Welsh public libraries review

October 24, 2014

This review looked at the role of libraries in our communities and how services are delivered across Wales.

We carried out a review in 2014 to look at local authorities’ current and future plans to deliver public library services in Wales. The aim was to identify sustainable future models that maximised the benefits of collaboration and innovation.

The review also asked for responses to the following questions:

  • What services should public libraries provide in the future to meet the changing needs of the people of Wales?
  • What should be the roles and functions of the public library workforce in the future?
  • How can libraries in Wales work together in the future to offer an efficient and effective library service on a local, regional and national basis?
  • Do we require a new legislative framework and/or delivery model for public library services in Wales?


The report includes 11 recommendations covering the following areas:

  • managing change
  • strategic improvements
  • future models of service delivery.

What next?

Please send your comments on the report to

This report will help us to develop our next library strategy for Wales.

You can download the report HERE

Further information

Written statement announcing the expert review of public libraries in Wales

Written statement announcing members of the expert panel

National Assembly for Wales inquiry into public libraries in Wales (external link)

Welsh books are favourites with Gwynedd children

October 15, 2014

With the new school year underway, Gwynedd Library Service is pleased to announce that Welsh books are still favoured by the county’s schoolchildren.

Not only were more Welsh books borrowed and read by Gwynedd primary school pupils through visits by the Lori Ni mobile library to their schools last year, the amount of Welsh fiction books borrowed to children increased to 12,626.

The Lori Ni mobile library visits every school in Gwynedd twice a year, and gives youngsters the chance to pick and choose books for themselves and their classmates. There is vast variety of exciting contemporary literature available to keep even the keenest reader busy for the term.

This announcement follows extensive work by the ‘Siarter Iaith Gymraeg’ – the Welsh Language Charter, which is an innovative scheme by Gwynedd Council to promote and encourage the use of the Welsh language amongst the county’s primary school pupils in their everyday life.

Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member responsible for libraries said:

“It’s extremely important that children have regular access to new Welsh and English books to develop their reading, literacy and bilingual skills. Teachers and pupils alike at Gwynedd schools find the Lori Ni library service vital, and they really do appreciate it.

“It’s very encouraging that Gwynedd children chose to read Welsh book more often than other books. With a hugely varied choice of Welsh books to choose from the Gwynedd library service, it’s no wonder that Welsh books are so popular with the county’s youngsters.

“This announcement is also great news for the Welsh Language Charter, and shows that the brilliant work they do in the county’s primary schools encouraging use of the Welsh language is paying off.”

For more information about Gwynedd libraries, visit

To learn more about the ‘Siarter Iaith Gymraeg’ – Welsh Language Charter – follow them on Twitter – @SiarterIaith

Newly refurbished study room and local studies collection officially opened

A local studies collection, which is now hosted in a newly extended and refurbished study room at a north Powys library, has been officially opened by the county council.

‘Maldwyn Treasures – Local Studies collection’ is now housed in Newtown Library’s new and extended Local Studies room. The new room and collection was officially opened on Thursday 25 September by former County Librarian and local historian, Mr J. Iorwerth Davies, and the Leader of Powys County Council, Cllr Barry Thomas.

Thanks to a £69,000 grant from CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales, the extension will allow access to this collection of local studies materials to a wider audience. The room will act as a focal point for ‘drop-in’ sessions to aid researchers to get the most out of the resources.

Primary and secondary schools in Montgomeryshire will also be invited to sessions later in the term to raise awareness of the collection and will be an opportunity for schools to see how the collection can provide them with useful resources.

Thanks to works, physical access to the collection has improved, allowing the public to browse the resources available including the Montgomeryshire Local Studies reference books, census returns, trade directories, maps, local newspapers and ephemera. Free access to Ancestry and Findmypast is also available.

Cllr Graham Brown, Cabinet Member for Library Services, said: “We want to show that our local heritage is a rich seam of knowledge and one worth sharing with people of all ages.

“Research and investigation skills must be encouraged with our youngsters and with those taking up new past times. Making any historical connection with out past is worthwhile and rewarding, yet it is the documents and materials to support them that we should consider as our real treasure.”

