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Northamptonshire Analysis
The authority on Northamptonshire statistics

Active Library Card Users Update

02 January 2018

The statistics showing the number of users who have actively used their Northamptonshire Libraries & Information Service (NLIS) library card in the year to end September 2017 are now available on Northamptonshire Analysis. The figures for those active library card users living within Northamptonshire can be found in the Library Service Dataview. Further information about NLIS library card users who live outside of the county can be found in the accompanying Out of County spreadsheet.

Please note : Information for District and below is based on matching valid postcodes (ie. postcodes within Northamptonshire). County level totals are available both for postcodes within Northamptonshire and also for all active users of the Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Service regardless of where they live.   Commentary on county figures below relates to all active users of NLIS (both inside and outside the county).

In the year to end of September 2017   78,148   persons used their Northamptonshire (NLIS) library card (either in a library or on-line) . This is a slight decrease on the figures from six months previously but masks differences amongst the various ticket age bands.

In the year to end September 2017 there was a upturn in the number of 0-4 year old who were NLIS active library card users. Following three six-monthly data releases with figures in the low 8 thousands, 639 more pre-schoolers became active users bringing the total for the year to end September 2017 up to 8830 .... not back up to the numbers from 2015 but a welcome change from recent patterns.   Increases were particularly strong in Daventry and Wellingborough.

After a bad dip in active usage in the year to end March 2017, the number of 5-10 year old active library card users returned to previous post-2015 levels for the year to end September 2017 (around 17,250 active users).   Across the county an additional 740 card users of that age group were active in the year to end September 2017 compared to the year to end March.   Amongst this age group, the strongest percentage growth in numbers between the end of March and the end of September was found in Northampton.

Numbers of active 11-17 year old card users remained almost static in the year to end September 2017 compared to six months previously (Y2End March 2017) with just two more active young adult users logged on the system, bringing the figure up to 7053. Unlike the two younger age bands, this 11-17 age band is using the library service in greater numbers than in 2015.

Adult usage, however, continued to decline, slipping a further -3.7% down to 45,033 active users in the year to end September 2017, a decrease of a nearly quarter since September 2014.

I think it is worth looking at these patterns using the timeseries graphs within the dataview to provide the best clarity.

This active user data reflects the increase in new 0-4 and 5-10 year old registering with the library service during April to September 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 ... with these two age bands showing a percentage growth in new registrations of 20% and 25% respectively.   This was helped by a 7% increase in starters in the Summer Reading Challenge (2017 v. 2016).

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