Your article makes sobering reading (Library use plummeted in 2021, but e-visits showed 18% rise during lockdown, 10 February). However, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Here at the Leeds Library, an independent library with more than 1,000 members, we took the view that if members could not come to the library then the library had to go to its members. So while we saw a steep decline in visits and physical borrowings, this was partly offset by the establishment of postal and delivery services for members that were greatly welcomed and well used.
As a result, the ebook library, which we set up rapidly after lockdown, proved less popular than we had expected, though other digital services we provided were much appreciated. And as the lockdown has lifted, members have returned to the library not just to borrow books but also to meet friends, attend events and make the most of the friendly and welcoming space we provide.
Chair, the Leeds Library
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