Relevant and timely statistics are necessary for accountability, service planning and advocacy. All library and information services can be better understood within their broader economic, societal and institutional contexts and each needs to define how it can best respond and help shape the environment in which it operates.

Many relevant statistics are behind paywalls or available to members only. Whilst this is understandable in commercial sectors this is also true of many parts of the public sector. This is an issue which CILIP wants to address with other stakeholders in our sector as part of the process of developing an evidence base for the sector as a whole.

Workforce Mapping: A study of the UK information workforce

In 2014, CILIP and the Archives Records Association (UK & Ireland) (ARA) commissioned Edinburgh Napier University to undertake major research to map the workforce across the Library, Archives, Records, Information and Knowledge Management Services and related professions in the United Kingdom.

Some Key statistics:

There are 86,376 people in the workforce.

  • Libraries employ 59.4%.
  • 21.6% are employed in the higher education sector
  • 12.6% are employed in public libraries

Key statistical sources for the Library and Information sector

Lists key statistical sources and topics that are of especial interest to CILIP. These are freedom of access to information/ privacy, and literacies - including basic literacy, information literacy and digital literacy. Some general statistical sources are also included - The UK Office for National Statistics and the database of indicators for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


IFLA Library Map of the World

CILIP contributed statistics UK statistics to the IFLA Library Map of the World. You can find sources and background to these figures here.