New Chapter for Libraries; Community Hubs to Help Literacy

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), July 11, 2011 | Go to article overview

New Chapter for Libraries; Community Hubs to Help Literacy


Byline: Peter Law

CITY libraries are to be transformed into so-called "community hubs" in a new scheme to get more people borrowing books.

Cardiff council hopes to tackle the city's literacy crisis by creating all-under-one-roof libraries that will offer a variety of services.

A trial will take place at Llanrumney and St Mellons libraries later this year.

If successful, the modernisation scheme could be rolled out across Cardiff.

The move comes just weeks after a report showed 25% of young people in Cardiff leave school with a reading age of under 10.

Latest figures show fewer than a quarter of the population - about 80,000 people - regularly use libraries. A further 45,500 people use libraries occasionally. As part of the trial, librarians will be trained to offer advice on issues such as council tax, benefits and other services.

The new community hubs could also have different opening hours more suited to modern lifestyles, such as in the evenings or on Saturdays.

"Virtual libraries" offering self-service book borrowing could also be set-up in community buildings, such as at post offices or village halls. …

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