Our objectives with this project were:
- To make the library attractive inside and out and thus encourage additional use by current users and attract non-users
- To increasingly make the library a learning and information hub for the town and surrounding area
- To move to a more effective use of staff time for customer benefit
- To put into action lessons learnt through Estyn Allan and Library Innovation
- To further pilot services and equipment in a different sized library with a view to rolling out to other libraries
- To be able to market a modern 21st century library
- To develop within the Library and Information Service in tandem with other community regeneration initiatives, building a base for future development
- To build on the investment in the building since LGR
Summary of work completed
We were keen to draw attention to the library for people passing. The window blinds were removed, a bright wall panel was installed near the window, the colourful paint scheme, smart chairs / coffee table and new lighting completely changed the image of the library to the passer by. New book pods and table display units promoting books are now easily visible from the outside.
External signage on the building to two sides and pavement signage was purchased; the decorative slates on external library walls were repaired.
A bright colour scheme, in keeping with the 1960's building, was professionally prepared in liaison with the Project team, and new carpet laid. The aqua/ dark red and black scheme of the shelving and counter was maintained and has attracted many compliments.
A new layout was designed, incorporating suitable shelf height, encouraging an easy flow as customers walk / browse through the library. Stock is displayed on pods / table units, and sufficient acrylic shelf fillers and display units were purchased for front facing stock. DDA requirements were considered throughout, especially with the new library counter that accommodates well the needs of the customers and staff. A hot drinks machine was installed and has been well used. The image of the library had been impaired by the poor condition of the ceiling, new ceiling tiles and infrastructure installed enhance the new energy efficient lighting and save future costs.
The area was re-vitalised and de-cluttered. Easy access was provided for customers pushing prams or requiring wheelchair access by external automatic doors and internal assisted opening doors which are now very well used. Customer toilet facility installed here with full DDA access.
The layout of the book stock was changed; more face-on display was incorporated. The complete area was re-painted and carpeted and a new feature reading hideaway wheel is the centre of attention in the middle of the children's library floorspace.
IT area / provision
New PN area designed, electrical and data cabling work was completed, including moving of data cabinet and work to re-locate heating pipes to provide a better environment for customers. The area was designed to bring together the PCs as a PN suite provide better ergonomics for customers, and area that can accommodate customer support in ICT. This was achieved by demolishing a wall bringing the former workroom space into the public area.
Wi-Fi - installation was completed as part of the project.
Customer care was enhanced by the installation of additional telephone lines and through bringing the library onto the corporate telephone system using its enhanced functionality e.g. to do with 'call pick-up' and answer service.
Abergele staff were trained at other libraries, including at Colwyn Bay where the principles of the non-fiction stock categorisation had been introduced following a Community Learning Libraries Grant in 2007-08.
Type of library
Medium sized town library
Conwy County Borough Council
Features and services
Cafe/refreshment areas, Exhibition/display areas
Opening the Book
Opening the Book
Services and facilities suppliers
Insight media (iCAM)
Public access terminals, WiFi, Number of public computer terminals: 12