Rolling annual number of visitors to libraries operated by or on behalf of Shropshire Council.
Q1 visits and volunteer hours for Libraries are both zero. Libraries have been closed since 20th March. Online library services have continued to be delivered and we’ve seen significant increases particularly in e-book loans which have increased by 365% compared to the previous year. Libraries have also been creating and sharing a greater volume of online content via social media, including online storytimes, poetry readings and virtual lego clubs. A ‘Libraries From Home’ page was added to the library webpages signposting to various resources to help people during lockdown. Libraries are now planning for a phased reopening during July and August.
Overall visitor numbers to libraries are slowly declining and follows a long term decline which has been experienced by library authorities across the country. Key challenges to libraries has been the change of reading habits with easy access to electronic reading devices, reduced demand for reference services with easy access to information and news services via search engines.
Due to closure period the comparator figures are unreliable.
The library service continues to develop new services and initiatives to encourage use of its facilities and materials. Shropshire Libraries has had a fantastic year for the use of our resources. Our cloudLibrary e-book loans have doubled to over 24,000 and our e-audio has quadrupled to over 4,800 loans. We also had over 1000 new users on the cloudLibrary service. We have also seen increased usage of the RB Digital e-magazines over 26,000 issues read and also with Press Reader with over 16,000 e-magazines and e-newspapers read.