Use of public libraries on the rise

Québec, February 12, 2015 – Compared with Ontario, British Columbia and the United States, the use of public library services in Québec grew quite significantly between 2002 and 2012. There were six loans per capita in Québec in 2002 and seven in 2012, while Ontario recorded 10 loans per capita for both of those years. In Québec libraries, the number of in-person visits per capita increased from 3.7 in 2007 to 4.0 in 2012, while in Ontario the number of visits declined from 5.8 to 5.5. That was revealed in the bulletin entitled Les bibliothèques publiques québécoises de 2002 à 2012 published today by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec (OCCQ) of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Proportion of registered users up in Québec

In 2002, 2007 and 2012, the proportion of registered public library users among the population served by a library in Québec went from 31% to 36% and to 35%. In Ontario, the number of library users increased at a slower rate than the population, with the result that the proportion of users declined from 50% to 42% and to 37%. The situation was similar in British Columbia, where the rates were 52%, 45% and 39% respectively.

All library use indicators for Québec were below those for libraries in other jurisdictions, but the gap tends to narrow.

Service offer expanding

In Québec, the proportion of the population served by a library increased, along with the total library area and the number of printed materials in their collections. Their opening hours were equivalent to those of Ontario libraries, but well below those of libraries in British Columbia and the United States. The number of librarians and workstations with Internet access remained below that in other provinces and the United States. Nevertheless, operating expenditures of Québec public libraries rose from $28 to $44 per capita, whereas they increased from $40 to $49 in Ontario.

This information comes from issue No. 36 of Optique culture, which is available on the website of the Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and the relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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