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Swansea Library Service Plan

Provision of an agile, inclusive and sustainable library service that enables citizens and communities to engage meaningfully with culture, reading, technology and learning within their local community.

Swansea Libraries Service Plan 2021-23 (PDF) [300KB]


  1. Vision
  2. Library Mission
  3. Library Service Priorities
  4. Background
  5. Action Plan 2021  


1.  Vision

Provision of an agile, inclusive and sustainable library service that enables citizens and communities to engage meaningfully with culture, reading, technology and learning within their local community.

Corporate priorities

  • Safeguarding people from harm
  • Improving education and skills
  • Transforming our economy and infrastructure
  • Tackling poverty
  • Maintaining and enhancing Swansea's natural resources and biodiversity
  • Transformation and future council development


2.  Library Mission

To deliver a free and equitable service that is relevant to the needs of the communities it serves from spaces that are accessible, safe and welcoming, providing resources that are stimulating, engaging, educational and reflect the culture and heritage of Swansea. Delivered by a team that is customer focused and highly skilled in supporting a diverse range of needs.

3.  Library Service Priorities

  • To blend traditional and digital services by developing a Digital strategy for libraries
  • To support Reading and literacy for all, leading to improved life outcomes and wellbeing
  • Support the council's plans to investigate Community Hubs and a new location for Central Library
  • Supporting health and wellbeing agendas through library activities
  • Provide opportunities for agencies and partners to work to address poverty and employability initiatives
  • Reflect all communities in the promotion of and engagement with our culture, heritage and local history collections.


4.     (a) Background

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to ensure the provision of a 'comprehensive and efficient library service' that encourages both adults and children to make full use of the library services is a statutory requirement under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

The Welsh Public Library Frameworksets out a set of core entitlements and quality indicators for Welsh citizens which are reported by local authorities to the Welsh Government annually and enable them to uphold their duty in assessing the efficiency and comprehensiveness of delivery of library services in Wales.

The service achieves this through a network of 17 librariesacross the County area of Swansea. It has a small central management team who provide specialist support to the community libraries in the form of reference and local history services, childrens' services, book acquisition and processing, IT, audience development and promotional activities. The service also runs a community housebound and care home service to provide library services to those with barriers to accessing physical sites. Swansea libraries also runs a prison library at Swansea Prison under an annually renewable Service Level Agreement.

In addition to library sites the service provides a range of digital resourcesto support access to reading, information, learning platforms accessible to all regardless of physical location.

The library service is supported by the Welsh Government who provide a number of digital services to all libraries across Wales including Ancestry, Ebooks, Eaudio books and E-magazines. Further details can be found by visiting - My Digital Library

(b) Performance Statistics (source - Welsh Government Sixth Quality Framework for Welsh Public Libraries - Annual Return)












Loans of Books





(exclusive of renewals)

Loans of Non-Book and digital items





Total Active users





Net Expenditure





* submitted to Welsh Government as part of the national performance reporting framework submission 2021/22 - subject to confirmation via publication of final performance report 2020/21 (pending)


Actions (priority)



Finalise a Digital Strategy for service supporting workforce and service delivery.

Participate in Digital Champions programmeand create local training resources online for staff.

June 21



Review and extend use of SMS and Emails on Enterprise and improve user experience on site.

Dec 21



Create and develop and re-use digital content for customer engagement and improved access to online resources. Build on Estyn Allan legacy.




Mar 21



Deploy tablets in libraries(for customer use) to realise outputs of WG funding project and address digital exclusion and digital first agendas.



Sep 21



Provide support to children and parents to use online platforms for child resources.

Mar 21



Develop child pages on Enterprise and assist in creation of digital content online.


Reading and Literacy

Review stock policy to reflect cultural and society priorities and ensure relevance to all library customers.

Review, update and share

Oct 21


Newspapers and periodicals review


Implement revised online news offering and revise paper based periodical and newspaper offer.

Sep 21

Collection management -review and edit existing collections


Create and implement a programme to review and edit collections in central library

Sep 21

Extend Book Banding


Book Banding to all libraries and widen titles available

Mar 21


Click and Collect and Book bags


Promotion plan to ensure Click and Collect service is maintained at all libraries.

Sep 21

Further develop curated/themed book bags at all libraries

Dec 21

Reflect needs of new Wales school curriculum in new stock acquisition

Improve awareness of changes, source new titles and resources, for example diversity in Welsh history.Dec 21


Improve visibility of diversity in library collections

Improve meta data and search facets in catalogue so titles are more easily found in searches.

Ensure diversity is reflected in displays and promotion of books in all settings

Target promotion of foreign language books to relevant audiences

Mar 21
Mar 21
Mar 21

Child literacy initiatives


Further develop book review cards for children and give visibility online.

Coordinate SRC and Carnegie Greenaway activities

Dec 21

Sep 21

Community Hubs and Venues


Explore new Income streams


Freshly promote Libraryline research service.

Seek access to external funding to improve library spaces and develop new projects. Explore out of hours use.

Re-implement merchandise and other income generating initiatives.

Dec 21


Mar 22

Central library relocation (HUB)



Engage with partners and stakeholders in developing services for the new location of Central library.

Create staff focus groups to assist gathering of needs and influence scope

operation and design of new library presence.

Mar 22

Mar 22

Dec 21


Working with Schools


Support and empower library managers to Re-engage with schools virtually or physically to rebuild class visits to library

or assembly or classroom talks.

Mar 22

Mar 22


Empowering staff

Provide practical assistance to enable library managers to take on more of their supervisory and building management issues.

All Library Staff to participate in the creation of digital content - whole service approach

Mar 22

Mar 22


Wellbeing and Health

Reading Well promotion

Refresh ways to promote reading well resources in libraries.

Dec 21

 Community Service Recommendations

Implement findings for new support for care homes based on expressed need, improved data on customer needs and widen scope of audience using service, specifically service for carers, more

diverse communities

Sep 21

Dec 21


Update Website content for community services

Jul 21


Ageing Well Wales Plan support

Implement good practice initiatives to address barriers to access by older people eg, physical, communication, anti-isolation projects, digital exclusion.

Dec 21


 Climate Change and reducing carbon footprint

Re-use and recycle wherever possible. Look for cost effective alternatives when purchasing.

Reduce use of plastic jackets on lib books


Mar 22

Poverty and Employability

Review of fines

Review of charging of fines for overdue books

Mar 22


Restore links with employability services

Safely rebuild links with employability services post Covid

Sep 21


Digital exclusion

Work with digital communities Wales on new projects

Relaunch Codeclub and microbits loans


Sep 21

Diversity and Heritage

Attracting new diverse audiences

Support and lead Library managers to better network with local groups not currently engaging with the library

Community Service team to reach out to network partners to improve visibility of their service to hard to reach

Dec 21

If you require a copy of the Swansea Libraries Services Plan in print please contact Swansea Libraries at:

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