January 18, 2021

New BBC Report: Over 8,000 Public Library Jobs in England Lost in Past Six Years

From the BBC:

Almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years, about a quarter of the overall total, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.

Over the same period, some 15,500 volunteers have been recruited and 343 libraries have closed, leading to fears over the future of the profession.

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The BBC has compiled data from 207 authorities responsible for running libraries through the Freedom of Information Act.  Our analysis shows:

  • Some 343 libraries closed. Of those, 132 were mobile services, while 207 were based in buildings (and there were four others, such as home delivery services).
  • The number of closures in England is higher than the government’s official estimate of 110 buildings shut
  • A further 111 closures are planned this year
  • The number of paid staff in libraries fell from 31,977 in 2010 to 24,044 now, a drop of 7,933 (25%) for the 182 library authorities that provided comparable data
  • A further 174 libraries have been transferred to community groups, while 50 have been handed to external organisations to run. In some areas, such as Lincolnshire and Surrey, the move has led to legal challenges and protests from residents.

Read the Complete Article, View Charts

See Also: Complete Dataset Compiled by BBC (via Google Docs)

See Also: Additional Data and Resources (BBC via Github)

Hat Tip: Sheila Webber/Information Literacy Weblog

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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