Sandwell libraries success
Published 22nd December 2017
Sandwell libraries are among the most popular and cost-effective in the country, a national survey of councils has confirmed.
In a report by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy on public library data for 2016-17, Sandwell is in the top ten of six categories.
The libraries in Sandwell's six towns were fourth out of the 36 metropolitan authorities for the highest number of visits and for the number of books issued to readers.
They were third for the number of volunteer hours worked, sixth highest for the use of computers and eighth for the number of inquiries.
And the data shows that despite these excellent ratings, which showed how well used the libraries were, the council-run service was the highly rated for value-for-money.
For out of the 36 authorities, Sandwell was the second lowest in the cost for each visit.
And in comparison with the seven other West Midlands metropolitan authorities, Sandwell was the highest for the number of visits, for the use of computers and for the number of volunteers hours worked.
The council was also the lowest in the West Midlands for the amount that each visit cost.
Councillor Syeda Khatun, deputy leader, said: “These are remarkable figures – showing that despite cuts in expenditure due to Government financial restrictions the libraries are doing such a great job.
“It is very impressive that our libraries are providing such a much-appreciated service and encouraging so many people to attend to enjoy the ever-increasing services available to Sandwell people.
“The council should be proud of these excellent figures and staff and the volunteers in the libraries should be congratulated for the work they do for local people.”