Manchester Libraries Tackle Loneliness

8 December 2020 - News

The annual survey of library figures by The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) announced on 4 December revealed that Manchester Central Library was the most visited in Great Britain for the second year in a row, with 2,022,641 visits (up from 1.9 million in 2018/19).

Data was also released showing that libraries can help combat feelings of loneliness. As part of the Manchester Libraries User Survey, four in ten respondents reported experiencing feelings of loneliness or isolation from others. Respondents who indicated that they often or sometimes experience feelings of loneliness were asked whether the library helped combat these feelings. More than eight in ten of this group agreed that it did.

The survey also indicated that respondents felt the library served as both an information hub and community centre, providing visitors with an opportunity to meet other people and engage in social activities.

Elsewhere in the Annual Survey it was revealed total spending on libraries in Britain decreased by nearly £20m over the past year, a reduction of 2.6% from 2018/19.

"Our libraries are vital hubs which improve the quality of individual lives and the communities they serve. That's why they are so well used and why we're pleased and proud that Central Library was Britain's busiest public library in 2019/20, for the second year running. This research has confirmed what we've always believed – libraries make people less lonely and more engaged with their communities."

Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE