Good news on the thriving nature of Better's Libraries comes this week with the publication of the annual borrowing statistics.
Better Libraries together serve a population of 2,032,700 people across 5 library partnerships in Bromley, Dudley, Greenwich, Lincolnshire and Wandsworth.
The recently published CIPFA figures for 2019-2020 show that in total, Better libraries issued 3,042 books per 1,000 population, 20% above the English average of 2,535 books per 1,000 population.
Better's Wandsworth Libraries issued more books than any other London authority during 2019-20.
The Wandsworth service issued 1,383,740 books, and was 1st in London for the 3rd year in a row.
Better's Bromley Libraries moved into 2nd place in London, issuing 1,295,592 books.
Book issues in Better's Greenwich Libraries increased to 864,046 books (7th highest in London) up from 29th in the London rankings in 2012 when Better took over the management of the library service on behalf of the Council.
Out of London, the picture is good, too, with Better DudleyLibraries issuing 850,728 books (the highest recorded figure in the West Midlands authority).
Better's Lincolnshire Libraries made progress with book issues, too, and is in the top 20 counties for the first time.
Diana Edmonds MBE, National Libraries Director for Better, commented that: "Over 75% of our customers come to a library to borrow a book – and they are clearly finding books they want to borrow.
"This is due to the skill and enthusiasm of our staff, to those who select the stock we buy, to those who arrange the books on the shelves, to those who talk to the customers about the pleasure of reading – and to those who publicise individual books and authors, in book groups, story times and reading groups, in displays in the libraries and on social media.
"Many members of our staff are passionate about reading – and this passion for the written word shines through these results”.
Better's Greenwich Libraries had 8,209 visits per 1,000 population (1st in England, Scotland and Wales for the 5th year in a row).
Better's Woolwich Library in Greenwich had 1,152,252 visits, making it the 2nd most visted public library in London (after Wembley) and the 3rd most visited in England, Scotland and Wales (after Manchester and Wembley).
Use of the Peoples Network in Greenwich was 219,620 hours (4th highest in London).
In summary, the top 2 borough book issues in London are made in Better libraries, all 3 Better-operated library boroughs are in the top 7.
Better's Wandsworth Libraries issued 4,197 books per 1,000 population (4th highest in England).
Better's Dudley Libraries issued 2,645 books per 1,000 population (2nd out of 25 Metropolitan Districts) and received 304 requests per 1,000 population (1st in Metropolitan Districts).
Better's Lincolnshire Libraries received 286 requests per 1,000 population (4th in English Counties).
Better's libraries had 3,456 visits per 1,000 population, 9% above the English average of 3,170 visits per 1,000 population.