Libraries in Hackney are used by people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, closely matching the borough deprivation profile.  As such, they are a potentially valuable setting for targeted interventions to reduce health inequalities.

A larger number of women than men are active library users (information on gender was not provided by 4% of registered users).

Figure 4 compares the age profile of active Hackney library users with the age profile of the wider resident population.  It shows that libraries are disproportionally used by young people (under 20) in Hackney.  Almost a third (31%) of active library users are aged below 18, with 47% of resident children aged between 5-9 and 30% aged 10-19 years.  Almost half (42%) of book issues were of children’s stock in 2014/15.

Figure 4: Age of active library users compared to resident population profile (2014/15)

Over 90% of residents that use the library are registered.
Figure 4: Age of active library users compared to resident population profile (2014/15)

Source: Hackney libraries service (registered library card holders taken from Open Galaxy, Library Management System) and ONS Census 2011

Figure 5 shows that the ethnic profile of Hackney’s library service users broadly reflects that of the borough – with slightly more users of Black/Black British and White Other background, and slightly fewer White British users than are represented in the local population.

Figure 5: Ethnicity of active library users in Hackney compared to resident population profile (2014/15)

Figure 5: Ethnicity of active library users in Hackney compared to resident population profile (2014/15)

Source: Hackney libraries service (registered library card holders taken from Open Galaxy, Library Management System) and ONS Census 2011

Data on disability, faith and sexual orientation are not available for most library users and, therefore, analysis by these equalities characteristics is not possible.

Hackney Museum’s visitor profile generally reflects that of the borough in terms of ethnicity, but slightly more women visit than men (54% of visitors were female in 2014/15).  While residents from across the borough (as well as outside of Hackney) visit the museum, due to its location, it does tend to attract more residents from south of the borough (50% of visitors were residents who live in E2, E5, E8 and E9).

As mentioned in the Health and Wellbeing Impact section, members of the City of London’s community libraries are primarily City workers, reflecting the large daytime City worker population.  Of the remaining members, around 40% were children as of December 2015.