Libraries threatened with closure in Kirklees have had nearly 750,000 visitors in just six months.

The Examiner reported last July that Kirklees Council was considering a “nuclear option” to close all but two of its 26 permanent libraries in a bid to cut £2.8m out of the budget, which is under severe pressure.

More talks are planned on the issue starting later this month.

Under the proposal, only Huddersfield and Dewsbury libraries would remain open, with the loss of 100 jobs across the service.

Now new figures, obtained exclusively by the Examiner, reveal that the other 24 libraries potentially facing the axe had 749,680 visits between April and October 2014.

Which are the most visited libraries in Kirklees?

Library visits in Kirklees, 2013/14

Library visits in Kirklees, 2013/14

 

Readers at these libraries took out more than 470,000 books during this period.

Visits to Huddersfield library actually fell 5% last year.

There were 578,942 visits to the centre on Princess Alexandra Walk in 2013/14, down 5.3% on the 611,047 visitors it had in 2012/13.

The number of books taken out from the centre also fell nearly 10%.

By what percentage have visitor numbers changed from 2012/13 to 2013/14?

Change in visitor numbers (%)

Change in visitor numbers (%)

 

However, over the six-month period in 2014, so far this year it had over 310,000 visits, or 1,450 people through the door every day.

Other libraries surrounding the town centre have seen big increases in the numbers of visitors.

Visits to Meltham Library were up 19.4% in 2013/14 - the largest increase of all centres in the council area.

Slaithwaite was up 8.6% and Almondbury 8.2%.

Over 1.2m people visited Kirklees’ 26 libraries so far this financial year, as well as its home and mobile services.

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