Wales suffers loss of visits to its libraries

Credit: PA

Wales has seen a drop in visits to its libraries since 2010, according to a new survey.

Last year, Wales lost 11% of its Libraries - a decrease from 308 to 274.

Figures released by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy also found visits to libraries across the UK have fallen by 14%.

Library funding has been cut by more than £180m over the same period.

The survey also found a total of 106 libraries closed across the UK in 2014/15.

Our annual library survey makes for grim reading. Cost cutting measures continue to hit unprotected services hard and fewer people are using public libraries. Yet there is some hope. Volunteer numbers have nearly doubled over the past five years. Tens of thousands of people are now giving their time to make sure these precious resource survive.

Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of Cipfa
Last year, Wales lost 11% of its Libraries - a decrease from 308 to 274. Credit: PA

Elsewhere England's libraries fell from 3,142 to 3,076, while in Scotland the total dropped by just 1%, from 573 to 567.

The survey reports an increase in volunteering by 19% in 2014/15.

The number of full-time paid library staff dropped by 4% over the same period.

We know that libraries continue to be popular but that people want different things from them. That's why the Government set up the Libraries Task Force to help them improve things like digital access and e-lending.

Spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport