Both number of visitors, loans and borrowers went up in Danish public libraries in 2015. The libraries hosted yet more events, many of which focused on literature and reading. This is shown in a new publication from the Agency for Culture and Palaces Public libraries in figures 2015.
With 37.7 mil. visitors in 2015, the public library is still the most popular cultural institution in Denmark. And with more than 20,000 events in 2015, the libraries are offering activities that might open doors to new knowledge and encourage a passion for reading. On the publication of the 2015 edition of Public libraries in figures, the Danish minister for culture, Bertel Haarder, said that the libraries still have strong focus on literature and try to disseminate it in many innovative ways.
When studying the figures more closely, they show an increase compared to previous years in both number of physical visits and visits to the libraries’ digital services – particularly the e-bookshelf. This has resulted in a growing number of loans when adding physical books, ebooks and net audiobooks together.
As there is also an increase of just over 9 percent in number of active borrowers, it is likely that new media forms like for example net audiobooks appeal to new groups of readers. Active marketing and experimenting forms of dissemination are probably also acting as stimulants for delving into the books. Among the libraries’ offers, you find book brunch, book talks, readings, talks on the book season’s publications, literary salons and presentations of literature.
The library is important
In any case, the number of visits speaks for itself as to the libraries’ appeal to the users. More and more people find their way to their local library, which is an indication that also as a physical place the library is of great importance. This is true in urban communities as well as in smaller communities with few cultural offers and places to meet.
The many arrangements draw people in, but equally important is the fact that reading clubs, newspaper readers and students have got a casual area in the public space, where they can meet, be inspired and themselves contribute to launching for example literature events.
The figures used are primarily taken from the libraries’ reporting to Denmark’s Statistics for 2015 and the libraries’ answers for 2015 to the Agency for Culture and Palace’s annual questionnaire, The library barometer.