English libraries are attracting more visitors than ever before despite a fall in total expenditure on books, according to a new report.
There was a small rise of about 1% in the number of visits to public libraries - continuing a trend for increasing visits. The total number of visitors has risen 7.5% in total over the past five years. The number of computer terminals in public libraries has risen by 7% in the past year as libraries continue to expand their role into different forms of educational media.
Evidence from the report suggests the more libraries invest in books, the more the public borrows; a 7% increase in children's books added to the shelves was supported by a 3% increase in their lending.
The culture minister, David Lammy, said: "Books and the written word remain at the heart of the public library service, and rightly so, but local libraries offer much more than that. Local authorities disregard their importance to communities at their peril."
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Library visitor numbers are increasing in England
Selected paragraphs from yesterday's article in The Guardian: