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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > November 2016 > Library records

Library records

Since 2005 the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has recorded public library usage. It recently reported that between 2005 and now public library usage fell by 30%. In 2005/6, the first year records were kept, 48.2% of the adult population used a public library at least once. In the period April 2015 -March 2016, the figure was just 33.4%. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest falls were among those who could most afford to buy books, with the decline in the demographic described as ‘urban prosperity’ by from 57% to 37%. Showing that the poorest value libraries the most, the decline of library use among those described as ‘hard pressed’ fell just 7%, to 33.5%. Currently 72 public libraries, as well as five mobile libraries, are facing closure.

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