On The Road With Our Libraries!

October 8, 2014

An extensive mobile library service now makes over 500 stops and loans thousands of books to local residents throughout the entire County Borough.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s mobile libraries serve communities and locations that are a distance from any local library building to ensure residents can still easily access the service. They also make regular visits to sheltered housing units in the County Borough.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning Cllr Eudine Hanagan explained, “Mobile Libraries offer a first class service to the communities of Rhondda Cynon Taf and are much welcomed by their regular users.

“We unfortuantely had to reduce the number of Council run libraries earlier this year due to the substantial budget gap we face. However this decision was taken on the proviso that the Mobile Library service would be enhanced as we wanted to ensure residents from across the County Borough can access the library service.

“Our Mobile Library vehicles now make hundreds of stops per week and I am confident that we are now offering the right blend of static and mobile services and that the service is financially viable in the current climate and accessible to residents.”

A fleet of four mobile libraries operate a fortnightly service, offering a wide range of stock from fiction, large print, talking books, and if a resident can’t find what they’re looking for the Library Service can order books for them.

The mobile libraries, which also have evening and weekend stops, carry recycling bags for residents to collect themselves.

The service is particularly welcomed by elderly or disabled people who are unable to travel to their nearest library. The mobile library has steps that converts into a lift for wheelchair users, making them fully accessible and also have a loop system for those with an impairment to their hearing.

Membership of the Library Service is free and everyone living or working within the County Borough is welcome to join.

The service entitles users to borrow and return books to any of the County Borough’s libraries, whether static or mobile.

It allows users to borrow up to 10 books from a mobile library, and then have three audio visual items such as DVDs or audio books. All our audio books are in CD format.

Members can access their own accounts online to order or renew their own books to be collected at a mobile library.

For further details and full details of the mobile libraries’ stops contact| or email|

Celebrating Library Staff Success – Abergavenny

September 22, 2014

Library staff in Abergavenny were congratulated on the achievement of completing their Agored level 2 qualification in Information Literacy.

Helen, Judy, Sandie, David and Melanie all completed the level 2 qualification, while Julie achieved level 3.

Being able to find the information you need when you want is a vital skill both in our daily lives and at work. The Welsh Government recognised this when they set up the Welsh Information Literacy Project (WILP).

Library staff have always supported customers finding and evaluating information. For the last year we have been working with WILP to evidence the skills all library staff possess.

In March 2013 three members of staff achieved their Agored level 3 in information literacy. This enabled them to mentor their work colleagues and in September 2013 the first group of library staff began their level 2 qualification. Since then all library staff have completed their level 2.

Staff have demonstrated exactly what library staff are brilliant at – finding information on any subject and packaging it as the customer needs.

HelenHelen chose to base her study on Abergavenny Library being a Carnegie Library after a gentleman came in just because it was a Carnegie library. Her research and work can now be promoted as a good source of information for future enquiries and the original research documents could be digitalised.

DavidAs David has his own interest and knowledge in performing arts, he chose the sourcing of these materials for customers. Current customers include Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra and Monmouth Choral Society. His finished work is suitable as a resource to be used outside the authority not just in Monmouthshire.

SandySandy based her study around the sourcing of foreign language books after being requested for books in Bengali from a local customer. She built good working relationships with librarians outside the authority in libraries that offered a good choice of books.

JudyA customer wanted information about a tram worker that she thought was haunting her cottage. Judy researched the tram roads in Gilwern, finding old maps showing the customers’ cottage on the tram road. Judy also put the customer in touch with another library user who was a supernatural expert.

ClaireClaire chose Parkinson’s as a customer’s husband was diagnosed with the disease. The customer was not computer literate and came to Claire for help. Claire ordered books for her and found out about local schemes that could help, which she now wants to promote via the library.

JulieJulie was approached by a customer who wanted family history information on a family member who was a dentist in Abergavenny. Julie tapped into a customer with family history knowledge who was happy to help. The dentist was Mr Fullylove and was related to Dylan Thomas.