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Public Libraries: Statistics

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to his answer of 21 January, Official Report, column 1456W, what statistical information his Department gathers relating to library services. (252956)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport gathers statistical information relating to library services through its Taking Part survey. This is a continuous household survey providing national data on participation in culture, leisure and sport by adults aged 16 and over.

In relation to libraries, Taking Part asks respondents whether they have visited one in the past 12 months and, if so, how often. It also asks about their experiences during their last visit; their satisfaction with the library's services, and whether they would repeat the visit. The survey also tries to find out why respondents have not visited a library. The latest available data for libraries, which includes demographic breakdowns of attendance, can be found at:

In April 2008, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport added questions to Sport England’s Active People survey to collect data for participation in cultural activities for the purposes of the National Indicator Set. Respondents are asked whether they had used a public library service in the past 12 months. Baseline estimates of attendance for all upper-tier local authorities can be found at: