Tag Archives: Equality

Partners in Building a Healthier, Fairer World: Recognition of Libraries in the World of Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has further underlined an issue that was already painfully clear around the world – that health is too often an equalities issue.

Yet it has also made clear that without action to improve the health and wellbeing of all, we cannot overcome challenges. This is the case both in the shorter term in the form of the pandemic, and longer term in the shape of non-communicable diseases and other causes of suffering.

To respond, and so build a healthier, fairer world – the theme of World Health Day 2021 – action is needed to ensure that everyone can live healthier lives, reducing the risk of falling ill – public health.

Libraries themselves are aware, through their own experience, of how much they are used to access health information. As noted, for example, in a survey of Philadelphia librarians, each member of staff was receiving on average ten health-related queries a week, underlining that regardless of whether they are formally involved in planning, libraries are part of the health infrastructure. There are plenty of articles and presentations from the field, setting out ideas and experiences – see our own article from 2019.

This blog, however, looks at what public health professionals themselves are saying about libraries. This matters, because for our institutions to be part of plans to promote better health and wellbeing, libraries need to be recognised by the people preparing them. Therefore, all the links in this piece point to research or actions taken by actors outside of the library field.

We hope that they can help you in your advocacy.


Priorities for Public Health

In working to understand health inequalities, a key area of focus are the social determinants of health. A piece in the Journal of Community Health in 2019 set out ten of these, based on a previous study – transport, addiction, stress, food, early life, the social gradient (education), social exclusion, work, unemployment and social support.

Each of these has an impact on the likelihood of people getting ill, and then of getting treated (including preventative measures). Action can rely on efforts outside of traditional health policy – almost all of the issues  set out above are not usually immediately associated with health – but their impact is significant.

A second concern is around how to reach out into communities, the focus of a whole book. Many people will go out of their way to avoid formal health institutions such as hospitals, but even health professional themselves may struggle to reach people.

As we have seen in the pandemic, a particular tragedy has been where people with COVID have not wanted to admit that they are ill or seek medical attention for fear of losing their jobs. In other situations, cultural factors may play a role, there may be distrust of officials, or simply language barriers.

Finally, there is the importance of health literacy – the ability to understand and use information concerning health (for example, from the Urban and Community Studies Institute at the University of New Brunswick). As opposed to the other two issues, which are more about the context determining health, this focuses more on the skills of individuals and communities. It represents a key goal of course, with a health literate population more able to look after themselves and cope with new threats.


Where do Libraries Fit In?

Even from a relatively superficial look at the literature, the potential of libraries is recognised through experience.

Concerning the social determinants of health, as a University of Pennsylvania study underlined, libraries’ work to build basic literacy and support lifelong learning is already a key contribution to supporting better health outcomes. Beyond this, wider programming to support employability and inclusion should also make a positive difference. There is also of course the role of libraries, alongside other institutions, in using their hiring and purchasing power to support local economies and create jobs, where this is possible.

There are also more specific interventions, such as those promoted in libraries in Norfolk, in the UK, in partnership with local public health authorities in order to encourage health eating and promoting wellbeing. Indeed, such initiatives showed the power of libraries to mobilise other local stakeholders, such as supermarkets to get involved. Similarly in Redbridge, London, UK, collaboration with sports and physical activities teams led to efforts to promote healthy cooking and eating, especially in school holidays.


Libraries also have reach into communities, often disproportionately serving more vulnerable populations. From simply being an effective place to display relevant information to the wider community (as noted by Public Heath England), they can also actively contribute insights about what people in situations of marginalisation may need, based on their experience and the questions they receive.

For example, people in rural areas or the unconnected may have few ways other than libraries of gaining access to key health information. For others, they will feel far more comfortable coming to the library than going to the doctors or a formal health centre. The nature of libraries as a public space, open to all, can be powerful. Libraries can also train (or host training for) people who can then take key information out into the community, or be a base for health professionals to work with people in a more comfortable environment.

The unique role of libraries around literacies can also make them useful partners in building health literacy. At a fundamental level, there is provision of relevant information and collections, potentially in collaboration with national public health authorities (for example in the United States or United Kingdom).

Combined with their ability to reach out to vulnerable groups, it is recognised that libraries can help overcome stigma, and even build comfort around more difficult questions such as clinical trials and preventative interventions.

Through this work, libraries can play a key role in delivering on the promise of eHealth in general, as illustrated by the Australian Digital Health Agency’s partnership with the Australian Library and Information Association.


In short, as noted in a Journal of Community Health article, libraries can be a key ‘meso’ level actor in promoting population health, working between national or regional health agencies and individuals.


What More is Needed?

As set out in the previous section, libraries are well placed to support action in key areas of focus for public health professionals – the social determinants of health, meaningful outreach, and building health literacy. As highlighted at the beginning – and indeed recognised by the Robert Wood Johnston Foundation – they are already part of the ‘community’s health enhancing environment’.

Nonetheless, more can be done. While the links in this article do lead to evidence of public health professionals and other non-LIS experts recognising the value of working with libraries, it is clear that more can be done to convince public health planners.

To a large extent, this will be down to libraries themselves being able to show how their unique characteristics can help them contribute meaningfully. This work can be helped, however, through more systematic evaluation of interventions, as well as bringing public health researchers into libraries in order to see for themselves the work that libraries do, as well as to plan activities collaboratively.

A further area of focus could be on building knowledge and skills among library professionals (also underlined in CDC work on preventing chronic disease), in order to help them better to fulfil the role that they often already have in providing advice and information to users. Clearly, access to resources also matters here.


As we look beyond the pandemic, and make plans for the healthier, fairer world highlighted for World Health Day, the potential of libraries to contribute is clear.

With wider recognition of this role in the health field, building on existing evidence, and work to improve libraries’ own ability to provide information and services, there is scope for libraries to play a much more central role in public health policy planning and delivery around the world.

Fostering creation of Open Educational Resources

From 1 to 5 March 2021, libraries take part in Open Education Week alongside educational stakeholders.

In November 2019, UNESCO adopted a recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER). This recommendation, a result of a consensus among 193 Member States, recognises the importance of supporting the development, sharing and use of openly licenced educational materials to improve access to education for all.

Libraries, as a driving force in educational issues through their missions of access to information and education, have a role to play in fostering the development of OER and thus in advancing this work.

The UNESCO recommendation is divided into five areas of action:

Building the capacity of stakeholders to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER;
Developing supportive policy for OER;
Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER;
Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and
Promoting and reinforcing international cooperation in OER.

These 5 areas of action make it possible to identify areas for action by all educational actors, including libraries. They include two levels of action, at the structural level and at the practical level. Libraries can engage in both.

At the structural, or policy level, libraries can work to influence the development of favourable open educational resource policies (many of which will be supportive of wider library missions). Crucially, the Recommendation represents an acknowledgement from countries that education is key and should be open to everyone without regard to their wealth, where they are born, the colour of their skins, their gender, their religion, age or abilities. Knowledge must be open and freely accessible. This is a powerful message.

At the practical level, libraries can also contribute to building a stronger Open Educational Resource chain. This chain involves the creation, access, re-use, adaptation and distribution of OERs, but also the development of institutional policies needed to structure these resources, including national and international platforms.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Identify the different actors that can play a role in the development of open educational resources, including the library team, the educational team, teachers, researchers.
  • Mobilise these actors through different actions: presentation of the objectives of the development of open educational resources, why it is important to tackle these issues of openness and the benefits this can bring to the library, the university and users in general.
  • Create opportunities to raise awareness of these issues or develop resources: webinars, meetings, design workshops,
  • Create opportunities to start creating OERs together: design templates, provide workshops to take the time to focus on the creation of OER but also how to re-use and distribute them.
  • Identify resources or professionals working on the same topic and contact them to exchange practices. Become part of a network or set up a discussion group to exchange good practices or existing structural elements that will enable you to move forward.
  • Identify internal or external platforms that could bring together your institution’s resources in order to facilitate their discovery by users.
  • Draw on the potential of open educational resources to fulfil the primary mission of libraries and knowledge dissemination centres: to build a sustainable means of providing quality open educational resources.
  • Bear in mind the reputational dividends: the constitution of quality open educational resources (materials or courses) by recognised organisations can give considerable visibility to the institution, especially if we consider the impact on the visibility of open access items.
  • Invite external professionals to raise awareness on this issue within your institution: working with an external contact person allows you to combine neutrality but also a national or international perspective.

Discover the document of SPARC Europe on Open Education in European Libraries of High Education.


Library Stat of the Week #32: More can be done to close the digital access gap through public libraries

Libraries were often early adopters of digital technology, both for their own internal operations, and in support of their users.

By installing computer terminals and allowing for public access, they have given millions their first taste of the internet, in an environment where they could feel comfortable and supported in trying something new.

It is also well understood that that libraries can play a key role in bringing the unconnected online through providing this sort of public access. In some cases, this can act as a stepping stone towards private access, in others, an essential backstop for those unlikely ever to get a connection or device at home.

Frequently, those in the greatest need of this support are the poorest members of a society, who may not be able to commit to regular monthly payments, either for fixed or mobile internet. Instead, they can be stuck with pay-as-you-go options which end up more expensive.

This blog, the first in a sub-series, therefore looks at the connections between the digital access gap and the presence of libraries offering internet access. It draws on OECD statistics on internet access and usage for households and individuals, and IFLA’s own Library Map of the World.

First of all, it is worth understanding the scope of the challenge. Graph 1 indicates the differences in internet access rates (use of the internet in the past three months) between people from households in the first (poorest) and fourth (richest) quartiles of the population.

Graph 1: Internet Access Gap (Richest 25% - Poorest 25%)

In this, only three countries – Denmark, Luxembourg and Sweden have a gap of less than 10 percentage points. Meanwhile, in Hungary, the gap is almost 55 percentage points – nearly 92% of people from richer households have accessed the internet, but barely 37% of those from poorer ones.

Interestingly, only one of the nine countries with the biggest gaps does not belong to the former Eastern bloc – we will return to this point later.

Graph 2: Public/Community Libraries Offering Internet access per 100 000 peopleGraph 2 displays (with the same order of countries as before) the number of public and community libraries offering public internet access per 100 000 people. The Czech Republic scores highest here, with just over 50 such libraries for every 100 000 people – that’s one for every 20 000 citizens.

Lithuania and Latvia also have more than 40 public libraries offering internet access per 100 000 people, and Estonia is only a short way behind.

Again, it is noticeable that most of the countries with high numbers of libraries offering internet access are from former Eastern Bloc countries.

Graph 3: Library Internet Provision and Access GapsWe can cross these figures in Graph 3, which aims to look at the relationship between income-related internet access gaps and the availability of libraries offering access.

This shows a correlation between the number of libraries offering access and the gap in access between rich and poor. This applies both for the difference between the richest 25% and the poorest 25% (4th quartile minus 1st quartile), but also between those roughly in the middle and those at the bottom (2nd quartile minus 1st quartile)

On the one hand, this suggests that there is – fortunately – the infrastructure in place in order to help bridge this divide. The challenge, then, is to ensure that the possibilities that libraries provide turn into smaller access gaps in reality.

Graph 4: Library internet provision and access gaps (without Central Europe)As an additional step, Graph 4 carries out the same analysis, but not including countries from the former Eastern bloc.

Here, in fact, we can see that the correlation goes in another direction, suggesting that having more libraries offering internet access tends to be associated with a smaller gap between rich and poor in terms of internet access.


The analysis presented here raises interesting questions – what more can be done to realise the potential of connected libraries to close the gap between rich and poor in terms of internet access in countries of the former Eastern bloc? Can we take the more positive correlation between equality and the existence of libraries elsewhere as a positive?

Next week, we’ll explore the same question from different angles, including age and level of education.


Find out more on the Library Map of the World, where you can download key library data in order to carry out your own analysis! See our other Library Stats of the Week! We are happy to share the data that supported this analysis on request.

Library Stat of the Week #22: Where there are more public and community libraries, foreign-born, foreign-language migrants experience a smaller literacy gap compared to native-born, native-language peers

In our Library Stat of the Week mini-series on libraries and equality, we have looked so far at economic inequality, educational equality, and gender equality.

Through different blogs, we’ve explored the interaction between these and numbers of public and community libraries and librarians.

One factor which all too often correlates with poorer outcomes is immigrant status. In addition to difficulty in getting used to a new culture and language, or trying to get qualifications recognised, they can also face discrimination in different dimensions of life.

There are various ways in which libraries can help, from helping newcomers to feel at home and promoting tolerance and inclusion more broadly in society. A crucial way they can make a difference is by supporting literacy by helping newcomers.

To do this, we can use data from the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC), which assesses literacy, numeracy and problem-solving capabilities. In carrying this out, the OECD also collected data about whether respondents were native- or foreign-born, and whether they spoke the primary native or another language as a mother tongue.

We crossed this data with numbers of public and community libraries and librarians (and related staff) from IFLA’s Library Map of the World.

Public/Community Libraries and Library Workers vs the gap in average literacy scores between native-born and foreign-born adults

In a first step, we looked at the ‘gap’ between average literacy scores between native- and foreign-born adults, as shown in Graph 1.

Each dot represents a country for which data is available, with higher scores on the vertical (Y) axis indicating a wider gap (and so worse outcomes for foreign-born adults compared to native-born ones. Figures for the gap are adjusted to control for age, gender and educational level.

The results are relatively inconclusive, with little correlation between numbers of public and community libraries and library workers, and the gap.

However, this is to forget that in many cases, a large share of immigrants come from countries where the native language is the same, or at least where the language of the welcoming country is common.

Public/Community Libraries and Library Workers vs the gap in average literacy scores between native-born/native-language and foreign-born/foreign-language adults

In Graph 2, we can address this by looking at the gap between native-born, native-language adults, and foreign-born, foreign-language adults. The difference is significant, with a much stronger correlation between greater numbers of public and community libraries and smaller gaps.


Indeed, for every 10 extra libraries per 100 000 people, the gap in literacy falls by 5.82 points on the PIAAC scale. There is a less obvious correlation with the number of librarians.



As is always noted in this series, there is a difference between correlation and causality, and this analysis does not make it possible to assess what other factors may be at play. As ever, more libraries (and librarians) may be a symptom of a society that has invested more in general in integration and inclusion.


It is nonetheless the case that where there are more public and community libraries, foreign-born, foreign-language migrants tend to face less of a disadvantage in literacy levels compared to native-born, native-language adults.


This could be explained by the possibility that libraries offer to develop language skills, either simply through access to books, or through programming (although the fact of no correlation with the number of librarians may weaken this point).


The fact of much weaker correlation in Graph 1 does at least underline that the potential of libraries as drivers of inclusion in general, beyond language, is not being realised. This is certainly an area where more can be done.


Find out more on the Library Map of the World, where you can download key library data in order to carry out your own analysis! See our other Library Stats of the Week! We are happy to share the data that supported this analysis on request.

Library Stat of the Week #21: Where there are more public and community librarians, the gender skills gap among adults is lower

Two weeks ago, we looked at data on adult literacy levels from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC), in order to explore the potential relationship with the coverage of public and community libraries in countries.

In that post, we explored the numbers of adults scoring at or below a basic level of skills, as well as the gap between the most and least literate in a population.

However, PIAAC, data also allows us to break things down further, including by gender. This has been a particularly interesting area of study, given that while girls tend to score better on literacy at school (as demonstrated by the results of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)), they too often face disadvantage on the job market.

One argument noted by the OECD itself is that the jobs that women tend to be encouraged to take up make fewer demands of their skills, and so there is less opportunity to develop these. This is clearly not an ideal situation, given the implication both that women have fewer chances to learn throughout life, but also the loss this represents to societies and economies as a whole.

As has been highlighted in each Library Stat of the Week post focused on skills issues, public and community libraries do have an important role both in helping to maintain literacy skills (through access to materials and activities), but also in providing a second chance for those who have done less well in school.

This week’s post therefore looks to compare OECD data about adult gender literacy gaps (calculated by subtracting the mean literacy score of women from that of men – a negative result means that the average women has higher skills than the average man) and numbers of public and community libraries and librarians per 100 000 people from the IFLA Library Map of the World.

It is worth noting that the data here comes primarily from OECD Member States, with each of the dots in the graphs below representing a country.

Graph 1 - Public/Community Libraries and Librarians and the Adult Gender Literacy Gap

In Graph 1, we look at data for adults of all ages surveyed (15-65). When looking both at numbers of public and community libraries and librarians, there is correlation, with more libraries/librarians tending to mean that women on average have higher literacy skills than men.

