This report outlines the reasons behind low library usage from those who are socially disadvantaged and suggests some ways forward.
This study found that the key barrier to usage is that awareness of libraries is low, particularly among adults with a low level of skills.
The other main barriers are a low understanding of what a library is like to visit – many believe they are just about books- and an aversion to taking risks.
The report segments potential adult learners and then carries out research with users and non-users around expectations of a library, what they think of their library and what they would like their perfect library to be like.
A series of recommendations follows the research.
There is a gap between what certain audiences want and what is on offer. Given the national affection for libraries, their wide, local based network and the exceptionally high levels of commitment among the staff we spoke to, there is a clear platform for adjusting the offer to become a more inclusive service at the heart of the community.