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

Charity shops 'more popular than eBay', according to survey

27 Feb 2015

A survey conducted by nfpSynergy has found that Britons prefer to shop at charity shops rather than using...

Charities Property Fund reports £100m of transactions last December

26 Feb 2015

The Charities Property Fund has grown to £865m after reporting £100m of new transactions in December...

New regulations will help charities win contracts but do not go far enough, report claims

26 Feb 2015

New public contract regulations which come into force today will help charities win government contracts...

Diabetes UK raises £18.6m through Tesco partnership

27 Feb 2015

Tesco employees, suppliers and customers raised over £18m for Diabetes UK between March 2013 and December...

Coffee mornings top list of most popular fundraising events, report shows

26 Feb 2015

Coffee mornings are the most popular ways for supporters to raise money for charity, according to new...

Foundations discuss creating grants map of the UK

26 Feb 2015

Some of the sector’s largest foundations are discussing creating a map of all charitable grant funding...

Daniel Phelan dies, aged 58

13 Feb 2015

Daniel Phelan, owner and editor-in-chief of Civil Society Media, passed away on Wednesday following a...

LinkedIn launches matching service to bring charity volunteering opportunities to 250,000 members

6 Feb 2015

Charities in the UK will be able to advertise volunteer opportunities to 250,000 LinkedIn members who...

Free guide to Bitcoin donations produced for charities

5 Feb 2015

Two Bitcoin organisations have launched a website and free guide to promote the use of the digital currency...

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 <<