Share

Number of volunteers in libraries overtakes number of staff

Number of volunteers in libraries overtakes number of staff
News

Number of volunteers in libraries overtakes number of staff

Governance | Niki May Young | 13 Dec 2012

Volunteering in libraries has increased by 8.9 per cent this year while staff numbers are down by 8 per cent, according to research from Cipfa.

In its annual national libraries survey the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (Cipfa) found that in 2011/12 there were 23,397 volunteers, and 21,780 staff, the first year that volunteer numbers have surpassed staff numbers.

Volunteer numbers have been tracked in the survey since 2007, the third year of its existence. Since then the number of volunteers has increased by 64 per cent from 15,008. Meanwhile staff numbers have dropped by 15.5 per cent from 25,769. However the figures do not compare like-for-like. Staff numbers are calculated based on the number of hours worked, while volunteer figures represent each volunteer, no matter how many hours they work.

Regardless, this year's figures continue a trend of increased volunteers but also a slowdown after an unprecedented 22.5 per cent increase last year. The previous year saw a 10.4 per cent increase in volunteers, and before that a 5.9 per cent boost.

Libraries have suffered from a gradual reduction in funding from fees, grants, donations and corporate income since 2005 which last year fell 6.3 per cent. However local authority funding, the main income resource, has also been tightly squeezed. Separate research from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (Cilip) earlier this month found that projected spending on libraries from 85 local authority respondents decreased from £565m in 2010/11 to £505m in 2012/13, a 10.1 per cent decrease.

Cipfa's research found that libraries continue to close, with an overall loss of 201 libraries UK-wide in 2011/12, taking into account those that have opened and those that have closed. There are now 4,265 service points, including mobile libraries in the UK.

Julian Mund, Cipfa's product development director, said: "Local authorities across the UK are working hard to identify savings and reduce their spending. Although there has been a large increase in the number of libraries and mobile libraries closing, it is important to note that the largest, most popular and viable libraries are largely staying open."

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

DWP promises measures to improve charities’ experience of the Work Programme

18 Dec 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions has agreed to introduce measures expected to improve the Work Programme...

Acevo membership fell 10 per cent in the last year

18 Dec 2014

Chief executives’ body Acevo saw a 10 per cent drop in membership in the year to March 2014, and a fall...

Government commits another £2.3m to support Kew

17 Dec 2014

Nick Clegg yesterday announced an additional £2.3m of funding to support Kew Gardens’ botanical research...

Camelot CEO says deregulation of society lotteries may not increase good cause money

18 Dec 2014

The chief executive of Camelot has said that reducing the regulation around society lotteries may not...

Ukip supporters trust charities less than other voters do, NPC study finds

18 Dec 2014

A survey by Ipsos Mori for NPC about how charities are perceived by people who vote for various political...

Tobin Aldrich leaves Sightsavers to set up consultancy

17 Dec 2014

Former director of global fundraising for Sightsavers, Tobin Aldrich, has announced that he has left the...

CRUK crowdfunding effort flops

15 Dec 2014

Cancer Research UK’s three new crowdfunding campaigns did not manage to raise even 10 per cent of the...

Volunteering platform Do-it relaunches

12 Dec 2014

Online volunteering platform Do-it has been relaunched today by its new owner, the Do-it Trust, with more...

‘The challenge is getting people to use IT systems’

28 Nov 2014

Whatever type of customer-relationship management system charities use, the biggest challenge is convincing...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<