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Libraries making a difference

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"Libraries making a difference" is the fifth Welsh Public Library Standards framework.

The Welsh Public Library Standards measure the performance of library services across Wales. The previous four frameworks have helped local authorities in Wales to improve in a number of areas. We have issued the fifth framework to continue this work.

What is the purpose of the framework?

The primary aims and objectives are to:

  • include outcome measures to show the benefits of using libraries
  • act as a driver for improvements to library services and local communities
  • be relevant and useful to all local authority library services in Wales
  • be transparent, easily understood and accepted by all stakeholders 
  • provide a robust assessment of the performance of library services.

What are the benefits of the framework?

The framework encourages local authorities to ensure that the public can benefit from:

  • the provision of suitable and appropriate access to public library service points
  • a suitable and appropriate range of materials and activities available
  • access to adequate levels of staffing and a skilled workforce
  • adequate capital investment in buildings, effective ICT and efficient managements systems for their library service.

Welsh Public Library Standards Annual Reports

Local authorities submit a return in early summer each year. This reports on library performance for the previous year. We use a panel of assessors from local government and other experts to consider the performances. We give written feedback reports containing final assessment and advice to local authorities in the autumn of each year. This annual report is based on the information provided by authorities.

For the first time local authorities can include community managed libraries in their 2014-15 returns. In consultation with local authorities we have drawn up guidance on what requirements community managed libraries must meet in order to be included. “Community managed libraries and the statutory provision of public library service in Wales” provides detailed guidance and can be downloaded below.