Policy for handling comments and complaints

This document is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).


This document sets out The National Library of Wales’ policy for handling comments and complaints made about our services and facilities. 

Listening to our users and visitors is essential to improving the quality of our services and facilities. As well as appreciating the comments when we do things well, we also want to know when our users are dissatisfied, or where they feel that our services can be improved. This will ensure that we: 

  • Can give credit to our staff when we have done things well

  • Can know if things have gone wrong, and try to put them right

  • Can improve our services and facilities

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all those we have dealings with, however regularly, including visitors, registered users, commercial organisations, and other establishments and institutions. It also applies to contractors, suppliers and any other individual or organisation that has business with The National Library of Wales, and applies to whichever method is used to access our services – in person, by telephone, in writing, by e-mail, or our online services.

What is a complaint?

We define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with our service, no matter how it is expressed and whether it is justified or not, that requires a response or further action on the part of the National Library of Wales.

Our promise to you

When we respond to your complaints you can expect us to:

  • Take your concerns seriously

  • Give you the name of the staff member responsible for dealing with the complaint at each stage of the process

  • Deal with your complaint promptly, and in all cases within 5 working days

  • Answer all your points of concern

  • Be impartial, avoiding any bias in favour of any party

  • Be thorough, finding out the relevant facts, taking views from people involved on both sides of the complaint and verifying explanations where possible

  • Be flexible in the way that we communicate with you

  • Give the reasons for the decision reached on a complaint

  • Explain the next steps available to you if you are dissatisfied and provide contact


How to comment or complain

We welcome comments and complaints, however presented, whether in person, in writing, by telephone, e-mail or letter.

We provide surveys, and comments and complaints forms can be found at every public service point, which can be placed in our survey boxes, returned by post or handed to a member of staff.

You can also contact us by telephone on 01970 632800, via our dedicated complaints and feedback e-mail address, customer-feedback@llgc.org.uk, or by writing to us at:

Governance Manager, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, SY23 3BU.

How we will respond to comments and complaints

We will aim to resolve complaints as soon as we are made aware of them, and this means that the member of staff who first deals with a complaint is responsible for:

  • Resolving the problem personally if it is within their area of responsibility

  • Or, where it falls outside the scope of their responsibility, to inform their line manager of the complaint

Line managers will then either resolve the complaint, or if it falls outside the scope of their responsibility, or the complainant is dissatisfied with the ensuing explanation, then it will be escalated to the relevant Head of Department. Should you still remain dissatisfied, the complaint will be passed to a member of the Executive Team. In all cases, we aim to respond to all complaints within 5 working days.

If you remain dissatisfied with how your complaint has been dealt with, you may contact the Librarian’s office at the above address.

Monitoring of complaints

We will keep a log of complaints received, which will include the date the complaint was received, name and contact details of complainant, full details of the complaint and any actions taken and replies sent, together with the name of the person (s) investigating the complaint.

The Library’s complaints procedure is concerned only with resolving complaints and not with investigating disciplinary matters. However, information gathered during a complaints procedure may be made available for a disciplinary investigation if deemed necessary.

The Library’s complaints policy will be reviewed annually. In addition, amendments will be made in the intervening period should aspects of this policy’s effectiveness be found inadequate as a result of ongoing monitoring, or if inadequacies in its operation are identified at any stage.

Reports will be given monthly to the Delivery Group, which includes the Executive Team, and annually to the Board, highlighting any significant trends and actions taken.

Action Plan

All members of staff are accountable for any comments or complaints received which require further action to resolve them. The individual member of staff who initially receives the complaint is responsible for ensuring that all relevant details are recorded, and transferred by them to the Enquiries System or transferred to the Enquiries Assistant so that they can be input to the Enquiries System.

  1. Initial contact: the person receiving the complaint should try and address the issues raised if it is within their remit or responsibility to do so, and should also inform their line manager of the problem and any actions taken to resolve issues. All relevant details should be recorded including date and time, name of complainant, nature of the complaint and any action undertaken to resolve the issue(s) raised.

  2. Referral to line manager: if the complaint falls outside the scope of an individual’s responsibility or they are unable to resolve any issues raised, then they should escalate this to their line manager as soon as possible, and take a note of the complainant’s contact details.

  3. Referral to Heads of Department: complaints which cannot be dealt with by relevant line managers should be escalated to Heads of Departments, who should provide either a verbal response immediately, and/or a written response within 5 working days, noting the issues raised, and the steps taken to resolve those issues.

  4. Referral to the Executive Team: all serious complaints, and those where complainants are unhappy with the explanations given by staff, should be escalated to the appropriate member of the Executive Team, who will provide a written response within 5 working days, noting the issued raised, and the steps taken to resolve those issues.

  5. Librarian’s office: should the complainant still remain dissatisfied after receiving a response from a member of the Executive Team, then they should contact the Librarian’s office.


First published: 13 November 2020

Last updated: -