Number of visitors to libraries

Monitoring

Rolling annual number of visitors to libraries operated by or on behalf of Shropshire Council.

Overall visitor numbers to libraries have continued to slowly decline during 2017/18. This 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.

When comparing the same period last year there has been a 7.7% reduction in visitor numbers Q1 16/17 1,054,538 compared to Q1 17/18 973,707. There are several reasons for this; Shawbury library was closed in Sept 2016 so that will impact the overall comparisons. Shifnal/Albrighton/Broseley Libraries all re-opened following refurbishment in April/May 2016 causing an initial spike in visits during that Q1 that would skew the comparison with this year.