Statistics

Spending on public libraries in the UK Overview CIPFA are the recognised source of official information on public libraries but their information is often several months late, open to interpretation and highly charged for.  Reform of how they collect and publish public library figures there is urgently needed. CIPFA public library comparators for 2014  and 2015 are free and publicly available. LISU produce a free and very useful collections of statistics, including all important comparisons with several previous years here. The information I collect below is from various sources.

For adult usage trends, Taking Part focus on: libraries (DCMS Statistical Release, April 2016) is very useful. “In the year ending September 2015, 33.9 per cent of all adults had used a public library service in the 12 months prior to being interviewed. This is a significant decrease since data collection began in 2005/06. In the year to September 2015, the vast majority (94.8 per cent) of adults who used the library in their own time or as part of voluntary work physically visited a public library building or mobile library to make use of library services. Over the same time period, 94.2 per cent of adults who had used a library were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with their library experience. This is a significant increase from 2010/11 when the question was first asked. “. Adults are significantly more likely to use libraries if they have children or if they used a library when they were a child themselves. All adult demographics have reduced library usage but women use libraries significantly more than men. Wealthier people use libraries more. For another look at the figures, see the Libraries Taskforce review.

Spending

The figures below show a drop in spending of 38.6% from its peak in 2009/10 if one takes in to account inflation.  This is likely to be an exaggeration, however, as spending on staff salaries has been frozen (or nearly so: it has been 1% the year before last. 2% this) for the last five years and staffing represents a large percentage of overall library costs. If one ignores inflation completely, the decline from peak is more than halved at 18%. The true answer will likely be somewhere between the two figures. The figures are taken from the official Cipfa statistics.

 

Inflation is adjusted according to Bank of England calculator.

Inflation is adjusted according to Bank of England calculator.

 

Spot when austerity comes in

Spot when austerity comes in

Spending on public libraries in England

Year

Capital

£m

Revenue

£m

Total

£m

Inflation adjusted

£m

% of 2007/8

2007/8

71

870

941

1063

100

2008/9

100

890

992

1126

105.9%

2009/10

146

897

1043

1132

106.5%

2010/11

121

871

992

1023

96%

2011/12

140

820

960

960

90.5%

See this post (and comments) for an analysis of these figures. Here is another set of figures, taken from Cipfa figures and using Bank of England inflation calculator.

Total annual expenditure in England, inflation adjusted as percentage of 2012 spending

Total annual expenditure in England, inflation adjusted as percentage of 2012 spending

Changes in branch numbers

The following, taken from the Cipfa figures (based on returns from local authorities: they’re not independently audited) was put on Lis-pub-libs by Lionel Aldridge.  It is reproduced with his kind permission here.

Static Libraries open 10+hrs wk

Mobiles

2007-08

2012-13

Change

2007-08

2012-13

Change

London             370             352

-5%

              18

              10

-44%

Metros             713             647

-9%

              60

              28

-53%

Unitary & Counties

1,977

1,932

-2%

            331

            215

-35%

England

3,060

2,931

-8%

            409

            253

-38%

Scotland

            522

            516

-1%

              82

              65

-21%

Wales

            274

            269

-2%

              64

              38

-41%

Northern Ireland

           111

              98

-12%

              18

              24

33%

UK

         3,967

         3,814

-4%

            573

            380

-34%

Changes in book issues Contacts

Usage Public Library change in use

  • Source of above data is UK “Taking Part” Survey and Cipfa statistics.  With thanks to Tim Coates.
Decline from 2005/6 to Q1 2014

Decline from 2005/6 to Q1 2014

 

Statistics collected by Tim Coates. reproduced by permission

Statistics collected by Tim Coates. reproduced by permission

UKPublicDebt2

 So we have to cut libraries because of the National Debt?  See full article here.

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