About Us

Our six full-time libraries, two part-time community libraries and the Books on Wheels home delivery are managed by Awen Cultural Trust, a registered charity, in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council. We also support and stock two libraries in venues which are staffed and managed by Halo Leisure and have a large book reserve. Our local and family history resource in Maesteg houses a significant collection of research materials. 

 

Awen Cultural Trust’s purpose is to ‘make people’s lives better’ and through our libraries we are committed to improving the literacy of people of all ages; supporting reading for pleasure through initiatives such as the Summer Reading Challenge; enhancing wellbeing and tackling digital exclusion through events and activities; and providing unbiased access to sources of trusted information. We were the first library service in Wales to remove fines for overdue books.

 

Awen Libraries conduct annual Adult and Children’s surveys. The 2021/22 survey results highlighted the importance to our customers of the staff, the activities, the space and the resources (books, PCs, printers etc.) we provide. In the adult survey, 64% named the staff as a strength; others named the space, the atmosphere or the environment of the library and over a quarter of those who were surveyed reported the negative impact removing the library would have on their mental health. 

Our Objectives 2022 - 2025

Social Impact Objectives What we will do Key Milestones
Better Life Chances:
To create better life chances by engaging with more people, improving literacy and digital literacy, supporting reading for pleasure, promoting independence and reducing social isolation.
Increase the number of activities and events.
Work with more partners and run more events in the community.
Ensure our website and social media channels are engaging and interesting and create links to our events and easy access to our online resources.
MTH Library opens
Consult with non-users
Marketing plan in place
Information literacy sessions created and advertised for children and adults, schools and groups
Sponsorship of Summer Reading Challenge
Community Spaces:
To create memorable and positive experience by offering space to the community that meets their needs, offers flexibility, is welcoming and safe, and able to host different activities.
Reconfigure our spaces where needed and create fit-for-purpose facilities such as home-working spaces, WiFi, wireless printing, and improved accessibility.
More partnership work taking place.
Promote our spaces and services so that more people use us for work space.
Open Maesteg Town Hall Library
Redevelop Pencoed Library
Survey our user and non-users to understand current need.
Open Maesteg Town Hall Library
Complete Pencoed Library re-development
Bluetooth printing
Reconfigure Aberkenfig library and install disabled access toilet
Survey of IT users and non-users
Identify programme of hardware replacement
Betws and Sarn Libraries refurbished to improve layouts and flexibility of space
Wellbeing:
To support social regeneration and improve wellbeing by improving access to health information, reducing social isolation and improving the wellbeing of participants.
Increase the number of activities offering opportunities for social interaction.
Increased the number of wellbeing-related activities.
Work with more health and wellbeing partners.
Work more closely with health board at a strategic level.
Provide opportunities for people to learn about information literacy.
Work with partners and in the community to ensure the library seen as a useful community place for wellbeing information for customers and partners.
Be recognised by local agencies as a partner in the wellbeing agenda.
Develop Books on Wheels (BOW) delivery to broader spectrum of ‘housebound’ families
Become a ‘dementia friendly’ service
Develop consistent wellbeing activity programme through staff and partners
Second BOW van purchased to support increased users
Social programme introduced for BOW users to reduce isolation
Secure sponsorship for wellbeing programme
Life Skills:
Increase life skills and opportunities through formal and informal training. Have a positive impact on literacy and information literacy.
Increased the number of formal training sessions and informal drop-in sessions which support digital and information literacy.
Promote our online resources (such as Encyclopaedia Britannica, eMagazines) that support literacy and information literacy.
Promote services such as book stock and online resources to showcase our libraries as a useful place to study.
Work more closely with schools and partners at a strategic level.
Provide opportunities for work placements and volunteers to gain life skills and experience through work.
Programme of one-off coding and robotics sessions
Create Information Literacy programme for school classes
Create cohesive offer for schools delivered through Outreach and Engagement team
Launch ‘Friends of’ panel to engage with children and young people over a longer period and offer training and work experience placements to children and young people
User and non-user survey around offer for children and young people
Environment:
To reduce energy consumption and reduce our impact on the environment.
Replace our Books on Wheels and delivery vans with electric vehicles.
Replace all lights with LEDs.
Extend recycling provision.
Install solar panels on suitable library buildings.
Lower petrol and diesel consumption, and lower running costs.
Conduct and act on Insulation Reviews on stand-alone libraries.
Investigate longevity of stock if we were to stop using plastic jackets – which would remove the plastic from the system and aid recycling
Future batches of membership cards are to be un-plasticised
Change to LED bulbs when and where possible
Installation of solar panels where possible
Identify opportunities to update heating systems to more energy efficient ones when old systems fail or buildings are refurbished
Purchase batch stocks of stationery, cleaning products and craft supplies, minimising deliveries to reduce carbon footprint
Begin insulation programme
Replace Books on Wheels vehicle with electric vehicle
Replace delivery van with hybrid vehicle

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