News story

Library comparison reports published

Local authorities across England will be able to compare their library services to help improve services

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


We have commissioned a comprehensive set of benchmarking reports, for a second year running, which are published today. The reports, produced by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) will help library authorities ensure they are delivering a good level of service and review any areas for improvement.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:

We want all our library services to be the best they can, and this set of new and detailed reports will allow local authorities to identify areas for improvement and also look at what other places are doing in terms of service and good practice. Using the information will allow for better services for all library users and those responsible for running them.

The comparative profile reports compare each authority to 15 similar authorities across a wide range of indicators, including:

  • library usage
  • financial information
  • levels of staffing
  • loans figures

The data will allow authorities - and anyone else with an interest in libraries - to compare their services with those of similar councils, known as their “nearest neighbours”. This allows authorities to compare ‘like with like’ when considering the delivery of their library services.

Further Information

Press Release: Library comparison reports published to help improve services (MS Word Document, 120KB)

See the reports

Published 24 March 2014