Sometimes it can be hard to find information about the different library sectors in Wales, different partnerships, regional groups etc, so I’ve tried to pull together some of the things you may find useful.
Libraries in Wales (some numbers are estimates )
- National Library of Wales (in Aberystwyth)
- 22 public library services
- 11 higher education institution library services
- 17 further education college library services
- 5 prison libraries (run by public library services)
- 24 health library services
- school libraries
- workplace and specialist libraries
Regional library partnerships
Under the Libraries for Life strategy (2008-11) there were four regional library partnerships created in Wales and CyMAL funded of Regional Development Officers. These regions have now become three and CyMAL is currently supporting them in a variety of ways including regional training grants and part-time partnership support officers. All the regional partnerships are cross-sector.
So, how do you know what region you’re in or who to contact?
North Wales: Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Wrexham. Lead host: Glyndwr University, contact Paul Jeorrett on firstname.lastname@example.org. Partnership support officer: Sue O’Brien on email@example.com.
South East Wales: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan. Lead host: University of Wales Newport, contact Gareth Evans on firstname.lastname@example.org. Partnership support officer: Chris Nevines on Christina.email@example.com.
SWAMP – South west and mid Wales partnership: Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Swansea. Lead host: Coleg Powys, contact Anne Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org. Partnership support officer Angela Sharp on email@example.com. SWAMP also now has a blog with quite possibly the best named library blog ever.
What about regional inter-library lending schemes?
CyMAL is funding several regional cross-sector schemes that are improving access to resources. In north Wales there is Linc y Gogledd and we are currently funding a p/t project officer Claudia Howard on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In south east Wales the Books4U scheme is in operation. In autumn 2011 this scheme was expanded to include Swansea and Neath Port Talbot area as well.
In south west and mid Wales the SWAMP passport entitles library users to physically visit, join, and borrow from other libraries in the region.
These schemes use Cat Cymru, the all-Wales searchable library catalogue to help users find and request items.
If there are other things you want to know about in terms of library partnerships, let me know. (There are other partnerships, groups, networks, consortia etc in Wales, and the above reflect the main ones that I am involved with primarily because of funding through the library programme.)