Looking for something FREE for the children to do this summer?

August 11, 2015

Libraries are running the amazing Summer Reading Challenge – over 23,000 children in Wales have already signed up! Just drop in to your nearest library, borrow some books and collect stickers, rewards and if you go 3 times and read at least six books your child will receive a certificate and a medal.

Organised by The Reading Agency and the public library network, the annual Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at 4- 11 year olds – this year the Summer Reading Challenge has teamed up with Guinness World Records – the global authority in record-breaking achievements and publisher of the annual Guinness World Records™ book – to establish a “Record Breakers” themed challenge.

Collecting stickers as they go, young readers will discover the weird, wonderful and wacky records from around the world in six different categories: Cool Tech, Way to Go!, The Big Stuff, Animal Magic, People Power and Action! Adventure!

Going on holiday? Just take the books with you or download some of the free e-books from you library onto your e-reader or mobile device. On days you can’t get to the library, there is still the Record Breakers website, with so much for children to discover and they can keep a record of their Challenge too. Children can also recommend books and decide what to read next using the Book Sorter.

Taking part is FREE and the Summer Reading Challenge is just one of many exciting schemes public libraries offer to help children develop a love of reading, gain confidence and get new skills. Libraries across Wales are putting on lots of exciting events and activities during the summer holidays to keep children occupied and parents stress free!

Call in to your local library or visit to find out more.

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge go to
Download the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge App from

It’s National Allotments Week, so get involved!

August 10, 2015

It’s National Allotments Week, so get involved!  From veggies to chick lit…

Would you like to save money and reduce your carbon footprint? With almost a quarter of the UK population growing their own vegetables and an estimated  three quarters of a million people keeping chickens in their back garden, recreating a bit of ‘the good life’ is more popular than ever.

National Gardening Week is upon us, so now is the ideal time to make a start. And keeping with the green theme, your library is a great source of free information with books, dvds, e-books, magazines and more to help you make the most of your patch without spending your cash on books when you could be spending it on plants, seeds or chicken feed.

More and more people are discovering the advantages of gardening and growing their own fruit and vegetables. Gardening is important to our environment, good for our health and can be lots of fun. Jane Purdie is a keen gardener and has been growing her own vegetables for several years.  She has recently bought three chickens: “We got a few books out of the library before deciding that chickens would fit into the garden and not be too much trouble.  I’ve borrowed a couple of books since we had them too – just to check up on things. They are such funny birds and have settled in really quickly, we have lovely fresh eggs every day and they help with the weeding!”

You can search online for the books available in your library or as e-books and you can join the library, reserve and renew books online – for more information visit

Welsh libraries have even got a short film about getting gardening books from the library with Grampy and Dylan Bibli working hard to reduce their carbon footprint

Summer Craft in Coedpoeth Library!

August 4, 2015

A fun packed afternoon of seaside themed craft was held at Coedpoeth Library on Tuesday 4th August. Lots of local children came along and got stuck in!

Over 500 entries received in Rugby Stories competition

July 22, 2015

Libraries, archives and museums have joined forces with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to hold a competition for young people to celebrate rugby in Wales as part of the forthcoming Rugby World Cup celebrations.
The competition closed on Monday with over 500 entries received from children and young people aged between 7 and 16 years old from across Wales – entries include poetry, short stories and films and cover an amazing range of subjects from bossy referees, witches, zombies, dragons, injuries, the Groggs to rugby players made from chocolate, jelly and sweets!!
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates commented:
“This fantastic competition encouraged young people to record their experiences of rugby in Wales, whether they are playing, watching or hearing their friends and families talk about it – we have created a collection of stories that showcase rugby in Wales from the grass roots level right up to national team performances.
“This competition has given young people an opportunity to develop their literacy and digital skills in an engaging and fun way. Story telling is a great way for children to let their imagination grow and learn more about themselves and the world around them and I look forward to seeing the entries.”
The next stage of the competition is to come up with a shortlist – 30 judges from libraries, archives, museums, academic institutions and the rugby world are giving up their time to each judge a batch of the entries.
The finalists will then be chosen by a specially selected panel of judges comprising rugby personalities, authors, librarians and media experts and finalists will be announced early in September. The judging panel to date includes:
Phil Grant Author/ RWC Working Group
Sir Gareth Edwards Former player/President of Cardiff Institute for the Blind
Ken Skates AM Deputy Minister – Culture, Sport & Tourism
Dan Anthony Author of Rugby Zombies Series
Dr Rhys Jones TV Presenter/Rugby Fan
Aneirin Karadog Bardd Plant Cymru 2013-15
Martin Daws Young People’s Laureate
Anni Llyn Bardd Plant Cymru 2015-17
Gareth Davies Chairman-WRU
Stephen Hanks Creative Director – Tantrwm
Ed Holden Mr Phormula (Rap Artist/Beat Box Specialist)

