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Public libraries comparative profiles

These profiles use the latest data to provide simple and easy to read charts that collectively build up a detailed view of how your library service compares to others.

What is included?

The highly popular public libraries profiles are provided in response to requests from library authorities from around the UK.

These profiles enable you to examine how your service costs and performance compare to your peers. They provide decision makers with a quick, inexpensive way to engage with the most recent data to support evidence-based decision making.

The profiles look at the following key aspects of library provision:

  • numbers of libraries and service users
  • costs of running library services
  • levels of staffing and volunteers
  • annual book and audio-visual issues
  • stock and acquisition levels
  • performance in relation to speed of requests
  • user satisfaction.

Download this case study to see how CIPFA’s cost, performance and analytics tools have assisted the London Borough of Southwark with its improvement strategy and operational transformation projects, to help modernise services to better serve customers.

London Borough of Southwark public libraries profile case study

The comparative profiles pack

You will be provided with a libraries profile pack, tailored to your individual authority and containing three sets of profiles, which compare your authority to:

  • all responding library authorities across the UK
  • all other library authorities within your region (or country for Wales and Scotland)
  • your nearest neighbour.

In addition, you will receive an interactive Excel tool that enables you to analyse the data further and export charts for your own reports. You will also be able to request an additional profile compared with any selection of authorities at no additional charge.


There are a number of benefits from signing up:

  • professional reports from a trusted source to help with your transformation projects
  • no additional work required as they draw on data returns already made
  • help you to understand the performance of your service better
  • identify potential areas for savings and improvement
  • identify authorities who are performing well
  • saves you time and money on analysing the data yourself
  • provides evidence for performance assessments
  • get involved and help us develop the profiles to be even better.

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