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A reduction in the number of libraries occurred in 2011-2012 according to a UK-wide libraries survey. Between 2010 and 2011 the survey shows a reduction of 146 library service points, however in 2011-12 this figure increased to more than 200*.
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) UK Annual Libraries Survey, published today, shows a continued increase in the number of volunteers and a continued decrease in the number of staff. The full time equivalent number of staff is down by 8%, compared to a 4.3% reduction in the previous year, while the number of volunteers has increased by 8.9% compared to a 22.5% increase last year**.
With a reduction in library funding coupled with a reduced number of library visits by the public, the overall number of books issued has also decreased. However, children’s fiction saw an increase in both 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Julian Mund, CIPFA’s Product Development Director, commented,
“Local authorities across the UK are working hard to identify savings and reduce their spending. Although there has been a large increase in the number of libraries and mobile libraries closing, it is important to note that the largest, most popular and most viable libraries are largely staying open.
“An increase in the number of children’s fiction books issued and the increase in volunteers shows how libraries continue to be seen as much valued hubs for their communities.”
CIPFA Press Office
T: 020 7543 5600
Notes to Editors:
Total net expenditure on the UK library service
2010-11 Actuals (£000s)
2011-12 Actuals (£000s)
2012-13 Estimates (£000s)
2010-11 to 2012-13 %
UK library service points and facilities
% change over last year
Number of service points
Number of terminals with library catalogue and internet access
Number of electronic workstations available to users per 10,000 population
Number of web visits (000s)
Analysis of Staff and Volunteers in UK libraries
Total Staff (F.T.E)
UK Visits and Usage
Visits to library premises (000s)
Visits per 1,000 population
Active borrowers (000s)
Annual Issues - Books:
- Adult Fiction (000s)
- Adult Non-Fiction (000s)
- Children Fiction (000s)
- Children Non-Fiction (000s)
Top 20 by number of issues per annum
Norfolk & Norwich Millennium
Cambridge Central Library
Milton Keynes Central
Brighton & Hove
City of London
Windsor & Maidenhead
Newcastle upon Tyne
Top 20 by number of visits per annum
Central Library Dundee
Idea Store Whitechapel
Wood Green Central
Barking & Dagenham
Barking Learning Centre
These figures are based on returns to the CIPFA Public Library Actuals survey 2011-12.
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.