As precocious prepubescents, we spent many happy hours scaring ourselves witless in the teenage section of the local library. Abortions, drug overdoses, date rape… Ach, they were good days.
So we’re pretty pleased to hear libraries in the south west are as popular as ever (arghem, that’s apart from with Devon County Councillors, whose improvement programme will lead to a number of rural libraries being closed).
Statistics from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy show that, since 2001, the number of visitors has increased by a beezer 9.4 per cent, outstripping the national average of 7.5 per cent.
Things don’t look quite so good for PRSD fans though, with only a modest increase since last year in the number of PCs available in public libraries.
While the UK as a whole saw a six per cent increase in the amount of computer terminals with access to the net, the South West saw only a two per cent rise. Boo!
Also, in line with most other regions of the UK, there was a decline in the number of books available in the region’s libraries, along with a fall in the number of books issued since last year.
The number of books stocked in the South West fell by 7.4 per cent, more than the national average drop of 2.6 per cent. Equally, the number of books issued fell by 1.9 per cent against the UK figure of 2.2 per cent.
Hang on a second. We thought this was gonna be a happy story but we’ve proper depressed ourselves now. The number of books stocked in the South West fell by 7.4 per cent? Is there anything the PRSD can do about this? Drop us a line and let us know. It may already be too late. Bah!
Posted by Thin White Duke
February 1st, 2007