A report has been presented to scrutiny highlighting that Caerphilly County Borough’s Library Service was assessed as meeting all 12 of the Welsh Government Core Entitlements, the first year the library service has achieved this.
The Welsh Government Executive Summary assessment of Caerphilly Borough Council’s performance against the 6th Standards Framework for Public Libraries during 2018/19 states, “Caerphilly has continued to deliver effectively against the standards framework in 2018/19, maintaining strong performances in key areas. The extension of Wi-Fi provision across all library services is a welcome development, ensuring that the core entitlement in this area is now met.”
The Welsh Government Ranking Table comparing each Local Authority’s Standards ranks Caerphilly as number 5 of 22, a rise of 2 places from the 2017/18 return.
The following areas were identified as a particular strength in the Authority’s performance:
- Caerphilly Library Service now meets all of the 12 Core Entitlements for the first time with the extension of Wi-Fi provision across all library services.
- All static service points provide a good range of support for skills development and health and well-being, with additional developments in 2018/19 in the provision of Dementia Friendly services.
- Increases in library membership and virtual visits remain the highest per capita in Wales.
- The CIPFA Adult User Survey conducted in May 2019, shows continuing high levels of satisfaction, with 99% of those surveyed rating the library ‘good or ‘very good’ with the library service ranking as 1st in comparison with other library authorities.
- The service continues to meet the targets for provision of materials in the Welsh language with a strong commitment to its investment in Welsh language stock for adults and children and an associated rise in the issues of these materials
Overall the assessment of the County Borough Council’s Public Library Service for 2018-2019 is that of, “a provision that continues to deliver and has been maintained against a challenging back drop of continuing financial pressures linked to the Local Authority’s Medium Term Financial Plan and anticipated further impacts to come in subsequent years of the 6th Framework period.”
Cllr Ross Whiting, Cabinet Member for Learning and Achievement commented, “This is a fantastic achievement for all libraries across Caerphilly County Borough. Our public library services promote community-based opportunities and learning of all kinds, encourage social and economic advancement and support a wide variety of group and individual activities.”