CIPFA have published new figures on public library provision, and on the whole they are pretty grim. The Guardian tells us: "Visits [are] down by 3% year on year, and by 14% over the last five years. The decline, according to the CIPFA figures, is almost across the board: book issues fell by 6.3% in the last year, and by 25.1% in the last five years. Book stock held is also down by 2.6%.
The Brent experience, in contrast, is shown here:
And the Brent experience on loans (NB the high base line) is here:
The improved performance in both visits and loans is attributable to seven day opening, the refurbishment of Kilburn Library (Pictures are available here), a new library at Willesden and a new library at Wembley. These all formed part of the Brent Libraries Transformation Project.
So just to repeat, over a period when national library visits declined by 14%, Brent's went up by 61%. In the same period, loans went down 25.1% nationally, but rose by 8% in Brent.