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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February, 2004, 06:51 GMT
Library borrowing drops again
The number of people visiting their local library is falling year on year
The number of people using their local libraries has fallen for the fifth year running, with just under a quarter of Scots now borrowing books.

The association representing librarians has revealed local councils reduced their funding for lending services in the last five years.

It also said that, as a result, the drop in library use should come as no surprise.

The figures showing a continued decline come in a report from Audit Scotland.

Last year 34 million books were borrowed from council-run libraries.

'Investment needed'

The figures vary across the country, with less than one in five people in Renfrewshire using their local libraries, compared to just over a third of people in Moray.

The Scottish Library and Information Council said that local authorities have on average reduced their funding on new books by 30%.

But it said that where local authorities, like Moray, had sustained their investment - the overall downward trend can be reversed.

The organisation has called on councils to take their statutory duty to provide library services more seriously.

The council said the role of libraries is not just to promote literacy, but also to act as a focal point for local communities.

Warning over libraries' fate
28 Jan 00  |  Scotland

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