Birmingham Central Library is the region’s most popular library, and the UK’s second most-visited, according to the latest library survey issued by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).
Birmingham had 1,452,150 visitors in 2009-10, second only to Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library with 1,497,760 visitors.
Birmingham was eleventh in the list of libraries which issued the most items (536,227).
The CIPFA survey also shows that volunteering – central to the coalition Government’s vision for the ‘Big Society’ – has risen in public libraries in the past year. The total number of volunteers in UK libraries rose by 7.7 per cent to 17,111 people. Over the same period, the number of library staff dropped by 3.4 per cent to 24,765.
Chris Greene, CIPFA’s Head of Research and Statistics said:
“Birmingham’s fantastic achievement shows that modern libraries are as relevant to their communities as ever. In the light of the Big Society agenda, it is also interesting to note the significant rise in the level of volunteering in UK libraries.”
CIPFA press office
T: 020 7543 5600
1. Headline figures from the latest CIPFA library statistics are available from www.cipfastats.net, with the full dataset available to subscribers.
2. Popularity is defined in relation to the number of visits to the library and the number of stock issues.
3. The busiest libraries in the UK are:
Top 20 by number of visits per annum
Norfolk & Norwich Millennium
Newcastle upon Tyne
Brighton & Hove
Central Library, The Wellgate
Wood Green Central
Milton Keynes Central
Idea Store Whitechapel
City Library & Arts Centre
Harris Library Preston
Top 20 by number of issues per annum
City of London
These figures are based on returns to the CIPFA Public Library Actuals survey 2009-10.
* The CIPFA survey asks for the library with the most visits and also the library with the most issues in a year, therefore only one library can qualify per authority. There is a small possibility that one authority could have a second library that would appear in the top 20 libraries. E.g. Chelmsford in Essex is the most visited library is Essex, however Chelmsford has higher issues, so if Colchester has >450,000 issues per annum it will still not be included in the above top 20.
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services.