On Tuesday 5th February the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis AM, made an oral statement in the Senedd on “Making a difference: the role of museums, archives and libraries in tackling child poverty”. He also took questions from Assembly Members on this topic.
Stephen Gregory has written an excellent comprehensive blog post on the announcement, including an embedded link to the TV recording of it (so you can watch it if you want!) and a summary of the debate.
Of particular interest to library staff will be the announcement of an additional £150,000 of Welsh Government funding “across the heritage portfolio in this financial year to widen access and encourage participation. The budget will be earmarked for activities that demonstrate the step change that is needed to encourage participation by our poorest families and their children.”
Further information about this additional money was made in an official launch of Changing Cultures in Tredegar House, Newport, on Thursday 7th Feb. The press release for the launch is here, but more information is available on a new section of the culture pages on the Welsh Government’s website. This link is to a ‘programme of events’ which details the projects that will be part of the Changing Cultures programme in museums, archives, libraries and heritage organisations.
For public libraries, the additional money is being allocated to World Book Day on 7th March 2013, via the Welsh Books Council who currently work with local authorities on World Book Day. The National Library of Wales will also be undertaking specific activities as part of Changing Cultures. Keep an eye on the Changing Cultures website for further information.