Research and Analytics


CIPFA Public Library Actuals Statistics

April 2004

Returns were received from 205 authorities, a response rate of 99%. Data for the missing authorities, Newham, Conwy and Isle of Anglesey have been 'grossed up' based on real data percentage increases over 2001-02. In cases where responding authorities were not able to provide all of the information requested the missing data have been similarly 'grossed up'. To allow for meaningful comparisons the following commentary, summary tables and regional and class totals in the main statistical tables include 'grossed' data (see methodology for grossing data on page 4).

Expenditure and Income

In 2002-03 local authorities in the United Kingdom spent a total of 1,016.6m (excluding capital charges) on the provision of the public library service. Income from fines, fees and other sources of 138.4m was received, resulting in overall net expenditure of 878.2m, an increase of 52.9m (6.4%) over 2001-02, compared to an increase in the RPI of 3.0% over the same period.

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

Components of Total Expenditure
Whilst expenditure on premises, employees and support services has remained largely stable since 1997-98, expenditure on books has decreased as a proportion of total expenditure from 11.3% to 9.2%. Correspondingly though expenditure on audio-visual stock has been rising. In 1997-98 expenditure on sound and video stock as a percentage of materials expenditure was 11.5%, in 2002-03 audio-visual, electronic (including multimedia) accounted for 17.3% of materials expenditure.

Income from fines and fees remains fairly low, meeting 1.9% of total expenditure, compared to 2.5% in 1997-98.

Table 1 summarises trends in expenditure and income over the past 6 years.

Expenditure and Income 1997-98 to 2002-03
Non-Financial Statistics

As far as the non-financial statistics are concerned, the total number of staff employed has increased by 544.4, or 2.0% since 1997-98. The number of professional staff has been reduced by 1.3%, compared with an increase of 3.1% 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 55 static service points (excluding mobile libraries) since 1997-98. There are now 4,132 central and branch libraries open to the public. Mobile libraries have also reduced in number, from 675 in 1997-98 to 656 in 2002-03. The number of smaller part-time libraries open less than 10 hours per week continues to decline from 206 in 1997-98 to 168 in 2002-03.

The figures for the period since 1997 - 98 are summarised in Table 3.

Library Service Points
Issues of books have decreased by nearly 122 million since 1997-98. Annual issues per person per year stood at 6.09 in 2002-03 compared to 8.18 in 1997-98.

Table 4 summarises trends in library users over the past 6 years. There have been declines over the period in most areas, most notably in the number of Active Borrowers by 14.5% and the number of Visitors by 5.8%, giving further evidence of a possible decline in library use.

Library Users
The total bookstock at 31st March 2002 stood at just over 114 million volumes or 1.93 books per person. However, no information is available on the 'quality' of these books, i.e. currency and condition. Table 5 shows the decline in Bookstock and the increase in the number of Audio-Visual, Electronic and other stock items since 1997-98.

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

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 percentage increases based on real returns in the same class of authority.

Summary Tables

General Information
Expenditure and Income per 1,000 Resident Population 2002-03
Expenditure and Income 2002-03
Staff in Post and Establishment at 31 March 2003
Service Points
Electronic Access
Book stock at 31st March 2003
Material on Loan at 31st March 2003
Annual Issues
Annual Additions
Large Print Bookstock
Audio Visual Stock at 31st March 2003
Audio Visual Stock - Annual Additions
Inter Library Loans
Library Users
Agency Services to Schools

April 2004

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