New figures show library book issues have plummeted since 2011
New data reveals that the number of books issued from public libraries in the North East have fallen by 49% since 2011.
The number of books borrowed in the North East has decreased from 13.5 million in 2011 to 6.9 million in 2018.
The research, commissioned from the House of Commons Library by the Shadow Culture Team, comes ahead of World Book Day on Thursday 7th of March.
World Book Day is an occasion to celebrate reading. It is marked by over 100 different countries and celebrates authors, illustrators, and books.
Libraries are at the hearts of our communities and they are engines of opportunity. However, almost a decade of Tory austerity has taken its toll on our public library services, causing branch closures, staff cuts, and fewer opening hours.
Previous research shows that library book stock has fallen by 21% in the North East since 2010/11.
521 libraries have closed across England since 2010.
Cuts to library services damage the learning opportunities of children and young people, and impact on older people looking for company and comfort.
Easington MP Grahame Morris says:
“World Book Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the joy of reading. Books open up whole new worlds for children and adults alike.
That’s why it is such a scandal that millions fewer books are being issued from our public libraries. Council budgets have been cut to the bone by Tory austerity and our library services are paying the price.
Libraries are at the heart of our local communities. The Government should urgently rethink and end these senseless cuts.”