Most borrowed books

Given that today is National Libraries Day, what perfect timing that  PLR (Public Lending Right) released its figures yesterday, showing the most borrowed titles and authors from UK libraries. Based on figures from July 2010-June 2011, it makes fascinating reading, especially for those interested in children’s books.

Whilst the figures show the continuing popularity of adult crime fiction, I was pleasantly surprised  by the fact that children’s fiction is riding high in the borrowing charts. In fact, five of the top ten most borrowed authors were children’s writers. Second only to James Patterson in a combined chart of adult and children’s authors, were the team of writers behind the Daisy Meadows books. Also included in the top ten most borrowed authors were Jacqueline Wilson, Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon, current Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and Mick Inkpen. The PLR figures show that Jacqueline Wilson is the most borrowed children’s author of the last decade, with over 16.5 million loans and she commented that “The PLR data clearly shows that many children still love borrowing books”.

Reassuringly, data from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) shows that for the last seven years, children’s borrowing from UK libraries has increased. From 89.9 million books borrowed by children in 2005/6, the figure rose to 96.8 million during 2010/11. Children’s books now represent 35.9% of all books borrowed, up from 33.9% last year.

With events taking place up and down the country today to mark National Libraries Day, let’s hope that these borrowing figures continue to rise in the years to come.

(Statistics kindly provided by the PLR.)

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