CIPFA library survey shows closures slowing, visitor numbers falling but volunteers soaring

10-12-2013

Library data for the whole of the UK in 2012-13 shows the reduction in the number of libraries has slowed in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, with 74* libraries closing in the year compared to 201 closures the previous year.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) UK Annual Libraries Survey, published today, also shows visitor numbers declining by 6% compared to the previous year while book issues dropped by 8.6%.

Meanwhile staff numbers continued their fall, down 6.8% year on year, but in contrast there was a marked increase in the number of volunteers with numbers increasing 44% in 2012-13†.

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

“Local authorities across the UK have worked hard over the past few years to identify savings and reduce their spending but now also seem to be looking at new ways of keeping their libraries open to the public.

“While the number of libraries and staff have fallen again, this has slowed. However the surge in volunteer numbers would suggest that libraries are searching for new and innovative ways to engage and serve their communities.”

ENDS

Contact: Matt Patterson

CIPFA press office

T: +44 (0)207 543 5787
E: matthew.patterson@cipfa.org

Notes to editors:

  • *There was an overall reduction of 74 library service points in 2012-13. This is a net figure including library closures and new libraries opening. Library service points in this data are any library, static or mobile, through which the public library authority provides or directly manages a service to the general public and is open for more than 10 hours a week.
  • †Staff and volunteer numbers are not directly comparable. Staff are measured by ‘full time equivalent’ while each volunteer is counted once regardless of how many hours they work per week.
  • Headline figures from the latest CIPFA library statistics are available on request and will be available from www.cipfa.org from Monday 9 December, with the full dataset available to subscribers.
  • As in previous years the number of library service points excludes libraries open less than 10 hours a week.
Total net expenditure on the UK library service
2011-12 Actuals £000s 2012-13 Actuals £000s

% change

2013-14 Estimates £000s % change 2011-12 to 2013-14 %
Total Expenditure

1,098,399

1,048,949 -4.5% 995,252 -5.1% -9.4%
Total Income 86,893 81,979 -5.7% 86,041 5.0% -1.0%
Net Expenditure 1,011,506 966,970 -4.4% 909,211 -6.0% -10.1%

 

UK library service points and facilities
2010-11 2011-12 2012- 13 % change over last year
Number of service points 4,466 4,265 4,191 -1.7%
Number of terminals with library catalogue and internet access 43,465 43,365 42,914 -1.0%
Number of electronic workstations available to users per 10,000 population 6.98 6.86 6.74 -1.8%
Number of web visits (000s) 114,142 97,721 122,358 25.2%

 

Analysis of Staff and Volunteers in UK libraries

2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 % change over last year
Total Staff (F.T.E) 25,648 24,746 23,663 21,780 20,302 -6.8%
Total Volunteers 15,894 17,550 21,494 23,397 33,808 44.5%

 

UK Visits and Usage
2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 % change over last year

Visits to library premises (000s)

313,987 306,591 288,044 -6.0%

Visits per 1,000 population

5,043 4,849 4,522 -6.8%

Active borrowers (000s)

11,920 11,412 10,321 -9.6%

 

 UK libraries total stock and issues
2010-11 2011-12 2012- 13 % change over last year
Stock:

- Bookstock (000s)

98,945 94,342 92,181 -2.3%

- Bookstock per 1,000 population

1,589 1,492 1,447 -3.0%

- Audio, visual, electronic and other materials (000s)*

8,074 7,963 7,948 -0.2%
Issues:
- Bookstock (000s) 300,004 287,505 262,762 -8.6%
- Bookstock per 1,000 population 4,819 4,547 4,125 -9.3%
- Audio, visual, electronic and other materials (000s)* 24,498 21,967 19,678 -10.4%
- Audio, visual, electronic and other materials per
1,000 population*
393 347 309 -11.1%

*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

1,273,416

2

Brighton & Hove

Brighton Jubilee

974,890

3

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle City

927,831

4

Greenwich

Woolwich

889,504

5

Croydon

Croydon Central

882,144

6

Dundee

Central Library Dundee

779,424

7

Cambridgeshire

Cambridge Central

778,492

8

Leeds

Leeds Central

741,518

9

Hounslow

Hounslow

730,053

10

Worcestershire

The Hive Worcester

718,255

11

Derbyshire

Chesterfield

717,471

12

Tower Hamlets

Idea Store Whitechapel

694,210

13

Sheffield

Sheffield Central

680,574

14

Glasgow

Mitchell Library

639,571

15

Sutton

Sutton

620,026

16

Essex

Colchester

615,345

17

Haringey

Wood Green

611,689

18

Kirklees

Huddersfield

611,047

19

Barking & Dagenham

Barking Learning Centre

581,799

20

Oldham

Oldham

581,354

Top 20 by number of issues per annum

1

Norfolk

Norfolk & Norwich Millennium

1,159,262

2

Worcestershire

The Hive Worcester

778,258

3

Oxfordshire

Oxford Central

646,871

4

Cambridgeshire

Cambridge Central

581,506

5

Essex

Chelmsford

563,216

6

Cardiff

Cardiff Central

550,675

7

Derbyshire

Chesterfield

516,276

8

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Central

480,740

9

Brighton & Hove

Brighton Jubilee

479,145

10

Swansea

Swansea Central

447,259

11

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Central

443,488

12

City of London

Barbican

438,675

13

West Sussex

Worthing

438,091

14

North Yorkshire

Harrogate

403,164

15

York

York Explore

399,406

16

Southwark

Canada Water

395,244

17

Sutton

Sutton

393,458

18

Sheffield

Sheffield Central

382,098

19

Hampshire

Winchester Discovery Centre

381,341

20

Windsor & Maidenhead

Maidenhead

379,459

'These figures are based on returns to the CIPFA Public Library Actuals survey 2012-13.

^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. Colchester in Essex is the most visited library is Essex, however Chelmsford has higher issues, so if Colchester has >380,000 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. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.