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.