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

Sexual abuse charity to close after being overwhelmed with inquiries

21 May 2015

A child sexual abuse charity is set to close after it was overwhelmed with inquiries following the publicity...

Charities are being driven out of business by pension schemes, CFG tells DWP

20 May 2015

Skills for Logistics, a sector skills council charity, was driven into liquidation by its pension scheme...

Big Society Capital has received more than £300m and invested more than £50m

19 May 2015

Big Society Capital has now invested more than £50m in social ventures and has signed agreements worth...

Olive Cooke investigation ‘likely to lead to tighter rules on direct mail and telephone fundraising’

21 May 2015

The Fundraising Standards Board will investigate how charities share lists of donors and whether opt-out...

Amnesty trials virtual reality headsets for street fundraisers

21 May 2015

Amnesty International UK has given street fundraisers virtual reality headsets so they can show the public...

Family of Olive Cooke say charities are not responsible for her death

19 May 2015

The granddaughter of Olive Cooke, the 92-year-old poppy seller said to have committed suicide after being...

Amnesty trials virtual reality headsets for street fundraisers

21 May 2015

Amnesty International UK has given street fundraisers virtual reality headsets so they can show the public...

Review programme launched to help charity sector embrace digital technology

20 May 2015

A review programme has been launched by think tank NPC to assess how to improve access to digital technology...

Unicef launches 'Wearables for Good' competition to find solutions to health problems

20 May 2015

Unicef has launched a challenge to encourage companies to create new wearable technology to solve health...

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 <<