Scrutiny Councillors focus on Swansea Libraries

Scrutiny Councillors on the Service Improvement & Finance Panel met on 7 February and discussed the Welsh Public Library Standards Annual Performance Report 16/17.

Photo Credit: Swansea Libraries

The Panel received a presentation from Senior Officers from Cultural Services on the current Welsh Public Library Standards framework.  Frameworks ensure that libraries in Wales meet certain Standards.

Scrutiny Councillors were pleased and commended staff for the delivery of this service during the difficult times of austerity.

Swansea Council Libraries were rated:

  • 6th in Wales for physical visits despite the fact that most buildings are stand alone and not bringing footfall in from multiuse buildings.
  • 3rd in Wales for regular and active borrowing
  • 2nd in Wales for audio-visual and electronic borrowing

Further improvements are seen in reservations and requests. All Swansea libraries are now equipped with WIFI and there are high levels of customer satisfaction within the library service.

Libraries now offer a range of different activities some of which help address wellbeing issues and increase community involvement. These include but are not limited to; Colouring and knitting clubs, toddler rhyme time, job clubs, half term activities and coffee mornings.


The Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, Councillor Robert Francis-Davies was also present at the scrutiny meeting, he pointed out that libraries are now multi use and people are accessing them for a range of reasons this includes social interaction and helping tackle loneliness. He thanked the team for their contributions and hard work in difficult staffing circumstances.


Councillor Chris Holly, convener of the Panel commended officers for the presentation received and acknowledged the hard work staff are putting in given the staffing pressures in place. He is due to write to Cabinet with recommendations based on the report and presentation received.


This letter together with the response from Cabinet will be published on Swansea Council’s Website.

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