Public Library Users Survey

Public Library User's Survey

The CIPFA Public Library Users Survey is the leading tool for understanding user attitudes to libraries across the UK. Initially developed in 1993, it has a database of thousands of libraries to draw from, and will allow you to not only review your own situation but to measure it against the national picture.

In this time of financial constraint it is important for libraries to understand the impact that diversification, changes to service provision, the prominence of online and digital resources and an increase in self-service facilities have on their customers.

The CIPFA service

We provide you with a questionnaire that is updated to reflect the needs of the sector, both online and hard copy options to collect and return customer feedback. We scan and analyse your returns and will deliver a comprehensive, comparative report on your results. 

Library surveys on the web

This approach allows your users to complete the survey online, cutting down even further on any staff administration and improving result turnaround times.

Participating authorities have used the survey to:

  • inform future developments and improve services
  • review changes following library promotion, marketing or following changes to services
  • generate action plans
  • track progress against plans.

The benefits of the survey

  • Benchmark your results against other authorities.
  • Develop action plans and track their progress.
  • Gain customer insight on how to improve services.
  • Obtain evidence to guide the future development of libraries.
  • Track usage over time.
  • Identify savings.
  • Identify who uses the service and what they use it for.
  • Better understand usage at a national level.
  • Understand usage across segments of society.

Your customers say…

Recent surveys have highlighted the following:

  • Customers are still awarding services high scores to libraries, although closures or reduced opening hours have reduced the numbers of visitors.
  • Library computer use is far higher for those living in the most deprived areas. This group also rate the computer services far higher.
  • Book borrowing is more prevalent with people living in the least deprived neighbourhoods.
  • People who are retired are more likely to borrow books regardless of what area they live in.

"Libraries are crucial in enabling adults and families to access Community Learning. They provide neutral and attractive spaces for learning to take place, which is a particularly important factor for families where the home learning environment may be challenging"

Susan Chambers - Head of Family & Intergenerational Learning, NIACE

Download the latest national report

The latest report can be found here.

Find out more

For more information, please contact E: or download the flyer.

Access this service now

Subscribers area

contact us

Please fill in this form and we will contact you shortly to discuss how we can help you:


Related Products


All local authority transformation projects are made easier with CIPFA benchmarking clubs.

Find out more

Comparative Profiles

A suite of comparative profiles that compare an authority to a selected group across indicators collected from key public sector data sources.

Find out more