Thursday, 19 December 2013

CILIP Cymru Wales welcomes Welsh Minister’s statement on the value of public libraries

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Wales (CILIP Cymru Wales) welcomes the statement on public libraries made by Welsh Government Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths which acknowledges the role libraries play in delivering government policy and the contribution they make to local communities through learning opportunities, free access to digital services and as safe public places.

The statement, made on Tuesday 3rd December 2013, also addresses the issues raised by the Executive Committee of CILIP Cymru Wales in their recent open letter to the Minister. This focused on the potentially damaging effects of local council spending cuts on Welsh public library services and urged the Minister to work with local authorities to ensure Wales continued to develop a sustainable, innovative and professionally run public library service.

CILIP President Phil Bradley said “this is an extremely encouraging response from the Minister. I welcome especially his emphasis on the statutory basis of the public library service and his commitment to ensuring that Welsh people will continue to have the benefits of a professionally run library service responsive to local need”.

The Minister’s statement also highlights the fact that Wales has the only strategic framework for the development of library services in the UK and draws attention to the important partnerships libraries have with further and higher education and the National Library of Wales. He announces too his intention to commission an expert review of current and future plans by local authorities to deliver public library services.

“The Expert Review is very timely” stated Phil Bradley, “and CILIP Cymru will be pleased to assist in any way possible. There are very challenging times ahead and it is pleasing to see those responsible for libraries working together to provide the public library service Welsh people need and deserve”.

Written statement on public libraries in Wales

CILIP Cymru Wales open letter to Minister

Inquiry into Public Libraries in Wales

Mandy Powell
CILIP Policy Officer, Wales