Library round-up

The Library can seem like an overwhelmingly large, complicated collection of books, journals and online resources (and occasionally, dogs), especially in Term 1 when the building is full of new people. Perhaps that’s why so many people ask questions about how many visitors or books the Library has…

At the Library, we try to keep track of a range of statistics to help us better understand what is going on and connect you with useful information.

If you’ve ever stood in line at the Library entrance gates and wondered just how many people come through the Library entrance every day, then wonder no more! Over the last year there have been 2,288,588 visits to the Library, that’s an average of 6287 visits per day!


One thing that people often want to know when they first arrive at the Library is how many books we have. The answer is… a lot. 1,007,981 to be precise. These books cover everything from Archaeology to Zoology, Art to Zoonosis. As someone who loves books (who’d have thought that’d be the case for a librarian, right?) this makes me happy, but for those of you who want to be able to access information from anywhere, you’ll be pleased to know that our e-book collection is catching up fast. This year our e-book collection grew from 205,666 to a whopping 605,237! That’s an increase of 294% over the last year.

Library round-up

If you’re more interested in journals, we also have a lot of those. Our print journal collection currently stands at 892 which is actually down from 1,034 in the last 3 years. But I’m sure you’ll be pleased to see that we’ve made up for that with e-journals, we have access (and that means that YOU have access) to 64,227 journals online, up from 48,409 three years ago. With some journal runs stretching back decades, that’s millions of journal articles for you to explore.

All these resources cost money, and last year the Library spent a total of £5,302,804 on buying or subscribing to books, journals and other resources. The biggest chunk of that, £3,662,71, goes to subscribing to electronic journals; e-books are a distant second at £823,565.

Library round-up

The way that people are using our collection is also changing. Over the past few years, the number of books checked out from the library has dropped: from 1,316,352 in 2012-13 to just 889,680 in the last year. But in the same time the use of our e-resources has increased. In 2012-13 our e-books were accessed 1,500,571 times. By 2015-16 that had more than doubled to 4,250,318. And downloads of e-journals have gone up from 2,412,720 to 3,089,381. So, while there are less physical books being taken out of the Library, more and more people are making use of our electronic resources.

Hopefully this post has answered a few questions and given you an insight into what we have in the Library.

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