GWAUN cae Gurwen Library, Y Lolfa, has been shortlisted in the Library or Librarian of the Year category for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s annual Industry Awards for 2021. 

The awards, which include four exciting new categories for this year, celebrate the hard work and talent of any person, group or organisation who has championed the broad genre of romantic fiction in a positive way.

Gwaun cae Gurwen Library, Y Lolfa, has been a volunteer-run library since 2014. Volunteer librarians ‘man’ the opening times and Neath Port Talbot Council supports them with books.

Trustees work behind the scenes obtaining grants for things such as new books, wifi and a part-time co-ordinator. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, they have focussed on online provisions by building a website, providing an order and collect for books, and changing the events and clubs to online Zoom clubs for all ages.

Lucy Harrison, the part-time co-ordinator, says that they are now a "vital hub" for their community.

Lucy said: “We are so excited to be shortlisted for this award! We all know our little voluntary library is special, but to have it recognised and talked about by an organisation such as yours is absolutely brilliant!”

Laura James, the RNA Industry Awards organiser, added: “Despite the lockdowns, the isolations and difficult times we've endured over the last eighteen months, romantic fiction has continued to entertain, bring comfort, and provide an escape for our readers, and a substantial part of that is due to the dedication and calibre of the nominees in the Industry Awards categories.”

The awards have been held for the past seven years and are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. Those shortlisted are nominated by the full and associate membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

The new award categories recognise the best Narrator, Named Cover Designer, Indie Editor, and Indie Champion of the Year. Along with the best Bookseller, Media Star, Agent, Publisher or Editor, Library or Librarian, and the Inclusion Award for championing inclusivity in romantic authorship and publishing, they spotlight the many professionals who promote and support romantic fiction.

The winners of the ten awards will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party and Industry Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel in London, on Thursday, October 28.