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Culture - Public Libraries

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Friday, September 23, 2011

Public Libraries

Public library services in Scotland are entirely the responsibility of local authorities which have a statutory duty to secure the provision of adequate library facilities for all persons resident in their area.

Currently there are some 541 public libraries in Scotland and a further 82 mobile libraries, which serve rural areas (Source: SLAINTE, 2009).

Audit Scotland results for 2008/09 show:

  • Around 30 million visits to public libraries were made.
  • The number of borrowers from public libraries in 2008/09 was very similar to the previous year at 1.0 million, approximately 21% of the resident population.

The introduction of learning centre and learning access points has been phased in across Scotland. Audit Scotland figures for 2008/09 show:

  • Across Scotland the number of users of learning centre and learning access points in 2008/09 was nearly 587,000 (this figure excludes data from one local authority which Audit Scotland deemed to be unreliable).
  • In 2007/2008 the number of learning centre and learning access point users (which included all Scottish local authorities) was just over 560,000.
  • In 2008/2009 these terminals were used a total of 4.7 million times, unchanged from 2007/2008.


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