THE libraries at Penygroes and Dyffryn Ogwen, Bethesda are set to benefit from £56,000 of Welsh Government funding, through the Capital Transformation Fund.

The funding aims to help local libraries and museums to develop their facilities and services to widen access, work in partnership, decarbonize, and develop more sustainable services.

This fund will widen access for communities, promote cultural engagement, provide learning opportunities and support community cohesion, sustainability and prosperity.

A transformation grant will support the development of these two libraries in order to realise ambitious plans to develop Llyfrgell y Petha (the Library of Things) at both sites, as well as creating a virtual reality hub in Penygroes Library and wellbeing garden at Dyffryn Ogwen Library.

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The project to develop the Library of Things is called Petha, and Gwynedd Libraries is working in partnership with Dolan, who represents the community initiatives of Partneriaeth Ogwen, Cwmni Bro Ffestiniog and Yr Orsaf in Penygroes, on this exciting new scheme.

Petha project coordinator Catrin Wager explained: “Put simply, Llyfrgelloedd y Petha are similar to traditional library services, but instead of borrowing books, people borrow items.

“Usually items such as sewing machines, tools, gardening or cleaning equipment, equipment for camping or toys are available.

“By borrowing instead of purchasing such items, money can be saved, as well as saving space in your home, reducing waste and dependency on resources, which have positive environmental impacts.

“It is great news that the Library Service has been awarded this grant that will deliver an innovative service to the residents of Dyffryn Nantlle and Dyffryn Ogwen, and we are looking forward to working will the libraries to develop this project and to develop the idea of borrowing items as well as books in these communities.”

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The virtual hub in Penygroes Library will offer different technological experiences to raise interest and connect with users and the wellbeing garden at Dyffryn Ogwen Library will use the gardening expertise of the Dyffryn Gwyrdd project to create an area for relaxation and reflection and to engage with nature, whilst also celebrating the rich literary culture of Dyffryn Ogwen.

Partneriaeth Ogwen has already made environmental improvements to the building including installing Ynni Ogwen solar panels on the roof and installing electrical charging points and these recent improvements will be a further step to making the building eco-friendlier.

Nia Gruffydd, Gwynedd Libraries Manager said: “We are delighted that we are one of a handful of libraries that has secured funding this year to realise our ambitious plans to improve and develop our services in Penygroes and Dyffryn Ogwen. Libraries offer books and more, and the changes will really improve user experiences and services in these two areas.

“We are also very pleased to be able to work with Partneriaeth Ogwen and Yr Orsaf, Penygroes on the Petha project, benefiting from their support and expertise in creating community projects that make a difference to the lives of local residents.”

“Penygroes and Dyffryn Ogwen Libraries are small but lively libraries that are well supported by the local community. Book loans in Penygroes Library is consistently high, and the story time and the podcast scheme for children and young people in Dyffryn Ogwen Library are very popular with children and families.

“We look forward to developing our vision in the two libraries with Mari Roberts, the Assistant in charge at Penygroes Library and Kerry Walters, the Assistant in charge at Dyffryn Ogwen library, which have already done so much to make both libraries an important and central service to users.”

For more information about Gwynedd Council Libraries Services click here.

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