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This publication scheme is operated by the National Library of Wales [NLW], which is one of Wales's chief cultural and information institutions. Its mission is to collect, preserve and give access to recorded knowledge, in all documentary forms, with an especial emphasis on the intellectual record of Wales, for the benefit of all engaged in research and learning, or with other information needs. The Library is also the largest store in Wales of information and knowledge on all subjects. As a legal deposit library, it receives copies of most books and other printed material published in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. It performs five core functions: collecting, preserving, giving access and information, publicising and interpreting and professional collaboration.

The publication scheme was drawn up under section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 [FOI Act]. The Act provides individuals with a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, subject to certain exemptions.

Under the Act, public bodies have two main responsibilities:

  • To produce and maintain a guide to the information that they hold which is publicly available. This is known as a publication scheme, and has been in operation since 30 November 2002;
  • To deal with requests from individuals for information from 1 January 2005 when the Act came into force.

Following the FOI Act individuals have a right to access all types of information, providing no exemption applies. Requests for information under the FOI Act have been accepted since 1 January 2005.

The NLW is also committed to the principles of access to information which are expressed in the revised Code of Practice on Public Access to Information published by the National Assembly for Wales in 2007.

The Chief Executive and Librarian, Pedr ap Llwyd, has responsibility for the scheme on behalf of the Library. The Director of Collections and Public Programmes has responsibility for maintaining the scheme on a day-to-day basis.

Definition Of The Publications Scheme, Statement Of Purpose And Aims

Information about publication schemes is contained in Section 19 of the FOI Act and in guidance issued by the Information Commissioner's Office in 2008. Their purpose is to develop a greater culture of openness by encouraging organisations to publish more information about their work and their contribution to public life in a pro-active way. This publication scheme is a complete guide to information which is routinely published by the NLW. The Library is not required to respond to individual requests for information which is already accessible through its publication scheme.

The publication scheme must contain the following information:

  1. Reference to everything that we publish or intend to publish;
  2. A note of the formats in which this information is, or is intended to be, published, and
  3. An indication of whether this information is, or is intended to be, available free of charge or on receipt of payment.

This publication scheme has to be approved by the Information Commissioner, and be reviewed each January by the National Library of Wales.

Overview Of The Approach Used In Determining The Structure Of The Scheme

This publication scheme has been arranged according to the structure suggested by the Office of the Information Commissioner. The scheme consists of seven classes of information:

  1. Who we are and what we do;
  2. What we spend and how we spend it;
  3. What our priorities are and how we are doing;
  4. How we make decisions;
  5. Our policies and procedures;
  6. Lists and registers;
  7. The services we offer.

The NLW is committed to proactively publish or otherwise make available as a matter of routine, information, including environmental information, which it holds and which falls within these classifications. In addition, the NLW will specify the information which it holds and which falls within these classifications. Any information that is included under the exemptions set out in the Freedom of Information Act is excluded.

Formats And Availability

The publication scheme itself is available in both Welsh and English and is accessible to online users through the NLW website. Printed copies of the scheme are available to view at Reception which is usually open between 0930-1700 (Monday - Saturday). The Library is typically closed every Sunday and the Reading Room is open, with limited service available, on public holidays

If you do not have access to the Internet, copies of the scheme are available without charge from the Director of Collections and Public Programmes, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, SY23 3BU, telephone: +44 (0)1970 632 830, email:

The information is available in several formats. The majority of documents are available in Welsh and English and are published electronically in Portable Document Format (PDF) and / or HyperText Mark-up Language (HTML) on the National Library of Wales website at In some cases, the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) noted within the publication scheme will guide you directly to the relevant information. These locations will be reviewed regularly to ensure they remain current. However, where information is scattered over several locations or where the location of the information is likely to change frequently, the information should be accessed through the general website address. To read PDF documents you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is freely available from the Adobe website ( Some of these documents are also available in hardcopy form.

Where information is not published electronically this is clearly stated under the relevant class.


Copyright of all documents contained within this publication scheme is owned by the National Library of Wales. Please contact the Director of Collections and Public Programmes at the address given above for details of our charging policy for re-use and reproduction.

Charging For Information Available From The Publication Scheme

For each class of information in the publication scheme we indicate which of the following categories could apply to information you intend to use for your private research/study:

  • Free of charge on website (i.e. there is no charge by us, although the user would of course have to meet any charges by their Internet service provider, personal printing costs, etc). For those without Internet access, a single print-out as on the website will be available by post from the Director of Collections and Public Programmes at the address given above. However, requests for multiple print-outs, or for archived copies of documents which are no longer available on the web, may attract a charge for the cost of provision, photocopy, postage, etc - we would let you know this at the time of your request. The charge would be payable in advance.
  • Free of charge leaflets or booklets on, for example, services we offer to the public.
  • Classes of information which contain publications in hardcopy or other media, e.g. CD-Rom, that may carry a charge, as indicated by [£]. Details of charged-for publications can be obtained from the Library. For those with access to the Internet, details of charges for specific publications are also clearly shown in the Publications section of the National Library of Wales website.

Requesting Information Under The Freedom Of Information Act

Applications must be made in writing (by letter, fax or email), contain the applicant's name and postal or email address, and include sufficient detail to enable the NLW to identify the information sought. We will need your postal address if the information requested is only available in hardcopy.

The Freedom of Information Act specifies that the applicant has two related rights:

  1. To be told whether the information is held by the National Library of Wales;
  2. To receive the information, and where possible, in the manner requested.

The NLW will aim to respond to requests within twenty working days of their receipt. If a fee is requested, the response period will be extended to 3 months until the fee is paid. Any fees will be calculated according to the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. The NLW will not be obliged to comply with any request that is likely to exceed the fee cost limit.

The applicant will be directed to the NLW publication scheme if the information requested is already available and accessible through it. Information not covered by the scheme may be available on request.

Responses will be written in either Welsh or English, depending on the language of the request.


If the information requested is subject to an exemption the NLW will then have to consider whether to override that exemption because of the public interest to release the information. The information may only be withheld if the public interest in withholding it is greater than the public interest in releasing it, that is, when disclosure would cause substantial harm or breach confidentiality.

Where the exemption or an absolute exemption exists, the NLW will not be obliged to disclose whether or not it holds the information, but will provide the applicant with an explanation for its decision and inform the applicant of their right to complain to the Information Commissioner. If the information requested contains some exempt information, only those specific aspects of the information would be withheld, and the rest of the document would be released to the applicant.

The NLW is not obliged to respond to vexatious or repetitive requests for information from the same individual, requests for which a specified fee has not been paid, requests that exceed the fee cost limit, or requests that contain insufficient detail to identify the information required.

When an applicant requests information about him/herself or other individuals, this will be considered as a request for access to personal data under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018, and will be exempt under the FOI Act.

Complaints Procedure

The NLW is committed to being as open as possible and to supply the requested information. However, the Library may withhold certain information if it considers that its release would cause significant harm in accordance with the exemptions listed in the Act. If an applicant is not satisfied with the reasons given by the NLW for withholding information, he or she is welcome to complain to the Director of Collections and Public Programmes. It is also possible to appeal to the Information Commissioner, if an applicant considers that the NLW has not complied with its obligations under the Act.

Feedback, Questions And Further Information

The NLW welcomes suggestions on how the scheme can be improved to meet the needs of its users. Any comments, suggestions or queries should be addressed to:

Director of Collections and Public Programmes
National Library of Wales
SY23 3BU

Telephone: +44 (0)1970 632 830
Fax: +44 (0)1970 615 709