Research and Analytics


CIPFA Public Library Estimates Statistics

November 2004

This is the thirty first annual compilation of the Public Library statistics based on estimates and it is the fifteenth 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.

The full implementation of Financial Reporting Standared FRS17 was introduced to the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom. A Statement of Recommended Practice (the SORP) and thus CIPFA's Best Value Accounting Code of Practice (BVACOP) from 1 April 2003. However, for the 2004-05 Estimates, for purposes of comparability, all authorities are shown as reporting figures on a pre FRS17 basis. FRS17 will be incorporated in the 2005-06 Estimates.

In 2004-05 local authorities in the United Kingdom are expecting to spend a total (excluding capital charges) of just over 1,058m on the provision of the public library service, with income of about 92m anticipated from fines and other sources. The estimated net expenditure (including capital charges) of 1,079m shows an increase of 3.9% over 2003-04 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 5.7% 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 18,142, which is just under 30 pence per person per week.

Non-Financial Statistics

Library authorities in the UK expect to employ a total of 27,490.6 staff (FTE), this is a incre ase of 680.1 or 2.5% over 2000-01. The number of professional staff employed has decreased by 4.0% since 2000-01. The overall increase in staff, however, has been kept buoyant by a steady growth in other areas such as administration and clerical staff. Table 1 summarises the five year trend.

Staff Establishment Figures (UK) - Five Year Trend
The statistics show that the number of Service Points in the UK is forecast to decrease by 37 or 2.2% over the last five years. The figures for the period since 2000-2001 are summarised in Table 2.

Library Service Points (UK) - Five Year Trend
The total book stock at the beginning of the financial year was estimated to be just under 112 million volumes, the equivalent of 1.9 books per person. The book stock continues it's decline, decreasing by over three million since last year's estimate.

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 2004-05 (Grossed Data)
Expenditure and Income 2004-05
Staff Establishment
Service Points

November 2004

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