Merthyr Tydfil Public Libraries are the only statutory service provided by Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust on behalf of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. Merthyr Tydfil Public Library Service consists of the main Central Library and three community libraries at Dowlais, Treharris, and Aberfan. In addition the service offers a Home Links delivery service for those unable to access services in the usual way. The public library service is governed by the 1964 Libraries and Museums Act which places a duty on authorities to provide: ‘a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons wishing to make use thereof’.
In Wales, there are a set of national standards that all library services work towards in order to ensure that people across Wales benefit from a quality service. These standards are called the Welsh Public Library Standards and are the mechanism by which the Minister with responsibility for Library Services can measure their performance against the ethos of the 1964 Act. Although not legislative, they are accepted as being the “delivery plan” against the 1964 Act.
In addition to a set of performance measures, the service has to demonstrate its compliance with the Core Entitlements for Library Service Users as outlined within the Welsh Public Library Standards, and the key outcomes and impacts that are identified in the document that are associated with library use . The service is also expected to demonstrate how its work supports and delivers on key corporate and Welsh Government objectives, such as the Programme for Government.
Part of being a statutory Public Library Service is that services are provided free of charge for those who live, work or visit the area and public library services across Wales work together to provide resources in conjunction with Welsh Government and the National Library of Wales to ensure parity of access to a range of resources, including but not limited to:
- Free book loans
- Free loans of audio materials
- Free access to local studies and local history materials
- Free family history information and free access to several online family history sites
- Free access to a range of online services, available at the library and at home with an active library membership
- Free Internet access at all borough libraries
- Community sessions around literacy, numeracy, digital literacy, job seeking and much more
- Friendly, knowledgeable staff
This Library Delivery Plan is a working document which sets out the direction for the delivery of the service within the Leisure Trust for 2015 -2016.