Aura Wales has expressed delight at its most recent assessment by the Welsh Government’s Culture Division which reported that the employee-owned community benefit society ‘performs well’ against the Welsh Public Library Standards (WPLS).
The WPLS are a mechanism which enables both service providers and Welsh Government to measure the provision and performance of public libraries in Wales. Whilst not directly part of its statutory responsibilities, as laid out in the Public Libraries and Museums Act of 1964, the WPLS are the established method by which Welsh Government assesses public library services throughout Wales as part of its legal duties. Currently operating within the 6th Framework – Connected and Ambitious Libraries – the WPLS consist of a pre-defined set of nationally benchmarked quality indicators and ‘core entitlements’, with Aura required to submit an annual return to Welsh Government.
In the latest annual assessment report, covering the 12-month period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, Aura met all 12 of the core entitlements in full, with an independent assessor agreeing with the organisation’s self-assessment. Of the 10 quality indicators which have targets, Flintshire’s Aura-managed library service achieved eight in full and two in part.
The WPLS report noted Aura’s libraries’ recent focus on health and well-being, together with improved provision for children and young people, with event attendance levels being recognised as another positive feature.
Responding to the latest WPLS annual report, Kate Leonard, Aura’s Libraries Development Manager, said: “I am really pleased to be able to share our performance against the WPLS, with the report demonstrating how Aura’s libraries are successfully supporting people’s health and well-being and working to tackle issues such as poverty, social isolation and loneliness. Our libraries play an important role at the heart of their local communities offering warm and welcoming spaces for the residents of Flintshire, where they will find a fantastic selection of high-quality services delivered by dedicated and knowledgeable staff.”
Sara Mogel OBE, Aura’s Chair, commented: “We are very proud of Aura’s libraries and how they have grown and developed into valued community hubs under our stewardship. This is especially important as all over the country libraries are closing or limiting their services while Aura continues to operate seven libraries, a mobile library service and a home delivery service. It is very good to be recognised as a leader in our field by this national report.”
View the full WPLS Annual Assessment Report 2022/23 for Aura’s libraries in Flintshire.