The correlation is stronger when looking at librarians as opposed to libraries – an observation that has also appeared in previous blogs.

As ever, correlation does not always mean causality. In particular, the size of gender gaps above may be influenced by investment in high-quality and inclusive schools (something which is also likely to correlate with investment in libraries).

A next step then is to look at differences over time, given that the advantage that may come from high-quality education will diminish over time, and other factors – such as the presence of public and community libraries – will count for more.

Graph 1 - Public/Community Libraries and Librarians and Evolutions over time in the Adult Gender Literacy Gap

Graph 2 does this by looking at the evolution of the adult gender literacy gap between 15-24 year olds and 45-65 year olds.

On the vertical axis, a score above zero indicates that the gap between men and women is more favourable to women among 45-65 year olds than among 15-24 year olds, whereas a score below zero implies a wider gap among older than among younger adults.

The graph suggests that there is a positive correlation between numbers of public and community library workers per 100 000 people and stability or improvement in the adult gender literacy gap over time.

Clearly, as ever, there can be other explanations – countries which have seen improvements in the gender gap (in favour of women) may also have a range of policies in place that support life-long learning, and a more equitable employment situation for women.

Nonetheless, the correlation is a welcome support for efforts to ensure that libraries are a part of any government strategy to promote gender equality.


Find out more on the Library Map of the World, where you can download key library data in order to carry out your own analysis! See our other Library Stats of the Week! We are happy to share the data that supported this analysis on request.

Inclusion is an Action: the Relevance of the IFLA Multicultural Libraries Manifesto

After months where the need for immediate action to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic had been dominating news schedules, the ongoing events in the United States have sharply refocussed attention onto other, more long-term challenges societies face.

For many, especially those in groups subject to marginalisation or discrimination, the death of George Floyd is just the latest incident in a long series, and the protests that have followed are the natural result of years of unequal treatment. For others, it has forced a confrontation with issues that they were aware of, but perhaps felt hard-placed to act on, or even believed were someone else’s problem.

An emerging point is the understanding of the need for action – of the unacceptability of simply leaving things as they are. The fact of things having been done in a certain way in the past cannot provide a justification when the result of this is exclusion and inequality.

This applies to individuals and societies as a whole, including of course libraries. There needs to be a readiness to seek out, hear, reflect and include all experiences, rather than just proceed on the basis of a single point of view, however well-meaning.

This also applies globally – it is clearly not the case that the United States has a monopoly on discrimination and inequality. Indeed any situation where particular groups have faced persistent inequalities in so many areas of life – education, employment, housing, or treatment by courts – libraries can, and must, be ready to show the way in terms of how a key service can be provided.

Indeed, the specific role of libraries in providing access to information – a foundational condition for so much else – as well as in offering a place for the safeguarding and remembering of heritage, and for building social cohesion, makes them particularly important.

This is a key message of the IFLA-UNESCO Multicultural Libraries Manifesto, approved by the IFLA Governing Board in 2006, and by the UNESCO General Conference in 2009.

Building on the instruction to provide services to all, regardless of characteristics (including race) in the Public Library Manifesto, as well as IFLA’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom, and own Core Values, the Multicultural Library Manifesto goes further in underlining both the reality, and the value of diversity of all forms in our societies and cultures. In doing so, it rejects racism and other forms of discrimination, however they are manifested.

In terms of principles to be applied in the day-to-day work of libraries, the Manifesto stresses the need in particular providing information in appropriate languages and scripts, giving access to collections that reflect all communities and needs, and ensuring that staffing reflects the diversity of communities served with proper training to respond to the information need of all.

This clearly already requires work in many cases, with historical acquisitions policies and cataloguing practices often reflecting outdated views of the world, making it more difficult for marginalised groups to find themselves in the library.

Crucially, the Manifesto also sets out a proactive role for libraries. First of all, it makes it clear that it is not enough to offer the same services to all and expect everyone to benefit in the same ways – such an approach can risk deepening existing inequalities.

Instead, there needs to be a concerted effort to understand what may be needed (indeed, the Manifesto Toolkit offers steps for doing this), in particular through ensuring that library and information workers who are also members of groups subject to discrimination are fully part of decision-making.

It also gives libraries a mission – to promote awareness of the value of diversity in communities, and to provide tools and services that support this, online and offline (including through decisions about what to collect and preserve).

