National survey shows the UKs most popular libraries and a rise in library volunteering

02-11-2011

Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library is the UK’s most visited library, according to the latest annual survey from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

The Norwich-based library had 1,496,186 visitors in 2010–11, issuing 1,181,661 books and other items over twelve months. The next most visited library, Birmingham Central Library, attracted 1,197,350 visitors over the same period.

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 22.3 per cent to 21,462 people. Over the same period, the number of library staff dropped by 4.3 per cent to 23,681 (FTE).

Jon Graham, Managing Director of CIPFA said:

“Norwich’s achievement proves that modern libraries are still popular community institutions, offering services and support beyond book lending. The increase in volunteers also shows how libraries continue to be seen as much valued hubs for their communities.”

ENDS

Contact: Lindsay Machin / Tim Windle
CIPFA Press Office
t 020 7543 5645/5787
e lindsay.machin@cipfa.org.uk / tim.windle@cipfa.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Norfolk

Norfolk & Norwich Millennium

1,496,186

2

Birmingham

Birmingham Central

1,197,350

3

Croydon

Croydon Central

1,168,160

4

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle City Library

1,157,186

5

Kirklees

Huddersfield

1,021,829

6

Brighton & Hove

Brighton Jubilee

950,714

7

Cambridgeshire

Cambridge Central

873,175

8

Leeds

Leeds Central

777,919

9

Sheffield

Sheffield Central

770,469

10

Hounslow

Hounslow

736,224

11

Barnet

Hendon

708,800

12

Derbyshire

Chesterfield

699,793

13

Tower Hamlets

Idea Store Whitechapel

697,201

14

Essex

Colchester

679,797

15

Sutton

Sutton

677,118

16

Barking & Dagenham

Barking

660,937

17

Sunderland

City Library & Arts Centre

636,571

18

Lancashire

Harris Library Preston

624,850

19

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Central

619,258

20

Glasgow

Mitchell

608,705

 

 

 

Top 20 by number of issues per annum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Norfolk

Norfolk & Norwich Millennium

1,181,661

2

Essex

Chelmsford

692,616

3

Cambridgeshire

Cambridge Central

681,369

4

Oxfordshire

Oxford Central

625,739

5

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Central

618,730

6

Cardiff

Cardiff Central

601,948

7

Derbyshire

Chesterfield

564,727

8

Swansea

Swansea Central

561,864

9

Southend-on-Sea

Southend

524,793

10

Brighton & Hove

Brighton Jubilee

521,260

11

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle City Library

513,690

12

Westminster

Charing Cross

513,242

13

Birmingham

Birmingham Central

501,359

14

West Sussex

Crawley

497,397

15

Carmarthenshire

Llanelli

484,729

16

Sheffield

Sheffield Central

482,825

17

Sutton

Sutton

480,414

18

Devon

Exeter Central

474,732

19

City of London

Barbican

447,884

20

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Central

445,162

These figures are based on returns to the CIPFA Public Library Actuals survey 2010-11.

* 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.

About CIPFA

 

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.