Library statistics 2021

Dave Rowe made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Darlington Borough Council as part of a batch sent to 217 authorities

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Darlington Borough Council,

FAO The Library Service.

Hello, I have two freedom of information (FOI) queries that should be quick. This is being sent to all UK library services so be assured you aren't being singled out! If the operating of the library service has been outsourced to a separate organisation then please fulfil this request by retrieving the response from that body.

1. Does the library service complete annual library statistics to be sent to CIPFA? And specifically, have these been completed for the financial year 2020/2021?

2. If the answer to the above is Yes, please include a copy of your 2020/2021 CIPFA library statistics return in your response. This should be sent in the same format as was sent to CIPFA (e.g. an Excel spreadsheet).

It is important that this should be an exact copy of the data sent to CIPFA. I am not requesting any data that is owned by CIPFA, such as their own aggregated reports. As the data is compiled by the library service it is public library data, and subject to Freedom of Information.

To try and cover any concerns about the second part of this request, I have answered a number of potential worries below. Please have a quick look through these before responding!

- Data Format. The data should be sent as structured data in spreadsheet format. Guidelines from the Information Commissioner's Office specify that it is reasonable to request data in a re-usable and "Machine-readable" formats. For example, if the data were exported to a PDF file then that would not be acceptable, as that is a document rather than structured data.

- FOI exemption: accessible by other means. Occasionally, requesters in the past have been told that this data could be exempt from FOI as it accessible from CIPFA when it is published. However this fails the test of being 'reasonably' accessible due to the high cost for a member of the public. This exemption would certainly be overturned on appeal.

- FOI exemption: commercial interest. Commercial interest exemptions do exist in FOI legislation but this would not apply to a single third party (e.g. CIPFA) who use public data. Their commercial interests are in the value they provide in reporting on that data.

Thank you in advance!

Yours faithfully,

Dave Rowe

Darlington Borough Council

3 Atodiad



Dear Mr Rowe


Request Reference: DBC-1878-21 

Thank you for your request for information. Please find attached the
Council's response letter. 



Yours sincerely



Richie Sanderson

Complaints & Information Governance Assistant

(01325) 406777



dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir


Visible links

Dear Darlington Borough Council,

Thanks very much for this complete response.

Yours faithfully,

Dave Rowe