Recession Sees People Checking out Libraries; Figures for City Show Visits Are Up 22% and Book Lending Has Risen
Byline: Lisa Jones
THE number of bookworms visiting city libraries has soared, new figures have shown.
As the recession has hit South Wales' economy, reading material has been flying off the shelves of Cardiff's libraries.
Figures from the city council show the number of people taking out books on loan has risen by 12% while the number of people visiting libraries has risen by 22%.
Cardiff council said the figures were the result of the city's investments in books and library buildings - including the new Central Library in the Hayes and the renovation of sites in Ely, Rhiwbina, Fairwater, Llanrumney, Grangetown, Penylan, Rhydypennau and Llandaff North.
All libraries in the city have been equipped with the new RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system which enables easy self-issue and return of books by customers so librarians have more time to interact with visitors.
Student Beata Lisowska, 21, from Cathays, Cardiff, was persuaded to visit the new Central Library and sign up as a new member by friend Hannah Stringer, 21, also a student from Cathays.
She said: "This is the first time I've been here. Hannah studies architecture and told me it was an interesting building. It's modern and has a logical structure."
Hannah added: "We're here to look at DVDs and novels to read. Books are expensive to buy and once you've read it you don't want to keep it."
Former civil servant Stephen Field, 47, of Treforest, has been a regular at the library.
He said: "I use most of the facilities but I'm enjoying exploring the classical music CDs. …