On the second workshop the members of the NLUS network discussed different research projects. And we got to know that there is a trend in the Netherlands to close down branch libraries (for example in Rotterdam). There was a significant decrease of book lending and also (less significant) in visitors of libraries. In Denmark there is a trend of increasing visits to libraries while lends also decrease.
Some figures from the Netherlands presented by Olindo Caso:
The closings are usually due to budget cuts. Responsibles try to reduce costs by closing library branches. But with which longterm effect? That rises new research questions: what is the effect of closing branch libraries to the population or the social and cultural life in the city districts? In Denmark staffless libraries with lower costs seem to be a solution, maybe this also a model for other countries? And figures from Denmark show that numbers of lending are increasing in staffless libraries…
Update (29.8.15): Hans Christoph Hobohm tried to quickly compare the figures from the Netherlands with the German library statistics. He draw a quick diagramme showing that the situation in Germany is not (yet) so dramatic. The visits are quite stable and even the loans are still quite high – only the members/active users declined slowly in the long run.