CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Public Libraries – Key Facts

  • Libraries regularly have 40 million visits a year, more visits than cinema and football combined and are the most popular service Councils provide.
  • Libraries generate up to £7 for every £1 spent on them.
  • Post-pandemic libraries are seeing significant return in visits with a 68% rise in visits year on year.
  • Libraries offer Bookbug sessions, an array of studies have concluded that children benefited from hearing nursery rhymes from an early age. Preschool children (with and without additional support needs) who were familiar with stories, songs, and rhymes developed better literacy, cognitive, and motor skills.
  • Libraries reduce social isolation and support mental health and wellbeing, as evidenced by the Scottish Government.
  • Libraries play a key role in supporting the current digital strategies in Scotland by providing free access for people unable to get online at home, delivering substantial democratic, social and economic benefits to citizens and communities, as well as helping people to search and apply for jobs and welfare.
  • Libraries have also been essential warm spaces during the cost of living crisis.
  • There is a National Strategy for Public Libraries being implemented in Scotland that highlights their value to places, people, and partnerships, and all of these will suffer if libraries are removed from communities.
  • It is a legal duty as a Council to provide services that meet the needs of their community, so any closures should only be undertaken with the support of residents. If changes mean that someone cannot access services in the same way then this could also infringe Equalities Law.
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