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National Libraries Funding Slashed

national library wales funding cutsThe National Library is facing cuts in its budget of around £1 million it has been announced.

The cuts will not hit the library all at once, and will be staged over the next 3 years as set out in the Assembly Governments draft budget.

The library currently recieves most of its funding from the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.

The library has since announced that it expects its overall purchasing budget to be halved. In the past the library has been able to purchase a wide range of works which are of benefit to its users. These works have included original paintings by Welsh artists, along with Dylan Thomas originals.

Its present purchasing grant stands at £611,000 and it expcts this to fall to around £305,000. Of its total purchasing grant, around £200,000 goes towards subscriptions for online services, such as research paper databases which provide huge amounts of electronic information for the libraries users, and reduce overall storage space.

That will only leave £100,000 for the purchase of new physical works and items which are to be displayed at the library, and used by the people who frequent it. This means that the library will be far less able to purchase items of national significance as and when they become available. It will also find it harder to maintain and update its equipment which is used to sustain and advance its didgital media collections.

The National Library has also seen a number of recent job cuts due to drops in funding, and it hopes that it will not see any compulsory job cuts in the coming months due to further cuts.

The future plight of the National Library raises the unfortunate question that when we are struggling to pay our debts, and make jobs available to the unemployed, can we really prioritise the collection and presentation of Welsh art, literature and photography just to name a few in our national budget? Let us know what you think below….

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