Sara Hawthorn 24 July 2014

Welsh councils urged to increase ‘vital’ library services

Library services in Wales are improving community life and delivering essential services, according to findings from a Welsh National Assembly committee.

According to the inquiry, the benefits of libraries include combating poverty and social exclusion as well as bridging the digital divide by offering free Internet access.

However as the number of visitors to Welsh libraries continues to grow, the committee has called on local authorities to do more and offer a wider range of services.

Committee chair, Christine Chapman, said: ‘With the continued cuts in public spending, the committee recognises that many local authorities are considering either closing facilities or offer fewer services along with assistance from volunteers to save money.

‘We believe that libraries play a vital role in many communities, contributing to areas such as education, health and welfare, combating poverty and social exclusion. There are many fine examples in Wales of how local authorities use collocation to improve the services on offer, and we believe that you can learn from these examples.

‘We also want to see the Welsh Government and local authorities to do more to promote these services, as well as explore opportunities to raise funds to protect these essential facilities.’

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