EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The scope of this CyMAL: Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales, funded project was to contribute to strand 3 of the Libraries for Life programme, looking at ethnic services provision under the Regional Library partnerships framework. The aim and objectives were to develop a framework to assess and meet the information needs of minority ethnic groups in Mid-Wales through partnership and collaborative collection development. Key Points. • Generally accepted there are more ethnic migrants in Mid-Wales than official statistics suggest, the Polish community being the biggest group. • Examples of good practice in ethnic service provision can be found throughout England and Scotland, but predominantly in Cardiff as well as elsewhere in Wales, and Northern Ireland. • To date, migrant influx has not had much impact on schools library service but this may start to change. • There is a need for availability of more graded readers for ESOL students - with a possible link between FE colleges and public libraries to share in collections. • There is a need for better links between ESOL tutors and college librarians in some places. • Ethnic migrant library use is greatest for computer use – Internet, email and reading foreign newspapers online. • Lack of library service use by ethnic minority groups is mainly due to lack of language skills and therefore having no use for library services. • Mid-Wales Library and Information Partnership (MWLIP) steering group to look at opening up the academic foreign language collections for public use to help with ethnic minority collection access. • Lack of engagement problems with ethnic minority groups confirmed and Local Authorities plan to work on this over the next 3 years. Possible opening here for MWLIP Regional Development Officer (RDO) or county librarians to get involved at this early stage when committees are being formed with ethnic support groups. • Funding streams for ethnic collections may need to be included in mainstream funding in the future, as opposed to one-off project funds. • Set up of book review blogs could help with English skills and foster a community shared experience. • Use of ethnic minority volunteers in the libraries may help to increase engagement and awareness of services, and help develop collections, but action like this should not be viewed as a reason to reduce funding by Local Authorities.
|Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University
|Published - 2008