Aberystwyth is a historic market town, administrative centre and holiday resort within Ceredigion, West Wales. Often colloquially known as Aber, it is located near the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol.
Since the late 19th century, Aberystwyth has also been a major Welsh educational centre, with the establishment of a university college there in 1872. At the 2001 census, the town's population was 15,935. During nine months of the year, there is an influx of students—to a total number of 10,400 as of September 2012 - but there is no reliable measure of the number of those students whose family residence is outside Aberystwyth.
View of Aberystwyth
The first ever public library in Aberystwyth was opened in Compton House, Pier Street on 13 October 1874. In 1882 the library was moved to the Assembly Rooms which were leased to the council for 21 years. The lease expired in 1903 and the library returned to Pier Street, this time to the Old Banking Library at the corner with Eastgate Street, although this was short lived.
A Carnegie library was built in Aberystwyth in 1905, with a grant of £3,000. Located in Corporation Street, it was designed by the architect Walter Payton of Birmingham, who was one of 48 who entered the competition to design the building. It was formally opened on 20 April 1906 by Mrs Vaughan Davies, wife of the local MP.
The Town Library moved to the old Town Hall, now known as Canolfan Alun R. Edwards, Queen's Square, in 2012, following the buildings refurbishment. The County Council vacated the Town Hall in a move to their purpose built offices on Boulevard de Saint-Brieuc in 2009.
National Library of Wales
The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, is the national legal deposit library of Wales. Established in 1907, it is a Welsh Government sponsored body. According to Cyril Evans, the library's centenary events co-ordinator, "The library is considered to be one of the world's greatest libraries, and its international reputation is certainly something that all Welsh men and women are intensely ... proud of". Welsh is the main medium of communication within the organisation; it aims to deliver all public services in Welsh and English.
Aberystwyth Arts Centre is one of the largest and busiest arts centres in Wales. It encompasses a 312 seat theatre, 900 seat concert hall, 125 seat cinema, and has accompanied studio, galleries, plus public spaces which include cafes and a bar.
Arad Goch is an Arts Council funded community theatre and art gallery based in the town. The premises holds a theatre, gallery, several art studios and meeting rooms, and a darkroom.