We Need to Keep Web of Libraries; They're Vital for Digital Age Stresses New Report

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID POWELL

LIBRARIES are more vital than ever as people struggle to access all sorts of information from benefits to jobs, warn service bosses.

But communities need to work together to save their local branches, say the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) Wales in a new report, which sets out the body's vision for the future of public libraries and highlights projects to be rolled out nationally.

It comes as councils across the country seek to cut library opening hours, in the face of shrinking budgets.

Among them is Anglesey Council, which is considering shutting 10 libraries as it needs to find PS2.8m in savings.

SCL Wales chair Ann Jones said: "SCL Wales recognise libraries are facing challenging times. So it is even more important that organisations work together to continue to deliver the services needed by their local communities." She added: "With the imminent onset of Universal Credit, the increased reliance on digital technologies and the proliferation of information resources, libraries are needed more than ever to support those who are only just learning to use these new technologies and to find that piece of information that helps them. …