The importance of libraries to the community was highlighted by Christina Rees MP, as she helped celebrate National Libraries Day 2016 (February 6th)
Libraries play an important educational and social role in society. Over half the population possesses a library ticket, and in 2013-14 there were more than 280 million visits made to UK libraries.
During her visit to Neath Library, Christina met with staff and regular users of the library’s services including the monthly Local History Group, and held her own drop-in advice surgery in the library’s Local Studies Room.
Said Christina, “In today’s technology driven world it is often forgotten what an immense contribution libraries make to our society.
“They are at the heart of the community offering education, entertainment and social opportunities. Libraries provide a service and experience that quite simply cannot be equalled by a click of a mouse or a home computer search engine.”
Said Senior Librarian, Jeanette Jones, “Neath Library is used and enjoyed by a wide variety of people, from groups and organisations to children and adults, and last year there we had more than 150,000 visits.
“We continually strive to enhance collections and, by keeping up with new technology, the service can better offer people what they want, in a way they want, when they want it.
“We are delighted to have been able to show Ms Rees the work we do here and for her to meet some of the members of the public who continue to use and support the library service here in Neath.”
About Neath Library
There has been a library in Neath – in one form or another – since the early 19th century, and over the years was housed at a number of locations in the town including the Mechanic’s Institute in Church Place.
Following a number of bequests and donations, most notably £2,000 and a collection of books from Miss Mayzod Rowlands, daughter of the then Mayor of Neath Alderman J.H Rowland, a new Free Public Library opened in 1899.
This was followed in November 1905 by the opening of a purpose built library at Victoria Gardens from where it has served the community for over 110 years, continually adapting to changes in society and technology.
Last year Neath Library received over 150,000 visits with 10,000 people coming to the library to attend events ranging from Song and Rhyme Time, Baby Massage sessions and Lego and Craft Clubs for children to Knitting Groups, Adult Colouring Groups, author talks, writing groups and history groups. It also hosts Job Clubs for the unemployed and IT sessions for all.
As well as saving customers money, Neath Library helps some of the most vulnerable people in Neath by providing a place for support groups to meet and help with applications such as Universal Job Match.
It gives people confidence, provides lifelong learning opportunities as well as leisure activities.
While books are still its mainstay, there are also DVDs and CDs for all the family to enjoy, and NPT Libraries now provide free online services to its members including free e-books, e-audio books, digital magazines and access to ancestry.
For more information about the services offered by Neath Library please call 01639 644 604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Details may also be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/NPTLibraries