marginal increase in children's fiction loans of 0.4% over the last year. This means that children's loans have continued to increase over a 7 year period showing a total increase of 13% over the period. The biggest increase year on year was between 2007/8 and 2008/9 when there was a 6% rise.
Over the same period, there has been a 14% decrease in adult fiction loans. There seems to be no slowing up in the rate of decline. Adult fiction loans dropped by (4%) this year compared to (1%) between 2008/9 and 2009/10.
The drop in adult non-fiction loans is greater than fiction at (5.7%) in 2010/11
There are bit regional variations in overall loan figures. The biggest drops are evident in NW (5.1%), W Mids (4.1%) and YH (3.8%) compared to London (0.7%) and NE (1.8%)
Visits decreased by (2.3%) overall in England but increased by almost 1% in Wales. Regionally the picture is mixed with the biggest drops in the SE (4.8%), W Mids (4.8%) and smallest decreases in Eastern, SW and Wales where the drop has been less than (1%).
Numbers of active borrowers have decreased by (1.5%) from last year but again there are big regional differences. Biggest drops in E Mids, (4.4%), NE (4.0%) and West Mids (7%). In contrast, there has been an increase of 8% in active borrowers in Wales
Book stock has declined by (0.9%) overall with the biggest decline evident in the NW (4.9%). There has been an increase in book stock in SW 6% and YH 4%
Big surprise here in that the number of web visits which has risen sharply by 79% over the past 4 years, has dropped by 5% in 2010/11.
Total net expenditure on the library service is down by (2.3%) but the estimated drop from 2009/10 to 11/12 is (7.3). Materials expenditure on books and newspapers has decreased by (9.0%).
The biggest reductions in total net expenditure on the library service was in the Eastern region where the reduction has been (9.5%) compared to the next highest reduction of (3.6%) in YH
The biggest decline in book acquisitions is in the area of adult non fiction where there has been a decrease of (13.7) perhaps reflecting online interventions. There has been around (7%) decreases in the acquisition of adult and children's fiction
Library statistics in detail
The latest library statistics from the government's big Taking Part survey show that public use of libraries has held relatively steady since 2008, with around 40% of the population using their local library. An astonishing 76.4% of 5 to 10 year olds use the library. Compared to other cultural facilities, libraries are used by a high percentage of people from deprived areas (39.8%).
The survey shows how important reading is in people's lives - 65.8% of adults cite it as their main free time activity, compared to going to the cinema (47.7%) or visiting museums and galleries (32.6%) - highlighting a big opportunity for libraries to introduce readers to the new look library reading service.
These statistics run alongside recent debate about volunteer-run libraries. We think volunteering in libraries is important, but not as a substitute for professionally staffed libraries. See the BookBrunch article by our director Miranda McKearney
Libraries offer an unrivalled national and local network of community sites and outreach facilities.
- 4,579 library service pointsserving local communities
- There were 314,550 visits to public libraries in 2010-2011, which equates to 5,052 visits per 1,000 of the population. Whilst this represents a decrease of 2% on the previous year, the percentage of the population visiting the library over the last year has remained relatively stable since 2008. (CIFFA, October 2010/11, Taking Part Data, 2011/12)
- Between June 2010 and June 2011, 39% of adults had visited a public library in the last year. This is small fall from 2008/09 when 41% of adults visited the library. (DCMS, 2010/201, Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture, Leisure and Sport)
- There are 11,900,000 active borrowers from libraries (CIFFA, October 2011)
- 21,462 people volunteered in libraries in 20010/11 a rise of 22.3% from the year before (CIFFA, October 2011)
- In 2010/11 76% had been to a library in the last year. This has remained steady since 2008/9.Since 2008/9 the proportion of 5-10 year olds who had visited a library increased from 72% to 76%. (DCMS, Taking Part:This Cultural and Sporting Life, The Taking Part Adult and Children Report, 201133.8% of young people aged 16-24 visited the library in 2010/11. (DCMS, 2010/2011, Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture, Leisure and Sport)
- There are 43,472 terminals in libraries with library catalogue and internet access. There were 114,765 million visits to library websites up 79.3 in the last four years (CIFFA, October 2011)
Libraries are free
- Anyone living in the UK is legally entitled to borrow books free from the public library.