Furthermore, through skills provision – in particular information literacy and digital skills – libraries can also not only help give everyone the chance to make the most of the internet, but also help everyone identify prejudice in what they read, and combat it.

Finally, such efforts – the Manifesto underlines – need to be central to the work of libraries, integrated into core planning rather than included as an optional extra.


With societies around the world forced to confront the reality of inequality and discrimination in order to build something better, libraries have the rare power of being able to help societies level-up, providing opportunities for progress and spaces for building cohesion.

This is not to say that this will happen automatically. As highlighted in the title, inclusion is an action, and action takes effort and commitment. The Multicultural Library Manifesto offers a great starting point for this.


See how the American Library Association is responding here. Find out more about the work of our Section on Library Services for  Multicultural Populations, and read our blog for the International Day of Cultural Diversity.

Library Stat of the Week #19: Countries with more librarians tend to have fewer low-skilled adults

So far, our sub-series of Library Stat of the Week posts focused on equality has looked only at income inequality (see #16, #17 and #18).

Yet income is often an indicator, rather than a cause, of inequalities in society, even if it can also reinforce them. Therefore, some people may have low revenues while others have high ones for a number of reasons – health, unemployment, a lack of entrepreneurship opportunities.

A key driver of course is education and skills – human capital. These affect the ability of individuals to take up quality jobs, or to start their own businesses, as well as to benefit fully from the information around them.

At a societal level, skills increase the productive potential of economies, while also contributing to civic engagement and participation.

Inequalities in skills – as well as larger numbers of people with lower levels of skills – can therefore lead not only to inequalities in employment and earnings, but also differing levels of involvement in civic life.

While schools of course have a major impact on levels of literacy among children, the role of libraries – in particular for literacy – is arguably stronger among adults.

Both through providing continuing access to books in order to maintain levels of literacy, and focused learning opportunities, libraries are major players in lifelong learning, in particular for those who may not have access to training through their employment – or the resources to pay for continuing education.

Therefore, for our 19th Library Stat of the Week, we wanted to look at the relationship between the measures of adult skills created through the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC), and data from IFLA’s Library Map of the World on numbers of public and community libraries and librarians per 100 000 people.

In doing this, we focused in particular on figures on literacy inequality (the points gap between the 5th and 95th percentiles – i.e. between the person with the 5th from lowest and the 5th from highest skills in a representative sample of 100 people from the group), and the share of the population scoring below Level 1 on the PIAAC scale (i.e. with very low skills).

Public and Community Libraries and Librarians vs Skills Inequalities (Points Gap between 5th and 95th Percentile)

The first comparison looks at points gaps between the 5th and 95th percentiles. With each dot representing a country for which both PIAAC and Library Map of the World data is available, a higher figure for the points gap indicates greater inequality in levels between the most and least literate.

The comparison here indicates that that there is, a broad correlation in particular between numbers of public libraries and adult literacy inequality, with more libraries tending to mean less inequality.

While there are some countries with low inequality and low numbers of libraries, there are none with lots of libraries and high inequality. The correlation is, however, weaker between numbers of librarians and literacy inequalities.

Secondly, we can look at the shares of low skilled adults in different countries and numbers.

Public and Community Libraries and Librarians and Shares of Low-Skilled Adults (scoring at Level 1 or less on the OECD PIAAC Scale)

This graph tells a slightly different story. Here, it is the number of librarians that sees the strongest correlations, with more public and community librarians tending to be associated with fewer adults with particularly low literacy. Meanwhile, the relationship is weaker between numbers of public and community libraries, and numbers of low-literate adults.

Once again, there are outliers, with some countries managing low shares of low-skilled adults without higher numbers of librarians, but no country with higher numbers of librarians or libraries also had high shares of less literate adults.


As ever, correlation is not causality, and societies that invest more in ensuring that everyone has access to skills may well also be more likely to invest in libraries and library staff.

Nonetheless, the data would fit with the evidence from the ground that libraries provide a means for people of all ages to maintain their literacy skills, and that library workers, through their understanding of community needs, can help those most in need of support.


Find out more on the Library Map of the World, where you can download key library data in order to carry out your own analysis! See our other Library Stats of the Week! We are happy to share the data that supported this analysis on request.