Rolling annual number of visitors to libraries operated by or on behalf of Shropshire Council.
Libraries reopened for public access in mid-April albeit on reduced opening times and with various Covid restrictions in place which have had a continuing impact on physical visits. The Q1 rolling average figure of 180,690 is way below a pre covid average of 900,000, but the quarterly figure is the highest its been since the initial lockdown.
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.
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.