Free public libraries are facing an "absolute disaster" and need to take inspiration from the likes of Costa and Starbucks to avoid large-scale closures, an independent report has claimed.
Lack of toilets and a failure to keep up with the latest technology were among the main problems cited, along with a shortfall in features such as free wi-fi.
The Independent Library Report, due to be published later, found that around 35 per cent of people still use libraries regularly, rising to 50 per cent in the most deprived areas.
But with councils having to find tens of millions of pounds in savings, library services have suffered.
Speaking to The Independent, report author William Sieghart said he found it "astonishing" that a third of libraries are not equipped with wi-fi.