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City-wide libraries survey reveals progress of Manchester's library

  • Satisfaction with Manchester’s library service has climbed to more than 93%
  • It is the highest overall satisfaction figure recorded since Manchester-wide library surveys began

The Public Library Users Survey, carried out across Manchester’s 22 public libraries over a one-week period in October, found that 93.3% of 4,750 people surveyed gave their local library an overall rating of either ‘good’ or ‘very good’, representing a 4.5% increase on the result of the last survey in 2012.

It is the highest overall satisfaction figure recorded since Manchester-wide library surveys were first conducted in 2002.

Visitors were asked to rate their library service across nine different measures, including: range of books on offer, internal and external condition of the library, opening hours, standard of customer care and computer provision.

The survey found that visitor satisfaction citywide had improved in eight of the nine measures since 2012, with notable increases recorded in categories including:

  • Interior condition of the library – up 6.5% to 91%
  • Exterior condition of the library – up 12.5% to 88%
  • The library’s opening hours - up 8% to 88% 
  • Choice of books on offer - up 7% to 82% 

Satisfaction with the standard of customer care experienced within libraries citywide remained steady, at 93%.

Manchester Central Library reopened to the public in March 2014, following a successful four-year, £50m project to transform the building. It is visited by more than 1.5 million people per year and recognised as one of Britain's most important public libraries.

Central Library cafe and Archives+ Centre
Central Library cafe and Archives+ Centre

For the Central Library, 2016 Users Survey found that 96% of visitors rated Central Library as good or very good overall and that:

  • 94% of visitors were satisfied with the interior appearance of Central Library - compared to 81% in 2009, before the transformation project (up 13%
  • 88% of visitors were satisfied with the choice of books on offer at Central Library - compared to 77% before the transformation (up 11%
  • 86% of visitors were satisfied with the computer facilities at Central Library - compared to just 69% in 2009 (up 17%)

Executive member for culture and leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “I’m very encouraged by the results of this survey.

"We know how much Manchester residents value their local libraries and will continue to work hard to ensure that we meet their expectations for a modern, welcoming and accessible library service. 

Central Library plays a vital role at the heart of our libraries network

"The four-year transformation project has secured the long-term future of a library of national importance, which is much loved by Manchester residents and by our visitors from around the world."

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