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This document is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).


The National Library of Wales is committed to providing excellent services to all our users, but we acknowledge that we don’t always reach our desired standard of service. We therefore consider it essential that we listen to our users and visitors to rectify when things go wrong and improve our services and facilities.

The policy sets out how you can make a complaint about any aspect of our services or facilities that you consider to be unsatisfactory, and how we would respond.

What is a complaint?

We define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with our actions or lack of action, or the standard of service we provide to you.

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all who use our services or come into contact with the National Library of Wales.

We realise that some users may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint. A representative can make a complaint on your behalf – a friend, relative, or advocate – if you have given them permission to do so.

We have committed to making our services as accessible as possible. If you find it difficult to make a complaint, or wish to receive the information in another format, you can ask a staff member at the Library or contact us through our Enquiries Service.

This Policy also applies to all Library staff who come into contact with the public. Staff will receive training sessions in relation to the Policy every two years so that they know the procedure and their responsibilities when dealing with complaints, including complaints about our compliance with the Welsh Language Standards, the Freedom of Information Act and General Data Protection Regulation.

Complaints regarding discrimination

The National Library of Wales is committed to promoting and taking action to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion across all our services. In doing so, we aim to implement best practice and to provide beyond our statutory obligations.

We will ensure that immediate attention is given to any complaint regarding discrimination, harassment or victimization in relation to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

You can also make a complaint relating to our compliance with the service delivery standards, policy making standards or operational standards with which we are under a duty to comply in accordance with the Welsh Language Standards.

How to make a complaint

You can make a complaint in person on our sites, in writing or by calling us using our Enquiries Service.

When making your complaint, please let us know:

  • Your full name and address
  • As much as you can about what has happened
  • How you would like us to address the issue

You can also make a complaint the content of our websites and submit a request for removal. We will deal with these requests in accordance with our Takedown Policy and Procedure.

You can also share comments and feedback on how we can improve our services using our online questionnaire. There are also forms at each service point on our sites, and these can be submitted in the feedback boxes, returned by post, or given to a member of staff. These questionnaires will not come under this policy unless you have noted your comments as a complaint and provided information that we need in order to respond.

What happens after I have made my complaint?

We will always let you know who is dealing with your complaint, and we will respond in English or Welsh, depending on your preferred language.

We deal with complaints in two steps:

Step 1

We aim to resolve complaints as soon as they are brought to our attention. This may mean an apology on the spot if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem.

If you have submitted your complaint through our Enquiries Service, we will acknowledge your concern formally, and see whether it can be resolved at Step 1, within 5 working days (Monday to Friday).

If it is not possible to resolve your complaint in this way, we will explain why and what will be the next step (Step 2).

Step 2

Complaints that reach Step 2 will be investigated thoroughly and, if appropriate, we will discuss with you your complaint and the resolution that you wish to see.
You will receive a response to your complaint within 20 working days (Monday to Friday). If it is likely that the investigation will take more than 20 days, we will be informed in writing as soon as it becomes apparent.

What if I am still dissatisfied?

We hope that our complaints procedure will help you to resolve any problems quickly and successfully. If you are still dissatisfied with the way that we dealt with your complaint, you can let us know and we will consider whether it should be escalated within the Library. We will let you know within 5 working days whether your complaint is to be reviewed and our response, and notify you of next steps.

There are other steps that you can take depending on the nature of your complaint:

Public Service Ombudsman for Wales

We hope that our complaints system will help you to sort out any problems quickly and successfully. However, if we do not succeed in resolving your complaint relating to public services, you may complain to the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales. They are independent of all government bodies and can look into your complaint if you believe that you personally, or the person on whose behalf you are complaining:

  • have been treated unfairly or received a bad service through some failure on the part of the body providing it;
  • have been disadvantaged personally by a service failure or have been treated unfairly.

The Ombudsman expects you to bring your complaints to our attention first and to give us a chance to put things right.

You can contact the Ombudsman by:

Welsh Language Commissioner

You can contact the Welsh Language Commissioner to make a complaint about our compliance with the Welsh Language Standards.

The Information Commissioner’s Office

You can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office to make a complaint about services relating to our compliance with the Freedom of Information Act or General Data Protection Regulations.

First published: 13 November 2020
Last updated: June 2023