Research and Analytics


CIPFA Public Library Estimates Statistics

July 2002

This is the twenty ninth annual compilation of the Public Library statistics based on estimates and it is the thirteenth edition to include statistics for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Returns have been received from 207 authorities, only one authority was unable to supply data. In order to allow more meaningful comparisons, summary tables have been 'grossed-up' to account for missing data.

In 2002-03 local authorities in the United Kingdom are expecting to spend a total of just under 950m on the provision of the public library service, with income of almost 90m anticipated from fines and other sources. The estimated net expenditure (including capital charges) of 991m shows an increase of 5.0% over 2001-02 compared to an increase in the RPI of 1.3% 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 5.8% 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 1,000 population (including Capital Charges) for the public library service is 16,558, which is just under 32 pence per person per week.

Non-Financial Statistics

Authorities expect to employ a total of 26,956.4 staff, this is a increase of 252.2 or 0.9% over 1998-99. Table 1 summarises the five year trend.

Staff Establishment Figures (UK) - Five Year Trends
The statistics show that the number of Service Points is forecast to decrease by 102 over the last five years. The figures for the period since 1998-99 are summarised in Table 2.

Library Service Points (UK) - Five Year Trends
The total book stock at the beginning of the financial year was estimated to be just under 116 million volumes, the equivalent of 1.9 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.

Expenditure and Income per 1,000 Resident Population 2002-03
Expenditure and Income 2002-03
Staff Establishment
Service Points

July 2002

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