LIBRARIES across Denbighshire are amongst the best performing in Wales, with a significant investment in facilities providing good value for money services for residents.

Information included in the new draft Denbighshire Library Strategy, being discussed by the Council’s Cabinet later this month, shows:

29.5 per cent of 4-12 year olds in Denbighshire took part in the summer reading challenge in 2019 (first in Wales)

41,225 people were helped with using IT and getting online (first in Wales)

19.2 per cent of the Denbighshire population are members of the library service (highest percentage in North Wales and fifth highest in Wales)

125,454 virtual visits to website (sixth in Wales)

401,234 physical visits to libraries (eighth in Wales)

356,050 items were borrowed (including digital downloads)

Computers were used 53,691 times and 51,192 people came to 4,414 activities.

The Council has invested more than £1 million in refurbishing libraries at Denbigh, St Asaph, Rhuddlan and Rhyl.

An average library user’s spend in local shops and cafes is £8.07 - this is calculated by using the findings of a study commissioned by Archives Libraries Museums Alliance. Based on this, the contribution that Denbighshire Library Service makes to the high street economy is nearly three times the cost of the service.

Liz Grieve, head of communities and customers, said: “Our libraries are the beating hearts in our community. They provide opportunities for people to improve their well-being, learning and prosperity by providing access to the reading and literacy skills and resources that people want and need.

“As well as lending books, libraries provide access to information and knowledge through printed books, digitally through free access to computers and through human contact with our library and one stop shop teams.

“The service has gone from strength to strength and we are delighted to continue investing in libraries as we see the real benefit of libraries on people’s lives.

“Now we are looking to the future and we want to make sure that people can access resources and information for their health and well-being; feel enriched through reading; can access services digitally and get involved in a vibrant culture”.

The Council is outlining how it plans to develop the library service over the next three years. This will involve looking at ways of modernising libraries that have not been refurbished for more than 10 years; strengthening partnership working to sustain libraries in our communities; managing the collections of books to allow customers access to stock widely; developing digital services through social media marketing; promoting IT facilities to access Council services and looking at alternative ways of promoting what the libraries have on offer.