“Staff provide an excellent service and are always welcoming and helpful”. These are just one of the many positive customer comments in a recent survey of library customers in Monmouthshire.
Customer satisfaction levels are very high as indicated by the results of the two Public Library User Surveys, with 94% of adults considering the service very good or good. 89% of children and young people said their library was good (the highest possible rating), reflecting a certain frustration with curtailed opening hours. Many customers, especially children, would like libraries to be open every day.
Library staff were praised for their excellent customer care and enquiry skills. “The librarians are extremely helpful and efficient and provide an essential service for the local area” wrote one user.
The library’s contribution to work and educational opportunities was highly valued by adults, with 30% saying that using the library had helped them with their work, and 41% saying it had helped them with their studies. 25% said that the library had helped them with health issues, and 18% had been helped with family/relationships.
60% of children felt that using the library had improved their reading.
“For more than twenty years my whole family has found library membership invaluable” was one comment.
Customers were also given the opportunity to suggest improvements to the library service and progress has already made to implement some of these. The need to improve the free Internet service was mentioned by a number of users, and Wi-Fi will soon be available in all libraries. Caldicot Library’s opening hours were also highlighted as a cause for concern and a consultation process will soon take place to find out what changes can be made to meet the needs of the community.
Some of the comments about Abergavenny Library reflected the cramped and limiting building. The new library planned for the town will offer more space and facilities for all age groups in the Abergavenny area.
Chepstow, the busiest library in Monmouthshire, is due to be refurbished with a £120,000 grant from CyMAL (Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales). Work will be carried out this summer/autumn and highlights include lots of new book displays, an improved layout for stock and flexible space for more activities, events and classes, and a designated area for teenagers. The project will also create a welcoming library reading garden.
For more information about what Monmouthshire Library Service can offer you and your family, please contact your local library or log on to www.libraries.monmouthshire.gov.uk