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About the People's Network

The People’s Network is your network, whoever you are, whatever it is you want to do. It is delivered by England’s public libraries, managed by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council(http://www.mla.gov.uk) and supported by lottery funding.

People’s Network services started with computers in public libraries giving high speed access to the web for everyone. In total the network in libraries offers over 60 million hours of computer use every year, most of it free, with access to a wide range of software and digital content, in buildings already rich with collections of books and other material, all supported by trained and supportive staff.

Now through this website, the People's Network is here for you to enquire, discover and read online at your convenience whenever and wherever you want to log on.


About public libraries

Public libraries today are thriving centres of the community, attracting people of all ages, from toddlers picking up their first book, through learners developing new skills and businesses starting up, to grandparents learning to surf the web.

No wonder then that they are one of the highest valued and trusted public services on your streets and continue to grow.

In the last two years, the number of visits to public libraries in England has increased. People now make more than 285 million visits every year and more than 12 million people regularly borrow books, films and music, with staff answering more than 49 million enquiries each year.

There are also reading groups, study spaces, homework clubs, training courses, information, activities, events and, of course, the People’s Network of computers and now national anywhere, anytime online services for all, through this website.

With all these resources costing less than 5p per person per day, that’s great value in anyone’s book and a real national asset to be proud of.

To find one of England’s public libraries use Discover.

To find a reading group from a public library use Read.


Some facts about public libraries in England:

  • There are about 3100 public libraries in England and 460 mobile libraries.
  • More than 60% of people have a library ticket
  • 96% of people believe that public libraries are a valuable community resource
  • There were over 274 million visits to public libraries during 2002/3, an increase of almost 4 million on the previous year
  • 35% of the population visit public libraries at least once a month
  • More people visit libraries than go to cinemas or attend football matches
  • There are 92.4million books in 3,500 public libraries and every year more than 318million book loans
  • There are a further 34million issues of other material, including DVDs, videos, talking books
  • Libraries provide over 60million hours a year of high speed access to the internet through the People's Network
  • Library staff answer 58.5million enquiries a year
  • More thatn 22,000 library staff run the service - you can make a real difference by working in public libraries.


Linking to this site

You do not need to ask permission to link to this site or its services, however, please link to the homepage - www.peoplesnetwork.gov.uk - rather than directly to specific services or pages.

You may also use the following graphics and alternative texts.

People's Network website: 24/7 public library services

Alt text: People’s Network website: public library online services

People's Network Enquire: your questions answered

Alt text: People's Network Enquire: your questions answered

People's Network Discover: find hidden treasures on the web

Alt text: People's Network Discover: find hidden treasures on the web

People's Network Read: get into a good read online

Alt text: People's Network Read: get into a good read online



  The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

  Grosvenor House

  14 Bennetts Hill


  B2 5RS

  tel: +44 (0)121 345 7300