News

Automatic library card for every child in Wales

January 16, 2015

Welsh libraries and primary schools are joining forces to provide every primary school child with a library card. The Welsh Government is supporting a campaign to make sure every child in Wales becomes a member of their local library.

As he prepared to launch the initiative in Denbighshire on January 15th in Prestatyn and Rhyl Libraries, Dr Rhys Jones – best known for his hit BBC series including ‘Rhys to the Rescue’ and ‘Dr Rhys Jones’s Wildlife Patrol’ said: “Libraries are such an important resource – they are a great place for children to let their imagination grow and to develop and it is vitally important that we encourage our children to read more not only to improve their literacy levels but also to help them with life skills and future opportunities.”

On Thursday, pupils from Ysgol Clawdd Offa, Prestatyn and Ysgol Llywelyn, Rhyl will be visiting their local library to meet Dr Rhys Jones, to receive their new library cards and bags to carry their books home. They will also take part in a creative session to spark their imaginations ac will choose and borrow books to read at home.

Bethan M. Hughes of Denbighshire Libraries said, “The scheme targets children in Year 4, and our hope is to ensure that every Year 4 pupil in the county is a library member before the end of the school year. A very high proportion of Denbighshire children are already members as a result of many years of libraries and schools working together. However, many children have not yet joined and discovered all the books and other services available to them, free of charge, in the library to support their development as readers and learners, and to have pleasure and fun. We hope that this automatic enrolment will give all our children the opportunity to be a library member and encourage parents to enable their children to visit. Research shows that children who join and use their library regularly and read for pleasure become more confident and skilled readers and learners.”

Use your local library to access the amazing range of services including:

  • FREE fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels and talking books
  • FREE homework help – online and in the library
  • FREE e-books and e-magazines
  • FREE computer use and internet access
  • Clubs, events, activities and classes in the library
  • Friendly, helpful library staff
  • Somewhere safe to meet friends

This initiative is targeting year 4 pupils in 16 Welsh authorities: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, Torfaen and Wrexham. This initiative supports the Welsh Government’s “Education Begins at Home” campaign which encourages parents to help their child at home by making time to read which can help their performance in school.

 

For more information please visit: www.welshlibraries.org/schools


Cerrigydrudion Community Library is launched

January 13, 2015

An exciting partnership between Conwy County Borough Council and Cerrigydrudion Community Library Support Group aims to safeguard library services in the Uwchaled area.

The keys to the town’s library building was presented to Cerrigydrudion Community Library Support Group 12/12/14, officially marking the launch of the second community library of its kind in the County Borough.

Conwy County Borough Council will continue to provide core library services, such as staff time, books and PCs, but the premises will be managed by Cerrigydrudion Community Library Support Group (CCLSG).

Cllr Chris Hughes, Conwy’s Cabinet Member for Communities said: “This initiative is part of our project to modernise libraries across the county and provide a sustainable service for the future.  We were successful in our application for a grant from Conwy Rural Partnership’s Key Fund, which allowed us to renovate the building; that work has been completed and I’m delighted that we’re handing over the keys to CCLSG, and pleased to see the community library model being rolled-out.”

The library building will be officially taken over by CCLSG on a 25 year lease. The transfer has been approved by the local councillor, the modernising libraries board and the Council’s legal department.

Einion Edwards is Chairman of the Cerrigydrudion Community Library Support Group. He said, “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to save our library, which is an essential resource in this rural area. In addition, we hope to host sessions from the Citizens Advice Bureau, support Cartrefi Conwy’s local activities and make the building a focal point for local support services.”

The partnership approach between CCLSG and Conwy County Borough Council is underpinned by a comprehensive Service Level Agreement and has been supported by CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales


WELSH LIBRARIES ARE BUCKING THE UK TREND!

January 5, 2015

The number of people borrowing from public libraries in Wales is up by almost 5% in the last 12 months – whilst the UK as a whole has seen a decrease of over 4% according to figures released by CIPFA (Chartered Institute for Public Finance & Accountancy) for 2013-14.

Whilst visits to libraries and book issues have slightly decreased, there were still over 14 million physical visits to public libraries across Wales last year and over 12.3 million books issued to library users.

Audio-visual and electronic issues, including e-books and e-zines rose to over 1 million showing an increase in usage of 19% compared to last year. The all-Wales roll out of free e-books and e-magazines is a major factor in this increase. This is an excellent example of how libraries in Wales are continuing to meet the changing demands of customers by providing up to date services, relevant to them.

The level of enquiries made to library staff increased by 27% to over 2.6 million. And with many public services now being delivered primarily online this has led to an increase of over 3% in computer use in libraries, with over 2 million hours of free computer use.

