Dan Peters 11 December 2013

Library staff numbers continue downward spiral

Library staff numbers have continued to fall, according to data compiled by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Numbers were down 6.8% year on year, with the number of volunteers increasing 44% in 2012/13.

The reduction in the number of libraries slowed in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12, with 74 libraries closing compared to 201 the previous year.

Chief executive of CIPFA, Rob Whiteman, said: ‘Local authorities across the UK have worked hard over the past few years to identify savings and reduce their spending but now also seem to be looking at new ways of keeping their libraries open to the public.

‘While the number of libraries and staff have fallen again, this has slowed.

‘However, the surge in volunteer numbers would suggest that libraries are searching for new and innovative ways to engage and serve their communities.’

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