The National Library of Wales today (Wednesday, 9th December 2015) responded to the announcement it is to receive a 4.7% reduction in Welsh Government funding in 2016-17.
Linda Tomos, National Librarian, said:
‘Yesterday, the Welsh Government announced that The National Library of Wales budget would be reduced by 4.7%.
‘We understand that Ministers had some tough choices to make, and we appreciate that this budget settlement demonstrates that Welsh Government values culture and heritage. To ensure that this reduction in funding will not have a detrimental effect on the national collection and access thereto, we will need to secure additional funding from other sources including fundraising efforts.'
‘An extensive corporate restructuring process to find ways of reducing costs and to operate more effectively and efficiently has already taken place and will continue in the foreseeable future. It is a challenging period for the Library, and also one that presents us with many opportunities to increase our social, economic and cultural benefit through innovation and collaboration’.
‘The National Library of Wales is currently working on ambitious new strategies to extend its digital and physical reach to communities and sectors right across Wales and beyond. Future investment in digital technologies and building exciting new partnerships will ensure that the rich cultural heritage of Wales is fully exploited by the Welsh economy to inspire, innovate and grow’.
‘The National Library of Wales welcomes nearly 90,000 visitors annually and its digital resources are set to surpass one million users this year. An innovative new partnership with Wikimedia UK since January 2015 has substantially increased the impact of our digital collections with well over 10 million views on Wikipedia alone.
‘Outreach and education events are also held in schools and communities across Wales in partnership with Welsh Government and other cultural bodies to drive the cultural regeneration of Community First areas and inspire young people and adults.
‘Like many public organisations, the Library has experienced significant cuts to its funding in recent years. However, the management and staff have worked extremely hard to ensure that users have not seen any reduction in service or provision. In spite of these cuts, we will work just as hard in the future to try and ensure that we maintain the Library's services and provisions.’
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The National Library of Wales (NLW) serves as the nation’s memory. It’s a repository of treasures and facts, a disseminator of knowledge, a venue, a destination, a place to keep the past safe and readily available for all to access, use and be inspired by, now and in the future.
Located in Aberystwyth, the Library plays a central role in culture and heritage as one of Wales’s major national institutions. As one of the six Copyright Libraries in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the National Library of Wales’ collections are vast and varied and are free to access. They include 950,000 photographs, 150,000 hours of sound recordings, 250,000 hours of moving image, 25,000 manuscripts, 50,000 works of art, 1,500,000 maps, as well as 6,000,000 books. More than 5,000,000 individual items from these collections have been digitised and made freely available on the internet.
The National Library of Wales engages in a full and continuous programme of public events that include high-quality permanent and temporary exhibitions with associated educational and presentational activities. These are crucial to NLW’s mission of interpreting the collections for, and encouraging participation by, a wide range of audiences whether onsite, at external locations or online.