Research and Analytics


CIPFA Public Library Estimates Statistics

August 2000

This is the twenty seventh annual compilation of the Public Library statistics based on estimates and it is the eleventh edition to include statistics for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Returns have been received from 208 authorities, representing a response rate of 100%. In order to allow more meaningful comparisons, summary tables have been 'grossed-up' to account for missing data.

In 2000-2001 local authorities in the United Kingdom are expecting to spend a total of just under 869m on the provision of the public library service, with income of 75m anticipated from fines and other sources. The estimated net expenditure (including capital charges) of 894m shows an increase of 4.5% over 1999-2000 compared to an increase in the RPI of 2.6% over the same period.

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

Components of Total Expenditure
Income from customer and client receipts, which includes fines and fees, meets only 6.0% of total expenditure. The main purpose of fines is of course to encourage users to return material they have borrowed from the library promptly. However, the income derived from this source is a useful element towards containing net expenditure.

The net cost per 1000 population (including Capital Charges) for the public library service is 15,043, which is just under 29 pence per person per week.

Non-Financial Statistics

Authorities expect to employ a total of 26,708.8 staff, this is a reduction of 105.0 or 0.4% over 1999-2000. Table 1 summarises these changes.

Staff Establishment Figures (UK)
The statistics show that the number of Service Points is expected to increase by 81 over last year. The figures for the period since 1998-99 are summarised in Table 2.

Library Service Points (UK)
The total book stock at the beginning of the financial year was estimated to be just over 122 million volumes, the equivalent of 2.1 books per person.

Inter-Authority Comparisons

In general inter authority comparisons should be undertaken with caution because their validity is affected by factors such as daytime population in city authorities and the expense of rural library provision for a widely scattered population in country areas.

General Information
Expenditure and Income per 1,000 Resident Population 2000-01
Expenditure and Income 2000-01
Staff Establishment
Service Points

August 2000

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