Successful Swansea library celebrates its birthday in style
DWINDLING visitor numbers have caused libraries to hit the headlines in recent years, but Swansea's is celebrating its fifth birthday and is doing better than ever.
The library moved to the Civic Centre from its historic home on Alexandra Road in 2008, and marked its anniversary yesterday with music and cake.
The move has proved hugely beneficial, with an increase in visitors, including a rise in the number of children and disabled people using the library.
Liz Evans, the library's assistant manager, said: "We have seen a massive turn around in the past five years. When it was in Alexandra Road the building was inadequate, it was in a poor state and even the books were in a poor condition as a result of this.
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"A lot has changed since then. A lot more people use it now and a bigger range of people use it. We have had to move with the times."
She added: "With the recession, people are coming here more to read books, get DVDs, and we also have free internet."
Despite cuts to the central library's budget the management has worked hard to protect services, and attract even more visitors. The only major change has been the library's inability to purchase any more new music.
Tracey Jones, assistant manager, said: "We now have wheelchair access and access for prams, which means we get a lot more disabled people and young children here.
"Rhyme time, which aims to get under fives rhyming, is extremely popular."
The central library celebrated its fifth birthday with a performance by singing group Bois y Bont and plenty of birthday cake.
Mrs Evans said: "It's really been a brilliant five years for us here. The library's seen a huge turnaround and I definitely think it has a very bright future ahead of it."