Children’s library lending jumps in latest CIPFA stats
12.05.10 | Benedicte Page

Statistics from the annual library survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy for 2008-9 – the National Year of Reading – show a marked rise in issues for children’s books across the year, corresponding with increases in children’s book buying. But adult lending continued to decline, as did adult book buying.

Children’s fiction showed a 6.1% rise in lending over the year, with 80.1m issues. Lending for children’s non-fiction showed a smaller rise of 0.7% at 5.3m issues. Meanwhile the number of children’s books bought was up by 8.8% to 3.62m, with non-fiction up 3.3% at 0.79m.

Adult reading dropped yet again, with issues for fiction and non-fiction both declining over the year (by 0.1% and 1.8% respectively). The number of adult books bought also dropped, by 3.4% for adult fiction (5.13m) and by 4.3% for adult non-fiction (2.75m). Total library visits fell during the
year by 1.1% to 324.99m. Total bookstock also fell by 1.6% to 99.75m.

However the number of web visits increased by 49% year on year, up from 76.2m in 2007/8 to 113.5m.

Miranda McKearney of reading charity The Reading Agency commented: “The tanker is definitely turning. The growth in the reading and the digital fields is very encouraging, and it hasn’t happened by chance. There’s been a really big push to create a new reading offer which has been at its most marked with children’s reading, and and the statistics show that the concentrated effort has had an effect.”

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