Good News for Children’s Library Loans

First of all, Happy National Libraries Day everyone! And what better way to celebrate than with some good library-related news…

Recent data provided by the Public Lending Right (PLR) has demonstrated an increase in the borrowing of children’s books from UK libraries, according to a Bookseller report on Friday.

The PLR data is based on a sample of UK book loans between July 2011 and June 2012 which, although showing a trend towards a decline in adult book loans, shows that children’s book loans are marginally increasing.

Some facts of interest:

  • Six of the 10 most borrowed authors in 2012 were children’s authors
  • 30 of the top 100 Nielsen BookScan library data titles were children’s books – an increase from 24 in the previous year
  • Whereas 39% of the top most borrowed books in 2011 were children’s titles, this rose to 42% in 2012.

Children's library loans are upSurrey County Council in particular has recently reported that its children’s library loans were up 60,000 (4 per cent) from 2011, with a quarter of Surrey’s libraries’ stock now consisting of children’s titles.

Some methods used by libraries to encourage children’s visits include free book requests, no late return fees and events for children throughout the year.  These are just some ways that libraries aim to encourage a joy of reading in children from an early age. I personally remember the sheer number of events and promotions we held at all times of the year during my time working in a Bristol library, and the delight me and my colleagues would feel at signing up a new member – being able to introduce them to a whole new world of exploration. Hopefully, this is promising news for many libraries around the country, as a sign that children are responding to their efforts.