Fewer books borrowed as library visits increase in the UK

A Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Report shows a 4.3% increase in visits to UK public libraries in 2003/04 – up to almost 337 million visits – but a 6.5% decline in active borrowers for the same period. Book borrowing rates fell 5.5% to 341 million in 2003/04.

The data suggests an increase in users using libraries for non-traditional reasons, such as internet use, emailing sessions and audio borrowing. In 2003/04, book stocks decreased by 3.7 million (3.3%) to 110.5 million books, but audio, visual, electronic and other stocks increased by 2.2% to 9.0 million. At the same time, book additions remained stable, but the survey shows a 6.3% increase in stocks other than books.