London Libraries today released figures on borrowing and visits across 325 public libraries in London’s 32 boroughs. On average, customers visit London’s libraries 45 million times per year and borrow 25 million books. In the five year period of 2013 – 2018, London opened 21 new libraries and refurbished 43.
With 325 public libraries, London has more libraries than any other city in the world. London Libraries is the London region of Libraries Connected and has membership of all 32 boroughs and the City of London.
Whilst libraries in London and across the country have suffered from budget cuts, libraries are still incredibly popular and full of customers reading, learning, taking classes, improving IT skills, and more.
Caroline Rae, London Libraries President, said: “Our library system is busy and popular, thanks to the hard work of public library staff. We know the past decade has been incredibly tough for libraries and we have had to deal with ever decreasing budgets. But national statistics do not tell the whole story of libraries. They don’t show the mother and her three children sitting until closing time in a quiet corner, reading and doing homework; or our customers who study for qualifications or write up their CVs at the computers; or those who start businesses using the resources provided in the library. London’s Libraries are thriving places of study, work and contemplation with borrowing statistics to underline this point. We are proud of our libraries and our customers who utilise them.”