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism, Ken Skates AM, commented:
“I’m pleased to see the increase in the number of active borrowers in Wales and the increase in electronic issues. Libraries make a real difference to people’s lives by improving literacy, developing digital skills and providing access to knowledge, which in turn helps to tackle poverty and support health and well-being. These are important priorities for us all.

“We are all facing challenging circumstances and it is clear we need to embrace change if we are to ensure the important services libraries provide can continue. Unlike England, I am committed to maintaining a quality community service. In Wales I have maintained the Welsh Public Library Standards and a capital grant programme which has allocated funding to modernise 98 libraries to date. I also announced £1 million of investment to this programme for 2015-16.

“Recently I was fortunate to visit a new library facility which is part of the Ely and Caerau Community Hub. It had all the services a traditional library would provide, in a welcoming setting, but with the addition of housing information, Communities First office, meeting rooms, and ICT Training Suites. The manager told me that as a result they had seen library members increase by over 60% as people who had never used a library before were enticed inside.”

For more information about Welsh libraries, visit www.welshlibraries.org

ENDS
For more information please contact: jane.purdie@wrexham.gov.uk 01978 722987

Notes to Editors
For more information about Welsh libraries visit www.welshlibraries.org

CIPFA Public Library 2013-14 press release

http://www.cipfa.org/about-cipfa/press-office/latest-press-releases/cipfa-library-survey

The latest figures from CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) for public library usage in Wales in 2013-14 show that:

• Over 300 public libraries service points in Wales are open 10 hours a week or more, including mobiles
• Over 14.1 million visits were made to Welsh public libraries (14,193,602)
• The number of active borrowers is 574,296 (defined as borrowing an item in the last 12 months)
• Over 12.3 million books were borrowed from Welsh public libraries (12,396,142)
• Over 1 million audio-visual loans were made, including music, talking books, films, e-books and e-magazines (1,033,807)
• There are over 2800 terminals with free internet access in Welsh public libraries (2833)
• Over 1.9 million hours of free computer use in libraries were made by the public (1,968,067)
• Over 2.6 million enquiries were handled by public libraries in Wales (2,660,559)

 

 


Christmas Opening Hours at Your Library

December 22, 2014

To find out when your library will be open (or closed) over the festive period, click on Find Your Library and follow the links to your local library service.

Don’t forget to let us know what you are reading over Christmas and check back here for details of events and activities taking place across Wales in 2015.

Best wishes to everyone for Christmas and the New Year.


Change must be embraced to secure libraries futures – Deputy Minister

December 9, 2014

We are at a crossroads in the delivery of public library services and need to embrace change, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates has said.

Responding to the Expert Review of Public Libraries in Wales, commissioned by the Welsh Government to look at the role of public libraries in communities across Wales, the Deputy Minister said a transformation of how we see libraries is needed for them to remain at the heart of the community.

The report of the Expert Review, published in October, made recommendations including collaboration between public services to establish community hubs. These will enable people to access/benefit from a range of services, from traditional library activities to accessing advice from agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, and a wide range of cultural and education activities.

The Deputy Minister said:

“Public libraries play a vital role as hubs at the heart of our communities. They make a real difference to people’s lives by improving literacy, developing digital skills and providing access to knowledge, which in turn helps to tackle poverty and support health and well-being. These are important priorities for us all.

“Like all public services across Wales, libraries are under increasing financial pressure, which means the current model of small libraries will not survive. We need to embrace change if we are to ensure the important services libraries provide can continue. Unlike England, I am committed to maintaining a quality community service. In Wales I have maintained the Welsh Public Library Standards and a capital grant programme which has allocated funding to modernise 98 libraries to date.”

The Deputy Minister added:

“The Welsh Government’s budget for 2015-16 includes a further £1million in capital funding to modernise our public libraries through the Community Learning Libraries grants programme. The report highlights examples of best practice in collaboration between services and as a result I have decided that partnership working to create multi-service community hubs will be a requirement for all applications for grant funding in 2015-16.

“Last week I was fortunate to visit a new library facility which is part of the Ely and Caerau Community Hub. It had all the services a traditional library would provide, in a welcoming setting, but with the addition of housing information, Communities First office, meeting rooms, and ICT Training Suites. The manager told me that as a result they had seen library members increase by over 60% as people who had never used a library before were enticed inside.

“I believe this is the future for libraries in Wales and I intend to focus available funding on activities which develop this exciting and transformational agenda to help our libraries deliver the services people value.”

The Expert Review of Public Libraries in Wales report can be found here:

http://wales.gov.uk/topics/cultureandsport/museumsarchiveslibraries/cymal/libraries/public-libraries-review/?lang=en