Public Meeting invitation to all – MONDAY, 10th NOVEMBER, 7.00pm, Pennard Golf Club

You will be aware that the City & County of Swansea has reneged on former promises to maintain the library service in Pennard.

In order to discuss the future of Pennard Library, we are holding a public meeting on:

10th November 2014, 7 p.m. at Pennard Golf Club (2 Southgate Rd, Southgate, Swansea, SA3 2BT). Continue reading

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Welsh libraries and museums get £2.2m cash injection

Pennard Library

Pennard Library

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-26943911

The National Library of Wales has been awarded more than £320,000 to develop its online services as part of a £2.2m package for libraries and museums around Wales.

The money will benefit two schemes at the National Library in Aberystwyth.

A further £1m will help modernise nine libraries elsewhere.

A mobile library service in Ceredigion and a project which involves making archives more accessible has also won funding.

The £321,000 National Library of Wales grant will be used to deliver and provide online resources including newspapers, the Welshlibraries.org portal and a cross-catalogue search facility.

Libraries to be modernised

  • Llandrindod Wells, Powys: £180,000
  • Pontardawe, Neath Port Talbot: £171,394
  • Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan: £120,000
  • Aberfan, near Merthyr £120,000
  • Pennard, Swansea: £118,585
  • Ceredigion (mobile): £90,410
  • Ely, Cardiff (Jasmine Centre): £80.000
  • Grangetown, Cardiff: £80,000
  • Pembroke Dock: £24,300

Source: Welsh government

It will also facilitate the Aberystwyth-based institution to buy online family history resources for libraries, archives and accredited museums.

The library’s chief executive and librarian, Aled Gruffydd Jones, said: “Additional funding such as this will allow for the continued enhancement of the library’s key services enabling future users in Wales from all walks of life to enjoy improved forms of access to publicly-funded information and knowledge.”

Nearly £1m will also be used to modernise nine libraries across Wales.

Continue reading

Community Libraries

Libraries throughout the UK have, for the last couple of years, been the main target for Local Councils to attack when seeking ways to save £s from their annual budgets  –  or so it appears to communities up and down the length of the country.

In late 2013, the Gower (South Wales) community of Pennard became very much aware of the above situation when, from completely out of the blue, they heard (via the local newspaper) that our Local Authority (Swansea) had stated that amongst their ‘proposals’ for the 2014/15 financial year, it was their intention to close the much-loved and much-used Pennard Library facility at the end of the 2013/14 financial year; or at least, that was to be the situation, unless………….!

The ‘unless’ part of the Local Authority’s ‘leak’ to the local newspaper, was revealed in the former’s statement that “No decisions have been made.  The proposal for Pennard Library is to transfer it to a community-led volunteer service which would mean the majority of library services currently offered there would continue to be available.” [Source: South Wales Evening Post, 12 December 2013;  Comment made by Councillor Nick Bradley, Swansea City Council’s cabinet member for regeneration)

The main word in the Council’s statement, is the word ‘volunteer‘, and as the community of Pennard has since discovered (from the reading of far too many online webpages devoted to the same subject  –  i.e. local Councils’ closing Libraries  –  all appear to have the same theme) the community will be expected to run their library at their own cost, and with their own (volunteer) staff, otherwise the local Council will shut down the facility!

Although the Pennard community has fought since mid-December 2013 (and as at March 2014, is continuing to fight) against the Local Authority’s proposal re the closure of Pennard Library, and although the initial “Pennard Library Working Group” has, in recent months, evolved into a group under the heading of “Friends of Pennard Library”, the main premise of both the Working Group and the Friends has always been that Pennard Library is not only to be kept open, but to be kept open with its existing staff and with all of its CCoS facilities and arrangement(s) in place, and nothing less than that.

The situation as it currently stands (as at 06 March 2014) is that despite;-

  • Councillor Nick Bradley (see above) having verbally promised on more than one occasion both to individuals and to reporters that Pennard Library will remain open and providing all services with its present staff until the end of 2014, the same Councillor  –  despite his having made a verbal statement that he would put his promise into writing  –  has so far completely failed to keep that promise, and
  • Despite the “Pennard Library Working Group” having requested (in January 2014) Steve Hardman (Head Librarian) of/at City and County of Swansea to make Grant Applications to both CyMAL (in respect of £120,000) and to the Rural Development Fund (in respect of £40,000)  –  both being for the refurbishment of Pennard Library  –  to date, and despite several requests to him,  both the “Pennard Library Working Group” and the “Friends of Pennard Library”have been denied access to all documentation, and thus to what CCoS actually wrote in the said grant applications.
    • N.B.  In respect of the last bullet point, the “Friends of Pennard Library” have recently (03Mar14) received an email from Steve Hardman in which amongst other items, he wrote: “Obviously at this stage we have no idea if the Authority will be successful in relation to the CyMAL bid so maybe it would also be useful to touch on what the Friends thoughts are if we were not successful in obtaining the grants.”  Such comment(s) unfortunately fail to provide much confidence in either the  City and County of Swansea themselves, nor in how they promoted the Grant Applications to CyMAL and the RDF.

Community gets a library offer

March 2014
Swansea Leader: Newspaper of the City and County of Swansea;  Issue 90  March 2014 (page 4).  Community gets a library offer

Pennard Library

Pennard Library

THE COMMUNITY of Pennard will have the chance to run, develop and contribute to their own library service.

It’s anticipated the Council will be working with Pennard residents to look at how the community facility would work and how it would be funded.

The Council agreed to make no decision on its future before the end of the year while discussions take place.

A wide-ranging review of the Council’s library service is also planned.