This month's Library of the Month is Cardiff Central Library, which is a part of a wider network of 20 libraries across the capital city. Cardiff shows us how libraries can be a fantastic community resource as well as offering some fantastic must-read suggestions.
Tell us about your library and the area it sits in.
We have 20 Libraries throughout Cardiff: A Central Library Hub, 12 Community Hubs and the remainder are being developed as Community Wellbeing Hubs focusing on supporting local communities with their wellbeing needs.
Describe your library in three words.
Ambitious, Supportive & Welcoming
Apart from plenty of reading material, what other services does your library offer?
The following list is not exhaustive but gives a flavour of what we offer our customers: Into Work services, Tenants support, Money Advice, Housing & Benefits advice, Health and wellbeing events, social groups, Reading Groups, digital events, Reading Festivals e.g. Crime & Coffee, Children’s activities like storytime, rhymetime, lego clubs, Homework clubs, literacy events, singing groups, Friends & Neighbours Groups, Dementia Cafes, Health and Wellbeing collections including Reading Well – Books on Dementia
What is the strangest book-related question your team has been asked?
A customer asked for a book that would help him research his theory that global warming was caused by Peruvian tuna farming. Weirdly we did actually have a book that helped him with his query and he went away happy.
If you were to become a character from a book for the day, who would it be and why?
Suzy from the Train to impossible places by P G Bell because she gets to go to lots of amazing magical places!
What’s been the biggest surprise about working in a library?
The variety of the work – no one day is ever the same!!
What are your top three must-reads?
The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
The Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
What is your favourite book from your childhood, and why did you love it?
Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchings. I love it because of the vibrant illustrations and because it hasn’t got any words I found it so accessible from an early age. Because my first language is Welsh – there wasn’t a lot of variety when I was growing up so this book was fantastic for me.
Why are libraries such a vital link in our communities?
They are such a fantastic community resource and focus on meeting the needs of local residents – whether that be reading material, help with their financial circumstances, their health and Wellbeing, their education or helping to remove barriers to employment.
Keep up to date with Cardiff Libraries!