Covid accelerates fall in Peterborough library users
The number of library users in Peterborough has plummeted in the past year - but the fall was already beginning pre-coronavirus pandemic.
The number of active users across the city’s 10 libraries was 30,846 in 2016/17.
This dropped to 25,521 in 2019/20, before falling markedly to 6,424 in 2020/21.
All 10 libraries closed in March 2020 during lockdown, as well as the mobile library service.
Four re-opened in the middle of August with a restricted service.
During the second lockdown in November only one library remained open, offering a ‘Select & Collect’ service and restricted computer access to the public on alternate days and reduced hours.
Four more libraries re-opened at the start of January this year, with the rest throwing open their doors from April 12 .
Figures show there is a mixed picture with regards to the number of physical and e-loans carried out at the libraries.
For the former, the number dropped from 476,638 in 2016/17 to 390,684 in 2019/20 before plummeting to 39,756 last year.
For the latter, the number rose from 10,403 in 2016/17 to 46,253 in 2019/20 before rising again to 72,913 last year.
Library services in Peterborough were being run by Vivacity before the not-for-profit trust collapsed during the pandemic.
They are now being run by City Culture Peterborough.