- All sorts of people visit libraries
- As in previous years, in 2010/11, children were more likely than adults to have visited a public library. Among adults, 34% of 16-24 year olds, 45% of 25-44 year olds, 36% of 45-64 year olds, 42% of 65-74 year olds and 37% of people aged 75 plus had visited a library in the last year.
- As in previous years, in 2010/11, women (45%) were more likely than men (34 to have visited a library in the last 12 months.
- The number of older people visiting libraries is showing an increase. 43% of adults aged 65-74 visited the library in 2010/11 compared to 39% in 2009/10. Likewise 37% of people aged over 75 visited the library compared to 33% in 09/10.People in the upper socio-economic groups (44%) were more likely than those in the lower socio-economic groups (33%) to have visited a library. Meanwhile people not in employment (including retired people) were more likely than people in work to have visited a library (43% compared with 37%). (DCMS, 2010/2011, Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture, Leisure and Sport)
Libraries as employers
- There are 23,682 staff working in public libraries (Workforce data from CIPFA 2011)
Reading is amongst the most popular social and cultural pastimes
- Books are read in 90 per cent of UK households
- Reading as a free time activity engages 66% of the population, making it more popular that gardening (48%), going to the cinema (48%) theatre and concerts (42%) and DIY (38.5%), (This Cultural Life, The Taking Part Adult and Child Report, 2011)
- Fiction is read by 60 per cent of adults in most age groups and 70 per cent of children aged six to 14. Non-fiction is read by 40 per cent of all groups aged 6+ and 60 per cent of those aged nine to 16 and 35 to 64. (Reading the Situation Book Reading Buying and Borrowing in Britain, Book Marketing Ltd and The Reading Agency, 2000)
- Reading is more popular than gardening and DIY, visiting the cinema, theatre and spectator sports events
The value of reading
- 1/4 adults and 1/5 of children read books as a special activity.
- Book reading is perceived as quality time.
- Fifty-two per cent of adults read books to relax or relieve stress, 27 per cent as a form of escapism, 24 per cent as a chance to use the imagination.
- 2/3 of adults and over a half of children read books to find things out.
(Reading the Situation Book Reading, Buying and Borrowing in Britain, Book Marketing Ltd and The Reading Partnership, 2000)
Libraries and reading
- Libraries are the UK's most significant providers of the reading experience
- There are 98,243 million books in the public library service. Of these, 74,157 million are available to borrow (CIFFA, October 2011)
- Public libraries lent 300.2 million books in 20010/2011 - (CIFFA, October 2011)
- Of these, 96.9 million were children's books, 137.3 million were adult fiction, and 65.9 million were adult non-fiction. (CIFFA, October 2011)
- Whilst adult book issues are down on last year, children's fiction lending continues to show an increase for the seventh year running. This means that children's booklending has increased by 13% between 2004/5 and 2010/11.
- Libraries have 11.9 million active borrowers (and bring books to a further 111,000 housebound readers.) (CIFFA, October 2010)
- The UK's busiest library is Norfolk and Norwich Millennium, which had 1,496,186 visitors in 2010-11, issuing 1,181,661 books and other items over 12 months (CIFFA, October 2011)
- Five libraries had more than one million visitors in the year - Norfolk and Norwich, Birmingham Central, Croydon Central, Newcastle-CITY Library and Huddersfield. (CIFFA, October 2011)
- Libraries spent £115.699 million on books and other materials in 2010/2011. (CIFFA, October 2011)
Libraries have a unique role as providers of reading
They offer readers:
- the opportunity for risk free experimentation with reading
- an open, friendly, non-commercial atmosphere
- helpful, expert staff to guide and support reading
- the chance to help their children explore books for free
- somewhere to borrow books for a short time when space constraints might make permanent storage difficult
(Taking Part op cit, Reading the Situation, Book Reading, Buying and Borrowing Habits in Britain, Book Marketing Ltd and The Reading Partnership 2000)
Libraries complement bookshops
Readers view libraries and bookshops as complementary sources of books to read.
There is a clear link between borrowing and buying of books. Borrowers from public libraries are more likely to buy the books they read than non-borrowers. Eleven per cent of adults have bought books they have previously borrowed.
(Reading the Situation, op cit)