CIPFA library survey shows continuing decline in buildings, books and borrowers as cuts continue to bite

11-12-2014

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) annual library survey published today has this year shown a continuation in many of the recent trends for local authority run libraries across the UK.

This year’s survey shows that the total number of libraries in the UK fell from 4,194 last year to 4,145* in 2013-2014, a net fall of 49 libraries and a drop of 1.2%. This is down from 4,482 in the last financial year of the last Parliament in 2009-2010, resulting in a total drop over the period of 7.5%, a net loss of 337 libraries in the UK.

Visits to libraries also fell 2% in the year down from 288 million visits in 2012-2013 to 282 million visits in 2013-2014. While active library borrowers fell from 10.3 million people in the same period to 9.8 million people, a fall of 4.2%. This compares to 322 million visits in 2009-2010 and 12 million active borrowers. Visits as a share of population have also seen a significant fall over the past five years from 5,213 per 1,000 people in 2009-10 to 4,404 in 2013-2014 a percentage fall of 15.5%.

The number of books lent has also dropped dramatically in the past few years. Last year saw a 6% decrease in the number of books lent from 262 million issues to 247 million. This is part of a trend that has seen the number of books lent drop from 309 million in 2009-10, meaning that over the past five years total books lent by local authority libraries will have dropped by 20%.

While the data does show that the fall in the total number of libraries in the UK has slowed over the past year, staff numbers continue to decrease significantly. Full time equivalent staff in UK libraries fell from 20,302 last year to 19,308 in 2013-2014, a drop of almost 5%; this is down from 24,746 staff in 2009-10 a fall of 22% in the period.

This has been offset by an increase in the number of volunteers, with 35,813 people giving some time voluntarily in libraries up from 33,808 or a 5.9% increase. This is a dramatic 100% increase from 2009-2010 when 17,550 people volunteered in UK local authority libraries.

Speaking on the survey, CIPFA’s Chief Executive, Rob Whiteman, said:

“The landscape for local libraries in the UK is changing rapidly. While local authorities are continuing to seek new ways to make sure libraries can continue to act as a vital part of our communities, the statistics show that there is significant pressure on library services across pretty much every area of the UK.

“Despite the decline of libraries, borrowers and books, the growth in volunteers show that many local councils are committed to ensuring that their libraries explore new ways of keeping the doors open and engaging with their communities.”

ENDS

Contact: Matt Patterson
Press office
Office: +44 20 7543 5787
Mobile: + 44 7920 104 025
Email: matthew.patterson@cipfa.org

Notes to Editors:

*As in previous years the number of library service points excludes libraries open for less than 10 hours a week.

Headline figures from the latest CIPFA library statistics are available on request and will be available from www.cipfa.org from Thursday 11 December, with the full dataset available to CIPFAstats subscribers.

Data tables:

Table 1: UK Visits and Usage
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 % change 2012-13 to 2013-14
Visits to library premises (000s)

306,591

288,044 282,332 -2.0%
Visits per 1,000 population 4,849 4,522 4,404 -2.6%
Active borrowers (000s) 11,412 10,321 9,883 -4.2%

Table 1a: UK Visits 5 year trend (2009-10 to 2013-14)
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 % change over period
Visits to library premises (000s)

322,111

313,987 306,591 288,044 282,332 -12.3%

Table 2: UK library service points and facilities
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 % change 2012-13 to 2013-14
Number of service points

4,265

4,194 4,145 -1.2%
Number of terminals with library catalogue and internet access

43,365

42,914 42,752 -0.4%
Number of electronic workstations available to users per 10,000 population

6.86

6.74 6.67 -1.0%
Number of web visits (000s)

97,721

122,358 114,696 -6.3%

Table 2a: UK Web Visits 5 year trend (2009-10 to 2013-14)
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 % change over period
Number of web visits (000s)

120,399

114,142 97,721 122,358 114,696 -4.7%

Table 3: UK libraries total stock and issues
2012-13 2013-14 % change 2012-13 to 2013-14
Stock:
- Bookstock (000s)

92,181

88,054 -4.5%
- Bookstock per 1,000 population 1,447 1,374 -5.1%
- Audio, visual, electronic and other materials (000s)* 7,948 7,755 -2.4%
Issues:
- Bookstock (000s)

262,762

247,245 -2.0%
- Bookstock per 1,000 population 4,125 3,857 -2.6%
- Audio, visual, electronic and other materials (000s)* 19,678 19,407 -4.2%
- Audio, visual, electronic and other materials per 1,000 population* 309 303 -4.2%

Table 3a: UK libraries issues
2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 % change over period
Number of Bookstock Issues (000s)

309,322

300,004 287,505 262,762 247,245 -20.1%
Number of Issues - Music (000s)

4,892

4,055 3,142 2,436 2,158 -55.9%

Table 4: UK libraries Book stock and issues
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 % change 2012-13 to 2013-14
Book Acquisitions - Stock for Loan:
- Adult Fiction (000s)

