chapter  5
6 Pages

The modern library network

Libraries have also spread their wings. The number of individual points served by the library service, including hospitals, old people's homes and prisons, has increased from 11,346 in 1982 to 19,095 in 1992. In 1993 there were 709 mobile libraries serving rural or isolated communities. Financial restrictions on local councils have, however, affected opening hours. The number of libraries open for more than 60 hours per week (something like a minimum of 9am-7pm from Monday to Saturday) has reduced from 90 to 48 between 1982 and 1992. Several local authorities have experimented with Sunday opening. The number of people who work in libraries has reduced from a peak of 29,911 in 1987 to 28,259 in 1992. Of these, 7,651 were professionally trained and 18,859 were library assistants.1