Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 12:09 UK

Library spends 750k on facelift

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones (r) and library president Dafydd Wigley
Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones (r) and Dafydd Wigley at the opening

The National Library of Wales has unveiled its newly refurbished reading room, which first opened in 1916.

The facelift cost the library in Aberystwyth more than £750,000, and now includes a place for people to meet and discuss their work.

A video promoting the room has been produced for the library's website, its YouTube channel and its Facebook page.

The National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke composed a sonnet for the official opening.

National library officials said the reading room would enable people to scan some of the building's five million books, as well as its collection of newspapers, magazines and journals.

'Invested'

Librarian Andrew Green said a lot of time and money had been spent digitising collections for the internet.

"But the library also felt that it should also update the personal service offered to its readers within the building itself," he added.

"The new plan recognises the different ways and reasons that people today use the library's collections and will appeal to academics, students and leisure-time readers."

The room has been divided into a number of sections, including five study areas.

There is also a lounge which offers a view over Cardigan Bay, and there is free access to wi-fi internet.

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones opened the reading room.

He said: "The newly refurbished room provides first-class facilities for users to benefit from the rich collections of the library."



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