I have been looking forward to writing this blog – I love telling people about this fantastic service that public libraries across Wales offer their members. For free!
What is the National Digital Library?
The National Digital Library is an all-Wales digital library service that was launched last year and is free for all library members in Wales. The Welsh Government provided grant funding to the National Library of Wales to lead on developing the National Digital Library. By working in partnership, Welsh libraries have been able to procure e-resources collaboratively, resulting in significant cost savings in comparison to procuring separately. The National Digital Library was launched almost a year ago by the then Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism.
What can I get from the National Digital Library?
From your public library
As long as you are a member of a Welsh public library you can access a wide range of e-resources, completely for free.
I love the free e-magazines I can download straight to my iPad – there are so many popular ones available. I download Heat, Look, Grazia, Glamour and Cosmopolitan whenever new copies are available – yes I do enjoy a bit of celebrity gossip! I also enjoy reading cooking magazines, such as BBC Good Food and Delicious. I’ve added it up and estimate I save around £350 a year compared to buying them all! However, it’s not just about gossip and food… a full list of magazines is available on the e-zines for Wales website.
As well as magazines, you can also get:
- E-books: including children’s books (for example Harry Potter titles, David Walliams and Roald Dahl books are available) and there are Welsh language books too. Oh and if you like Game of Thrones why not download the e-books to read?!
- E-audio books: many titles are available for both adults and children. You can also access a variety of self help titles
- Reference resources: such as ‘Who Else Writes Like…?’ a resource to help you find which author to read next
- Search function to search for items across all Welsh libraries
- You can also use the computers in your library to research your family history.
From the National Library of Wales
Located in Aberystwyth, the National Library of Wales is the national legal deposit library for Wales and is responsible for collecting and preserving Wales’ documentary heritage. You can get remote access to a number of its subscription resources if you are a member of the National Library of Wales. A list of what is available is on the libraries.wales portal and includes things like online newspapers, e-journals, official publications and reference resources including Encyclopedia Britannica. You can join the National Library of Wales via their online form.
How do I access the National Digital Library?
If you are a library member, all you need is your library card and PIN (available from your local library). The e-books, e-zines and e-audio are downloadable to most computers or mobile devices, also via apps available on App store or Google Play. You can find out more about what is on offer and how to access it on the libraries.wales portal.
If you are not a member of a library, you can call into your local branch or visit your local authority library website for more details on how to join.
Libraries offer much more!
Using your library membership you can borrow free books and you can use the free computers in your library. Most libraries also offer free wi-fi.
Libraries have lots on offer for children and young people, such as homework clubs and coding clubs. In the school holidays they have lots of activities and children can also join the annual Summer Reading Challenge, reading six books over the school summer holidays and picking up lots of rewards along the way. You can find out more about these activities and much more by visiting your local library or via the libraries.wales portal.
Post by Jemma Francis, Museums Archives and Libraries Division, Welsh Government