The People's Network
- There are 4,759 libraries in the UK, of which 693 are mobile
libraries, plus 19,136 service points in hospitals, prisons, old
people's homes, etc.
- There are 129,612,000 books in the public library service,
which take up 3,600 km of shelving space - or 2.5 times the distance
from John o'Groats to Lands End - compared with 3,149 km of UK motorway.
- 58 per cent of the population hold library membership -
33,865,000 out of a total UK population of 58,388,000. There were
377,000,000 visits made to libraries in 1995/96.
- Compare that with football attendances: 33,000,000 people
in the UK were admitted to a professional league match in the 1995/96
- 10 million people use libraries on a regular basis - at
least once a fortnight.
- The fifth most popular pastime in the UK is visiting the
local library. The first four are (a) visiting a pub, (b) eating in a
restaurant, (c) driving for pleasure, (d) eating in a fast-food
Sources: Library and Information Statistics Unit (LISU),
Loughborough University; Football Association, Football Association of
Wales, Scottish Football League, Irish Football League; The Henley
Centre (included in Social Trends, 1996)
- 'If the public libraries in the UK do
not act as the bridge between the new electronic information world and
the language and history of print, then no one will, and we risk losing
our culture, heritage and education'
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