I often get asked when I tell people what I do something along the lines of, “Do we still need libraries? Isn’t it all online nowadays?” I have yet to come up with a correspondingly short answer to that (it’s normally something along the lines of what about lack of access / skills / literacy / money?!) but I read today some compelling evidence that public libraries in the UK, despite declining visitor numbers year on year, get vastly more visits than other places that at first glance you’d think would run away with the figures. And this is all in the context of city council budget cuts and lay-offs of staff. So here is a “re-blog” of that information from the ever-informative Ned Potter’s blog.
Okay everyone, I’ve done some more with those comparative library stats. Here’s a little graphic: pic.twitter.com/OC2W3Oo0BT
— Ned Potter (@ned_potter) August 20, 2015
If libraries aren’t relevant in the digital age anymore, than neither are cinemas, museums, galleries, theaters, churches or professional football matches because libraries were visited much more than any of those last year. Was that what you expected?
Check out the slideshows Ned has put together with all of this information and the sources: