Rolling annual number of visitors to libraries operated by or on behalf of Shropshire Council.
Q3 visits are significantly down as many libraries were closed during lockdowns and physical visits have remained low. Various reasons including reluctance of older/vulnerable library customers to go out, reduced library services in branch, greater focus on digital services, no events or activities in libraries. Volunteer hours are also very low as we’re only using volunteers at a very reduced level in line with current risk assessments.
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.