Llanelli library finishes third in the UK lending charts


It's more like a busy glittering Star Wars Enterprise flight deck than a stuffy, silent book shelf filled emporium.
As a result Llanelli Library has zoomed into the stratosphere being officially recognised as third in the top five list of libraries with the highest lending figures for books and other loans in the UK.
Fourth last year, Llanelli library continues to buck the trend of most libraries across the country experiencing a decline in lending.
Official figures from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) reveal that more than half a million items were issued at Llanelli Library last year. Only Norfolk and Worchester performed better.
Carmarthenshire county council executive board member for regeneration and leisure services, Cllr Meryl Gravell, said: “It is a remarkable achievement to be recognised nationally when in competition with much bigger centres of population nationwide.
“The library’s continuing improvement justifies the council confidence to deliver its refurbishment that has marked a new and vibrant chapter in the Athenaeum building branch in Vaughan Street’s history.
“The management and staff are to be congratulated for their constant innovation to keep up with the changing technological world we live in and people’s changing habits. The amount of resources and information available is huge. The library staff are always striving to be at the forefront of library services, not only in Llanelli, but also in the wider county.”
County library services manager, Mark Jewel said the Llanelli refurbishment had changed the dynamic of the service totally.
He said: “Where it was perceived as ‘shhh’ and ‘quiet please’ there is now a juke box, occasional guest choirs singing, background music, coffee corners and sounds from children’s chatter. Yet we are still able to maintain a quiet area for serious study in the reference department.
“Self-service terminals have also allowed users to issue and return their own items and check their accounts enabling staff to be on hand to assist with a host of enquiries. Through the careful blending of the old building’s character with modern fixtures and fittings which has created an iconic building fit for the 21st Century with state of the art technology complimenting the traditional library offer in a socially inclusive community building that suits all.“
User from all walks of life from studious professors to unfortunate homeless pass through and they are all impressed with the Library and the philosophy and thinking behind this superb facility. The look, layout and book stock has changed and is well worth a visit. Visitor numbers have increased tenfold consolidating Llanelli Library‘s place as one of Wales’ most visited Libraries.

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