4,356

4,241 4,282 1.0%
- Adult Non-Fiction (000s) 2,165 2,187 2,153 -1.5%
- Children Fiction (000s) 2,916 2,827 2,954 4.5%
- Children Non-Fiction (000s) 664 613 622 1.5%
Annual Issues - Books:
- Adult Fiction (000s)

129,913

116,482 106,987 -8.2%
- Adult Non-Fiction (000s) 61,064 54,617 51,088 -6.5%
- Children Fiction (000s) 81,811 77,947 75,913 -2.6%
- Children Non-Fiction (000s) 14,717 13,716 13,257 -3.3%
Book stock available for loans and on loan:
- Adult Fiction (000s)

24,850

24,338 23,520 -3.4%
- Adult Non-Fiction (000s) 22,962 22,377 21,909 -2.1%
- Children Fiction (000s) 18,074 18,176 17,453 -4.0%
- Children Non-Fiction (000s) 6,903 6,861 6,445 -6.1%

Table 5: Total net expenditure on the UK library service
  2011-12 Actuals £000s 2012-13 Actuals £000s 2013-14 Actuals £000s % change 2012-13 to 2013-14
Total Expenditure 1,098,399 1,048,949 1,025,274 -2.3%
Total Income 86,893 81,979 85,136 3.9%
Net Expenditure 1,011,506 966,970 940,138 -2.8%

Table 6: Materials expenditure in UK libraries
  2012-13 Actuals £000s 2013-14 Actuals £000s % change
Books & newspapers, periodicals & magazines 73,601 74,119 0.7%
Audio and visual (inc. Multimedia and CD-Rom) 15,315 13,379 -12.6%
Online / electronic (inc. e-books etc.) 11,091 12,355 11.4%
Other 3,002 2,588 -13.8%
Total Materials Expenditure 103,010 102,441 -0.6%

Table 7: Analysis of income in UK libraries
  2012-13 Actuals £000s 2013-14 Actuals £000s % change
Fees, charges and receipts from the public 57,019 59,080 3.6%
Specific Grants 12,639 13,641 7.9%
Other income 12,321 12,415 0.8%
Total 81,979 85,136 3.9%

Table 8: Analysis of Staff and Volunteers in UK libraries
  2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 % change over last year
Total Staff (F.T.E) 24,746 23,663 21,780 20,302 19,308 -4.9%
Total Volunteers 17,550 21,494 23,397 33,808 35,813 5.9%
Please note, where statistics have been shown in '000s, they have been rounded to the nearest thousand. Therefore, in some instances figures might not add down to totals. Percentage differences are based on the rounded totals.

Busiest libraries in England top 20*
  Top 20 by number of visits per annum
 
1   Norfolk  Norfolk & Norwich Millennium 1,274,204
2   Greenwich Woolwich 1,087,524
3   Brighton & Hove  Jubilee 1,003,702
4   Worcestershire Worcester - The Hive 978,119
5   Croydon Croydon Central 877,073
6   Newcastle-upon-Tyne City Library 814,359
7   Cambridgeshire Cambridge Central 768,226
8   Tower Hamlets Idea Store Whitechapel 689,381
9   Derbyshire Chesterfield 688,326
10   Leeds Central Library 681,375
11   Sheffield Central Library 677,101
12   Brent Wembley 651,677
13   Sutton Sutton 649,192
14   Redbridge Redbridge Central 634,675
15   Barking & Dagenham Barking Learning Centre 634,197
16   Milton Keynes Milton Keynes 630,122
17   Oldham  Oldham 610,060
18   Bristol Central Library, College Green 588,482
19   Essex Harlow 586,827
20   Hackney Hackney Central  577,324

  Top 20 by number of issues per annum
   
1   Norfolk  Norfolk & Norwich Millennium 1,124,406
2   Worcestershire Worcester - The Hive 903,859
3   Oxfordshire Oxford Central 605,530
4   Cambridgeshire Cambridge Central 555,101
5   Essex Chelmsford 503,233
6   Derbyshire Chesterfield 471,792
7   Nottinghamshire West Bridgford 457,675
8   Brighton & Hove  Jubilee 451,619
9   Milton Keynes Milton Keynes 421,601
10   West Sussex Worthing 409,578
11   City of London Barbican 396,970
12   Hampshire Winchester Discovery Centre 377,064
13   Southwark Canada Water 372,980
14   Windsor & Maidenhead Maidenhead 361,411
15   Redbridge Redbridge Central 358,118
16   North Yorkshire Harrogate 356,688
17   Surrey Woking 352,139
18   Cumbria Carlisle  349,831
19   Sheffield Central Library 347,732
20   York York 345,167
 
These figures are based on returns to the CIPFA Public Library Actuals survey 2013-14