Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism
I am pleased to have this opportunity to issue the Guidance on Community Managed Libraries and the Statutory Provision of Public Library Services in Wales.
Public library services in Wales have requested clarity as to whether community managed libraries form part of the local authority’s statutory public library provision under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. No guidance existed previously and this report enables Wales to respond to the request as the first of the home nations to do so.
The guidance sets out the criteria community managed libraries should meet in order to be included as part of the statutory library service. These criteria are linked to our Welsh Public Library Standards and the 18 core entitlements listed within the Standards. The guidance provides a detailed commentary on the 18 core entitlements.
The guidance builds on consultation with stakeholders undertaken as part of the development of the fifth framework of Welsh Public Library Standards 2014-2017 and the Expert Review of Public Libraries in Wales 2014. Eight responses were received from the sector following an invitation to comment on draft proposals.
In addition, recommendation IX of the Expert Review of Public Libraries in Wales 2014 report stated that:
“CyMAL should work with stakeholders to develop guidelines and appropriate documentation for partnership agreements setting out the minimum requirements which would enable a community supported library to be considered as part of an authority’s statutory provision. Relevant legal advice should be sourced as part of this process. The criteria for a community supported library to be included as part of the statutory provision should be developed by CyMAL by January 2015 for implementation from April 2015”.