WRU Chairman Gareth Davies said:
“I’m very much looking forward to reading the entries for this exciting competition. We know that rugby plays a special role in the national psyche in Wales and this competition will hopefully both tap into its popularity amongst the school children and help us reach out to those who are yet to get the bug.”
The competition finalists will have their stories displayed at a new Kick-offs and Keep-sakes exhibition in the National Museum Cardiff from 8th September and they will also be invited to attend the launch of the exhibition on 16th September 2015 to pick up their prizes.
Janice Lane, Director of Learning, Exhibitions and Digital Media at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:
“This is a great way for young people to share their passion for the game. Rugby and literature are both important parts of Welsh tradition and culture.
“We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition which will combine the two ahead of such a prestigious competition.”
For more information about the competition please visit: and join in the conversation on #rugbystories
The competition and the events that took place during June/July support an innovative new Welsh Government policy initiative, Fusion: Tackling Poverty through Culture which links cultural bodies more closely together with the Communities First programme to inspire young people and adults. Fusion: Tackling Poverty through Culture is currently being trialled in six ‘Pioneer Areas’ across Wales. For more information visit

Can you and your children help break a record this Summer?

July 10, 2015

Libraries across Wales are getting ready to encourage young readers to explore some of the astonishing real-life achievements and world records featured in the Guinness World Records Books as part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Launching the challenge at Cefn Mawr Library in Wrexham today, Ken Skates, AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism commented: “Reading for pleasure is important to help children develop literacy and wider skills and we should encourage children to read in all forms – from factual books like the Guinness World Records through to fantasy filled fiction, magazines, comics or the classics. I’m delighted to be here today to launch the Summer Reading Challenge in Wales and to pledge my support to the challenge – and especially pleased that the children are attempting to set a new record by reading one of my favourite authors – Roald Dahl!”

Over one hundred children from four local primary schools are attempting to set a Welsh record for the largest number of children reading the same passage aloud from the same book at the same time. They will be reading from The Twits by Roald Dahl.

Councillor Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities and Partnerships from Wrexham Council said: “It’s a pleasure to see so many children reading together in our community library. Reading is an important life skill and access to the free resources available in libraries is a key driver in addressing the future skills and employability of our children and offers a safe place for them to learn and experience new things.”

Organised by The Reading Agency charity and the public library network, the challenge is supported in Wales by the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division of Welsh Government and by the Welsh Books Council. Now in its 17th year, the annual Summer Reading Challenge, aimed at 4- 11 year olds and their families is simple, fun and FREE to do. Children are encouraged to read six or more library books of their choice during the summer holidays with collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate, or medal for every child who completes the challenge.

As part of this year’s challenge, children, parents, carers, young volunteers, teachers, much-loved children’s authors and others will be asked to make a pledge to help set a new Guinness World Records™ title for the Most Pledges Received for a Reading Campaign! Public libraries are collecting pledges across the UK between Friday 10 and Monday 13 July –check with your local library to find out when you can submit your pledge – a minimum of 100,000 pledges are needed to set the record!

Taking part is FREE and the Summer Reading Challenge is just one of many exciting schemes public libraries offer to help children develop a love of reading, gain confidence and get new skills. Libraries across Wales are putting on lots of exciting events and activities during the summer holidays to keep children occupied and parents stress free!

Call in to your local library or visit to find out more.

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved, and resources for schools, go to
Download the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge App from