VALE of Glamorgan Council Leader Neil Moore joined a host of dignitaries and members of the public to mark the 10th anniversary of Barry Library.
The venue celebrated being open for a decade with a variety of events last weekend.
On Friday, old photographs of Barry were on show, there was a photographic challenge and a display of most borrowed books, while people had the opportunity to sign up for colouring, crochet and reading groups.
A day later, storytellers entertained visitors, who could also attend a family history drop-in surgery and enjoy craft-making, while there was a performance from Barry Male Voice Choir. There were also a host of other activities taking place across the two-days.
Cllr Neil Moore, Vale of Glamorgan Council Leader, said: “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years because I remember vividly the day we opened the library and there are celebration pictures on the walls here today to remind us of what the library and old council offices looked like through the ages. I think it’s an absolutely wonderful place to visit and now the learning centre upstairs only adds to the experience that everyone has.
“There are photographs of when this place was boarded up. I remember it very well because I was working in Holton Road and I watched the new Civic Offices being built which resulted in this building closing down. I also remember coming here with my daughter when she was three years old who is now old enough to have her own child and protesting about the demise of the building.
“We wanted this place open not for political gain but to ensure the building was brought back into community use. We said ‘you can’t just leave an iconic building like this empty!’. I recall the disagreements we had back then. As Max Boyce used to say ‘the pitheads baths is a supermarket now’, and we nearly had a supermarket here too. It was only the tenacity of some of us at the Council and like-minded people from the Community that prevented that happening. This facility is testament to people working together to make something a success.
“This building has become iconic so all I can say is ‘thank you to all the staff, you’ve done an amazing job’. I’d also like to thank the library members and other visitors who borrow books, CDs, DVDs and make use of all the facilities on offer. I’m really pleased we did what we did. Thank you to everyone, without you it wouldn’t be a success.”
Cllr Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Deputy Leader, said: “The pace of change in our lives has been dramatic and sometimes it’s not comfortable. Now, an awful lot of information is consumed digitally and people are just as likely to read their newspapers or novels on buses on their way to work or in coffee shops, and people panic if they misplace their smartphone.
“However, that categorically doesn’t mean that libraries have become less important. Our libraries are changing and if we look at Barry Library, just in the last few years, with all the amazing activities, there’s always something going on.
“As a Council, if we’re going to build strong communities with bright futures, which is what our corporate vision is, I’d argue that libraries are even more important. They need to be a focal point within our communities. Our libraries are constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern lives, but the one thing that doesn’t change is the commitment, creativity and absolute passion of our staff. That is the one constant within the libraries. I’d like to add my thanks to that of the Leader’s to all the staff that work so hard.
“Now we’ve seen the addition of the learning centre, access to IT facilities, the imminent arrival of increased opening hours, hopefully more and more people will use the library and realise just what an amazing resource it is.”