MORE than 70 per cent of households with primary school aged children in Scotland are now using public libraries, according to a major new five -year study.

Research by the Carnegie UK Trust revealed half of the Scottish population now identify themselves as library users.

While this represents an 11 per cent drop in library use since 2011, when 61 per cent of people used the library, Scotland continues to have the highest level of library use across all four UK nations.

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The trust’s research also showed that despite a general decline in library use in Scotland, libraries are now being used more frequently by those households who are ‘just about managing’ financially, compared to five years ago.

More than 60 per cent of people in the second lowest socio-economic classification now report using a library at least once a month.

There has also been a rise in the use of libraries in Scotland by ‘occasional’ readers - people who read a book every two or three months.

Martyn Evans, Carnegie UK Trust chief executive, said: “It’s promising that there’s been a rise in library use in Scotland amongst households with primary school aged children.”