Tracking the Decline of Libraries in the UK
Journalists at the BBC have aggregated data from 207 authorities in the United Kingdom responsible for managing public libraries and found that the number of libraries and library jobs are in decline. The BBC’s analysis revealed that, over the past six years, 343 public libraries closed, higher than the government’s estimate of 110 closings, with another 111 planned closures this year. In addition, the total number of paid library staff has fallen by 25 percent over this same time period, a loss of 7,933 jobs, with many libraries increasingly relying on unpaid volunteers. BBC obtained the data via Freedom of Information Act requests and has made it available on GitHub.