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Leicester’s love for its libraries

by Bethan Head

(De Montfort University Student)

A national survey has revealed that almost 90 per cent of Leicester residents love their libraries.

The Public Library User Survey has revealed that 89.3 per cent of Leicester library users rated their library as good or very good, an increase of one per cent since 2009 when the survey was last conducted.

Michael McBride, 57, Senior Community Librarian at Leicester Central Library, said: “We are constantly looking for new services which we can offer like the self-service machines we are introducing which should free up staff so that they have more time for customers.”

The survey, conducted last November, looked at different ways in which people use libraries, as well as how they rate their services.

Thirty-four per cent of respondents said visiting their local library had helped them to meet new people.

Other uses were for internet access, job seeking and work.

The biggest use of Leicester library space is for learning and study, according to 63 per cent of survey participants.

School student, Qani Hassan, 16, from Leicester, said: “I use the library to revise for school work; it’s good and it has everything I need.

“I would say its services are good and I think Leicester libraries are great.”

The libraries have also been scored very highly for customer care, with 93 per cent of participants rating it as either good or very good.

Improvements to the public computer services that many Leicester libraries provide have been noticed by survey-takers, satisfaction rates are up from 69 per cent in 2009 to 81 per cent in 2013.

Paulette Williams, Leicester said: “It’s good to have libraries because we can get books out and you can use the internet.

“Local people should definitely support their libraries.”