PLANS have been announced for an all-Wales library card, meaning users could access library services wherever they are in Wales.

The Welsh Government set out the plans which could also save local authorities up to 70 per cent on their current spend.

A single library card across Wales would mean users could borrow and return books in any library across the country. It would also open up access for people to take advantage of free computer use in libraries no matter where in the country they are and create a national e-books and e-zines service with free seamless downloads.

The plan is a step closer as the Welsh Government awarded a single-supplier framework contract to SirsiDynix, one of the largest library management system vendors in the world, with customers in 70 countries.

Currently library users can only use public library cards within the local authorities they are registered. The system would provide a new and modern approach, which will benefit customers, for example those who work in a different local authority to which they are registered, and widen choice.

The move could also save local authorities up to 70 per cent on current costs, with all local authorities adopting one single system rather than each having individual ones, as is the current practice.