Performance - libraries

Service information

A range of cultural services are provided across North Lanarkshire by CultureNL.  Responsibilities for CultureNL include the management and operation of performance venues such as Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre, arts activity and arts development, community facilities (including the letting of school halls and sports pitches), museums, archives and local studies, libraries and information services, and play services.  CultureNL also manage the catering, cleaning and caretaking functions associated with these services.

CultureNL provides a range of educational, recreational, and information resources for loan and for reference, in print or electronically.  LogintoLearn centres provide free access to internet enabled computers.  Accredited learning courses, focussing on information technology and communication skills, are also run for adults.

For more information regarding these services please follow the links below.

Performance information

Performance results for 2018/19 are summarised below and a key showing the symbols is included at the bottom of this page.

Library usage

The following indicator shows the extent to which library services are reaching their potential service users by measuring the number of visits.

IndicatorIdeal directionActual 2010/11Actual 2011/12Actual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18Actual 2018/19Target 2018/19Progress status
number of library visits per 1,000 populationPerformance arrow - up 7,1775,5435,3605,0964,9235,4315,3534,9104,8795,000Performance status - green
  • During the year we received 1,658,711 visits to our libraries, equal to 4,879 per 1,000 population.  This is a similar figure to last year when there was 1,666,445 visits (4,910 per 1,000 population).

Digital users of libraries

The following indicator reflects the number of individuals accessing library services via one of a range of digital solutions available.  This includes number of individuals booking a public access computer in a library, number of individuals accessing social media, number of individuals accessing LogintoLearn and Libraries NL websites for information, number of individuals accessing libraries e-book, e-audio and magazine sites, number of individuals using library wi-fi connections, and number of unique IP visits to Culture NL/council websites.

IndicatorIdeal directionActual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18Actual 2018/19Target 2018/19Progress status
Digital users of library services as a percentage of the populationPerformance arrow - up 22.7%30.0%26.1%26.4%27.0%Performance status - green
  • During 2018/19 there were 89,799 digital users of library services, 26.4% of the population. 
  • This is an increase in the number of digital users from last year when there were 88,426 users (26.1% of the population), and a slightly higher proportion, the figure is slightly under the target expected of 27%.
  • Continued increase in demand for digital services, together with the roll-out of a number of new digital services such as eMagazine and eAudio book services, has contributed to higher than expected levels of performance.

Cost per visit to libraries

The following indicator shows the extent to which library services are reaching their potential service users by measuring the number of visits.  The number of visits refers to the total number of visits, not visitors.  Visits are counted whatever the reason for the visit, for example to borrow books, make use of the internet, or use reference material.

Costs relate to gross expenditure for libraries; this includes costs associated with permanent and mobile lending libraries, reference and information services, and specific community library services.  Expenditure in relation to school libraries is not included.

IndicatorActual 2010/11Actual 2011/12Actual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18
libraries gross expenditure (£000)£6,388£6,276£6,077£6,757£6,657£6,890£6,385£6,190
number of library visits2,342,0271,779,7831,751,0911,721,9421,662,7001,835,4181,810,5601,666,445
cost per visit to libraries in North Lanarkshire£2.73£3.53£3.47£3.92£4.00£3.75£3.53£3.71
Scotland comparisons£3.41£3.26£3.15£2.57£2.45£2.45£1.98£2.08
Family group comparisons£3.43£3.26£3.07£2.16£2.11£2.23£1.86£2.08
  • Across Scotland costs per visit to libraries in 2017/18 range from £0.76 to £5.19.
  • The latest cost per visit to libraries in North Lanarkshire (£3.71) is higher than comparative figures for Scotland and the family group.
  • The adverse weather during quarter four of 2017/18, along with the temporary removal of three mobile libraries and reduced opening hours, have impacted on the number of visits to libraries at this time.

Satisfaction with the libraries service

The following indicator measures the proportion of adults surveyed who are satisfied or very satisfied with libraries in North Lanarkshire. Those people who gave no opinion on the service are excluded from the results.

Several factors can have an impact on adult satisfaction and attendance levels to cultural and leisure services, this can include the number and size of facilities available for use, the age, quality and range of these facilities, the extent to which facilities and activities are publicised, and the opening hours, variety, programming and cost of activities on offer.

The data for this indicator comes from the Scottish Household Survey which is undertaken by the Scottish Government.  Some caution should be taken when reviewing these figures as the sample sizes for some local authorities can be small, also national and family group comparisons are only indicative.

IndicatorActual 2010-14Actual 2012-15Actual 2013-16Actual 2014-17Actual 2015-18
% of adults satisfied with libraries in North Lanarkshire87.4%86.3%83.0%80.0%78.7%
Scotland comparisons82.5%80.3%77.3%74.7%73.0%
Family group comparisons84.4%82.8%79.4%77.2%75.5%
  • Satisfaction with libraries In North Lanarkshire has consistently remained above national and family group comparisons.
  • However, this  survey was not undertaken by CultureNL and therefore any interpretation of the results is incomplete without full information on the audience sampled and their locality, the venue(s) they visited, the context in which the question was asked, and the number of respondents to the question.

Comparing our performance

The above information includes a subset of indicators from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) where North Lanarkshire's performance can be compared nationally across all councils in Scotland.

Comparisons are also made with our family group which comprises councils with whom our performance is most comparable in terms of demographic conditions. 

For these indicators our family group comprises eight of the most densely populated council areas in Scotland, these councils are Aberdeen City Council, Dundee City Council, East Dunbartonshire Council, City of Edinburgh Council, Falkirk Council, Glasgow City Council, West Dunbartonshire Council, and North Lanarkshire Council.

What the council is doing to improve services

Work is ongoing to ensure the continued development of our culture and leisure services, key priorities for CultureNL for the libraries service include:

  • Completing the review of the library service.
  • Continued development of the Encounters festival.
  • Developing a three year libraries action plan.
  • Improving access to our facilities in line with the Disability Discrimination Act.
  • Developing an effective and efficient frontline service that makes best use of IT.

How the public can get involved

Further information

Local councils provide a wide range of services for their communities; the online data tool, My Local Council, provides further information and comparisons on these services to show how councils across Scotland are performing.

Key to symbols
Ideal directionProgress status
The ideal direction of an indicator is the way we aim to see performance results change over time.  The two options are as follows:We assess the progress of each of our indicators by comparing the latest performance results to target.  The traffic light system used to assess progress is noted below:
Performance arrow - up
  • high figures are good for this indicator
  • we aim to see an upward trend
Performance status - green
  • performance is on target and/or within the acceptable thresholds
Performance arrow - down
  • low figures are good for this indicator
  • we aim to see a downward trend
Performance status - red
  • performance does not meet the target set and is outwith the acceptable thresholds
  Performance status - blue
  • performance surpasses the target and exceeds expectations

For any queries, or further details regarding the performance information on this page, please contact the Libraries.


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