The new framework includes for the first time a number of measures which evaluate the impact and benefits for individuals of using a library service, such as increase in skills, improved health and well-being, and feeling part of a community.
The standards are used by the Welsh Government to monitor and assess performance of local authority library services and form part of Libraries Inspire, the Welsh Government’s strategic development framework for libraries.
The Minister launched the new framework (Libraries making a difference: the fifth quality framework of Welsh Public Library Standards) at Prestatyn Library+, a new library developed with £300,000 of Welsh Government support. The library serves as a hub for Third Sector health and social care services and houses a single point information/customer service desk, which will also provide signposting to specialist support services and expertise
The Minister said:
“Since the Welsh Government introduced public library standards 12 years ago, we have seen improvements in the services and a more consistent library offer across Wales. As a result all public library services now offer free access to computers and the Internet, physical visits to libraries have increased and so has investment in libraries.”
“I am very pleased that local authorities recognise the value of the Welsh Public Library Standards, and the role councils play in ensuring we have high quality library services which strive to improve year on year and reach more challenging targets.”