Research and Analytics


CIPFA Public Library Actuals Statistics

May 2002

Returns were received from 208 authorities, a response rate of 100%. However, some authorities were not able to provide all of the information requested and in order to allow more meaningful comparisons, summary tables have been 'grossed up' to account for missing data.

Expenditure and Income

In 2000-01 local authorities in the United Kingdom spent a total of 878.6m (excluding capital charges) on the provision of the public library service. Income from fines, fees and other sources of 86.8m was received, resulting in overall net expenditure of 791.8m, an increase of 21.5m (2.8%) over 1999 - 2000, compared to an increase in the RPI of 2.2% over the same period.

The following pie-chart illustrates the make-up of total expenditure.

Components of Total Expenditure
When compared with 1995-96, expenditure on premises has decreased as a proportion of total expenditure from 11.9% to 11.0%, and the proportion of expenditure on books has fallen from 14.1% to 10.3%. The proportion of expenditure on employees has increased from 54.2% in 1995 - 96 to 55.1% in 2000 - 01.

Income from fines and fees remains fairly low, meeting 2.3% of total expenditure, the same as in 1995-96.

Table 1 summarises trends in expenditure and income over the past 5 years.

Expenditure and Income 1995-96 to 2000-01
Non-Financial Statistics

As far as the non-financial statistics are concerned, the total number of staff employed has fallen by 1,046.6, or 3.8% since 1995-96. The number of professional staff has been reduced by 7.9%, compared with a reduction of 2.3% for all other manual and non-manual staff. Table 2 summarises these changes.

Staff Establishment
Turning to the number of service points, there has been a reduction of 141 (excluding mobile libraries) since 1995-96. There are now 4,171 central and branch libraries open to the general public. Mobile libraries have also reduced by 39 to 655. The number of libraries open for 60 hours or more has fallen from 43 in 1995 - 96 to 25 in 2000 - 01. Small part-time libraries have also been subject to closures in recent years. The number of libraries open for less than 10 hours has fallen from 258 in 1995-96 to 217 in 2000 - 01.

The figures for the period since 1995-96 are summarised in Table 3.

Library Service Points
Issues of books have decreased by nearly 112 million since 1995 - 96. Annual issues per person per year stood at 6.79 in 2000-01 compared to 8.83 in 1995-96.

The total bookstock at 31st March 2001 stood at just under 119 million volumes or 1.99 books per person. However, no information is available on the 'quality' of these books, i.e. currency and condition.

Stocks and Issues
Inter-Authority comparisons

Inter-Authority comparisons should be undertaken with caution. For example, inner city authorities have a duty to provide lending facilities to a day time population which may far exceed the resident population. Conversely the shire counties have the expense of providing library services to a widely scattered population in rural areas.

Methodology for Grossing Data

Figures in the summary tables have been grossed to account for missing data and non-responding authorities and therefore do not necessarily agree with individual class totals in the main data set.

The grossing methodology is based upon the principle of making an estimate according to the most recent available source.

Financial Information

Where a return has not been received from an authority the total will be derived by attributing the same level of increase among the class average for responders, to the expenditure observed by the authority in the previous year. Where this figure is also missing, then the total expenditure and distribution is scaled to the per capita class average.

Non-Financial Information

Where a return was received in the previous year, the same data are adopted. Otherwise the class average is scaled by resident population.

Summary Tables

General Information
Expenditure and Income per 1,000 Resident Population 2000-01
Expenditure and Income 2000-01
Staff in Post and Establishment
Service Points
Electronic Access
Stock at 31st March 2001
Material on Loan at 31st March 2001
Annual Issues
Annual Additions
Large Print Bookstock
Audio Visual Stock at 31st March 2001
Audio Visual Stock - Annual Additions
Inter Library Loans
Library Users
Agency Services to Schools

May 2002

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