Two libraries to close in service shake-up

Geograph / Eric Jones

Three of Anglesey’s libraries have been saved from closure – but two will shut at the end of the month.

Community groups will take over the running costs of libraries in Beaumaris and Rhosneigr after securing long-term leases. Funding has also been secured to keep Cemaes library open for at least another year.

But the Moelfre and Newborough libraries will close on Friday 29th June after efforts to secure similar partnerships failed. They’ll be replaced by mobile services.

Anglesey Council said financial pressure meant it could no longer afford running library services as they are. A new five year strategy plan was backed in December.

The executive member for libraries, Councillor Meirion Jones, said: ”Anglesey has seen a change in the way people use local libraries with an overall decline in library visits and number of items issued possibly due to technological advances.”

”Our public consultation, however, clearly showed that people wanted to safeguard book lending, ICT provision, focus on helping children, young people and adults to improve skills and learn and the ability for the libraries to act as a community hub. We’ve tried our best to achieve these aspirations.”

”The closure of any library really was a last resort and it is a shame that our efforts have not come to fruition in Moelfre and Newborough. However, we remain committed to ensuring library services across the Island, and these two communities will be added to our existing mobile service.”

The council said the five libraries were at risk of closure because they had the lowest number of annual visits, loans and computer sessions.

The agreements with Canolfan Beaumaris and Llanfaelog Community Council mean the local libraries can be put to other use while the county council continues to provide the core service. Friends of Cemaes Library is providing 12 months’ funding to keep their facility open.