The total spend on British libraries has fallen by nearly £20m in the past financial year, new figures have revealed.
Figures published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) show that spending on libraries this year reduced by 2.6% compared to 2018/19.
Since 2018/19, the total number of paid staff has reduced by 2.4% and the number of volunteers has reduced by 2.6%. However, the data shows the number of hours worked by volunteers has increased by 1.4% to more than 1.8 million hours.
Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO said: 'This year’s findings show that the trend of libraries having to redesign their services and rely increasingly on volunteers continues.
'The steep drop in spending on British libraries is further evidence of the fact that local authorities continue to have to do more with less – and this is having a significant impact on resources that are vital to our local communities.'