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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.”
Top 20 by number of visits per annum
Norfolk & Norwich Millennium
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle City Library
Brighton & Hove
Idea Store Whitechapel
Barking & Dagenham
City Library & Arts Centre
Harris Library Preston
Milton Keynes Central
Top 20 by number of issues per annum
City of London
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.
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.