Library loans down by sixth

loans: The Harris Library
loans: The Harris Library
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The number of loans from Preston’s biggest library has dropped over the last three years.

The amount of items issued from the Harris Library in Preston city centre has decreased from 314,339 in 2008-09 to 267,907 in 2010-11, a dip of almost 15%, according to figures published through a Freedom of Information request to Lancashire County Council.

The library lends a range of CDs, DVDs and language materials as well as books.

Younger readers are the only age group in which the number of loans saw an increase over the last year.

Five to nine-year-old library users borrowed 255 more items than in 2009-10.

Lending has remained most popular among the 35 to 44-year-old age group across each of the last three years, with bookworms in that age bracket checking out 39,774 items last year.

Twenty to 24-year-olds borrowed fewer items than other adult visitors in the last 12 months, taking out 11,651 loans.

Meanwhile, the library remains the most popular with people living within the Town Centre ward.

More than 45,173 loans were made to city centre residents last year, followed by 21,869 in the Riversway ward and 20,824 in the St Matthews ward.

People from the Preston Rural East and North wards checked out the fewest items.

The council has rolled out a multi-million pound investment programme called Regenerate in community libraries in need of refurbishment since 2008.

No-one at the Harris Library was available yesterday for comment on the figures.