UK 'continues to love libraries'
23rd November 2010
New research published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has shown how the UK public continues to recognise the importance of libraries.
A poll carried out by Shared Intelligence and Ipsos MORI on behalf of the body found that 74 per cent of library users regard the service as 'essential' or 'very important' to their lives.
In addition, the survey discovered that 59 per cent of those who do not use the facilities still believe they play an important role in the community.
Sir Andrew Motion, chair of the MLA, commented: 'As councils grapple with difficult decisions about where to allocate shrinking funds, this timely research highlights the value attached to library services, even unselfishly among people who are not current users.'
The research also found that books are still the driving force behind the popularity of libraries, with 76 per cent of people using the facilities to further their love of reading.
Some 44 per cent also use libraries to study, 17 per cent to access local information and 14 per cent as somewhere to take their children.
This month, a number of the UK's top authors - including Will Self, Helen Dunmore, Benjamin Zephaniah and Charlie Higson - joined a campaign to protect London's libraries from closure, the Evening Standard reported.