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Friday, March 12, 2021

Positive report for library service in Denbighshire

Denbighshire Library service has been praised for its performance.

The Welsh Government has praised the service in the Welsh Public Library Standards assessment report for 2019/20 saying it has a ‘strong commitment to health and wellbeing’ while its ‘intention to focus on the development of staff should enable Denbighshire libraries to remain at the heart of their communities and continue to deliver services effectively’.

Covering the period before the coronavirus pandemic, it found the service met all 12 core entitlements, including being free to join and open to all, providing free access to resources, facilities and services, with friendly, knowledgeable staff, as well as achieving seven of the nine quality indicator targets in full.

These included support for individual development, support for health and well-being, location of service points, Welsh language resources, online access, supply of requests and opening hours per capita.

The service was the best performing in Wales for the number of Welsh books borrowed per capita, and was ranked fifth for the number of active borrowers and for the number of virtual visits per capita.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “I would like to congratulate our library service and the staff for this fantastic assessment report.

“Libraries are vital to the well-being of our communities and the library service here in Denbighshire provides excellent service to our residents.

“This report covers the period before the pandemic, but I would also like to congratulate the service for continuing to support the community by offering a wide range of services throughout the last 12 months under very difficult circumstances.”

During the last year the service has introduced an order and collect service and expanded its digital offer for downloadable books, newspapers and magazines which was strengthened by a £250,000 investment from Welsh Government to increase the range of stock across Wales to meet increasing demand.

The Bookstart team switched its service to online immediately in mid-March 2020 and has delivered to date 33 weekly live rhymetime sessions, 30 weekly YouTube videos and 12 Siarad Babi videos to support parents.

Library staff have been making calls to local residents to check on their welfares and explain about the range of service and support available locally.

Two projects funded by Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund will see library staff undergoing training in delivering virtual activities and the development of private spaces for solo digital meetings in libraries.

The report will be discussed by the Council’s Performance Scrutiny Committee on March 18.

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