Monday, 20 May 2013

New Welsh Minister promises to continue "strong protection" for libraries in Wales

Welsh Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, opening the Trade Exhibition at
the CILIP Cymru Wales Annual Conference on Thursday 16th May. 

The recently appointed Welsh Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths AM, whose portfolio includes responsibility for libraries in Wales, attended the CILIP Cymru Wales Annual Conference on Thursday 16th May 2013. Mr Griffiths spoke briefly prior to formally opening the Conference Trade Exhibition. Mr Griffiths said that it was his “chief task” to continue the Welsh Government's support and protect for libraries in Wales, even given the current financially challenging times.

Speaking to over 120 delegates at the Conference in Cardiff, Mr Griffiths applauded the theme of the conference. By working together in partnership and collaboration, libraries can find new ways to “do more with less” and to strengthen and enrich their services. For example, extending  links with health and education organisations will result in stronger and improving services that meet the needs of communities.

Mr Griffiths noted that many good things are currently happening in Welsh libraries. Technology, creativity and innovation combine to enable exciting projects such as:

  • the All Wales Library Management System projects in public and higher education libraries; 
  • shared online services making high quality news, research and family history  resources available to all public library users across Wales;
  • the planned development of a Welsh Libraries app for mobile phones and tablets. 

The refurbishment of public library buildings continues with the support of Welsh Government CyMAL funding, thus ensuring that public libraries are fit for today and are equipped for the future. Indeed the Minister was looking forward to officially opening a refurbished library in Pontycymer (Bridgend County Borough) later that afternoon.

Speaking about the inaugural Welsh Librarian of the Year Award established by CILIP Cymru Wales, Mr Griffiths recognized how lucky Wales is to have such talented, professional, committed, innovative and productive library staff. Mr Griffiths extended his congratulations to the shortlisted nominees and for the forthcoming announcement for the winner.

"Strong support and protection"

In recent times the Welsh Government has demonstrated strong support and protection for libraries in Wales. Mr Griffiths said that it was his “chief task” to continue this support and protection in Wales, even given the current financially challenging times.

CILIP Cymru Wales were delighted to receive the Minister at Conference. We extend our thanks to the Minister and to colleagues from Welsh Government CyMAL in making this visit possible.

With Mr Griffiths (2nd from right) in the photograph are: L-R Janet Peters (Cardiff University, representing WHELF), Annie Mauger  (CILIP CEO), Phil Bradley (President, CILIP), Steve Hardman (Swansea Libraries, representing SCL(W)) and Karen Gibbins (Swansea Libraries& Chair, CILIP Cymru Wales). Image credit - Huw Evans.


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