“Safeguarding national treasures in challenging times …”

Collections - Posted 23-05-2020

During these challenging times, The National Library of Wales has continued to preserve and protect Wales’ national treasures. In addition, technology has enabled us to provide access to our collections; for the purpose of research, education, and inspiration – for all to enjoy from home!

However, behind the scenes at The Library building, our collections continue to be protected in a very practical way!
Whilst most Library staff have been able to work from their homes during this period of lockdown, the same cannot be said for our dedicated security staff – who continue to protect our vast and various items around-the-clock, twenty-four hours a day, from within the Library in Aberystwyth.

Paul Ingram, from The National Library of Wales’ security team, gives an insight into how work has continued inside the Library walls:

“Our day to day security procedures continue. There are a huge number of security checking points throughout the building, so all aspects of the Library are kept under constant surveillance. In addition, the team check and regulate the temperature and humidity levels, so that our valuable collections are safeguarded from any environmental threats.”

When asked about the changes to procedures during the current climate, Ingram said:

“Maintaining cleanliness has always been a key responsibility for the team. Our priority has always been to maintain the building to as high a standard as possible for the purpose of collection care, and staff and visitor safety. However, it is no surprise that this period has heightened our consciousness further, especially in terms of human contact. I’m sure, like many institutions, the word ‘sanitise’ has become a part of our daily vocabulary!”

The team have also faced some new challenges because of the Covid-19 epidemic, as Ingram explains:

“The only real challenge we’ve encountered is staff scheduling. Some members of our team, for various reasons, will be self-isolating for a prolonged period. As a result, particularly younger members of staff have been working further hours, taking on new responsibilities.”

However, the lockdown has brought some positive outcomes:

“This challenging time has certainly heightened our sense of team spirit, which is ironic, as we remain socially distanced during our shifts!

“We are very proud that our work ensures that all the Library’s national treasures are safeguarded during this challenging time.”

This post is also available in: Welsh

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A blog about the work and collections of the National Library of Wales.

Due to the more personal nature of blogs it is the Library's policy to publish postings in the original language only. An equal number of blog posts are published in both Welsh and English, but they are not the same postings. For a translation of the blog readers may wish to try facilities such as Google Translate.

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