Research and Analytics


CIPFA Public Library Actuals Statistics

April 2005

Returns were received from 208 authorities, a response rate of 100%. In cases where responding authorities were not able to provide all of the information requested the missing data have been 'grossed up', based on real data percentage increases over 2002-03. 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).

Impact of FRS17 on Public Library Actual Net Expenditure 2003-04
Expenditure and Income

In 2003-04 local authorities in the United Kingdom spent a total of 1,061.8m (excluding capital charges) on the provision of the public library service. Income from fines, fees and other sources of 111.2m was received, resulting in overall net expenditure of 950.5m, an increase of 72.3m (8.2%) over 2002-03, compared to an increase in the RPI of 2.5% 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 generally remained stable since 1998-99, expenditure on books has decreased as a proportion of total expenditure from 11.1% to 9.1%. However, expenditure on audio-visual stock has increased over the same period. In 1998-99 expenditure on sound and video stock as a percentage of materials expenditure was 14.1%, in 2003-04 audio-visual, electronic (including multimedia) accounted for 19.3% of materials expenditure.

Income from fines and fees remains low, meeting 1.8% of total expenditure, compared to 1.7% in 1998-99.

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

Expenditure and Income 1998-99 to 2003-04
Non-Financial Statistics

The total number of full time equivalent staff employed has increased by 908.9, or 3.4% since 1998-99. The number of professional staff has been reduced by 4.0%, compared with an increase of 5.8% 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 24 static service points (excluding mobile libraries) since 1998-99. There are now 4,136 central and branch libraries open to the public. Mobile libraries have also reduced in number, from 663 in 1998-99 to 640 in 2003-04. The number of smaller part-time libraries open less than 10 hours per week continues to decline from 193 in 1998-99 to 154 in 2003-04.

The figures for the period since 1998-99 are summarised in Table 3.

Library Service Points
Issues of books have decreased by nearly 119 million since 1998-99. Annual issues per person per year stood at 5.72 in 2003-04 compared to 7.77 in 1998-99.

Table 4 summarises trends in library users over the past 6 years. During this period many areas have seen a decline, most notably the 22.0% reduction in the number of Active Borrowers. In 1998-99, there were 338.7 million visits to Library Premises, reducing to 318.2 million in 2001-02. This trend has reversed in recent years with 337.0 million visits in 2003-04, only 0.5% less than in 1998-99.

Library Users
The total bookstock at 31st March 2003 stood at just over 110 million volumes or 1.85 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 1998-99.

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 2003-04
Expenditure and Income 2003-04
Staff in Post and Establishment at 31 March 2004
Service Points
Electronic Access
Book stock at 31st March 2004
Material on Loan at 31st March 2004
Annual Issues
Annual Additions
Large Print Bookstock
Audio Visual Stock at 31st March 2004
Audio Visual Stock - Annual Additions
Inter Library Loans
Library Users
Agency Services to Schools

April 2005

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