News

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: www.rugbystories.wales 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 http://gov.wales/topics/cultureandsport/tackling-poverty-through-culture/?lang=en


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 welshlibraries.org to find out more.

For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge including how to get involved, and resources for schools, go to www.readingagency.org.uk/summerreadingchallenge
www.facebook.com/SummerReadingChallengeUK
www.recordbreakers.org.uk
Download the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge App from sol.us/records


Do you have a great rugby story you’d like to share?

July 2, 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.

Launching the competition today (Monday 27th April) at the Millennium Stadium, alongside WRU chief executive Roger Lewis and chairman Gareth Davies, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates commented:

“I’m excited to be launching this fantastic competition which brings together all the elements of my portfolio – culture, sport and tourism! By encouraging 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 are aiming to create a collection of stories that showcase rugby in Wales from the grass roots level right up to national team performances.

“This competition gives 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.”

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 comprises three categories and the overall theme is rugby in Wales:

  • Poetry for 7-9 year olds

The poems must be no longer than 250 words

  • Short Story for 10-12 year olds

Short stories must be no longer than 500 words

  • Digital Storytelling for 13-16 year olds

Films must be no longer than 3 minutes and may include photographs, video, animation, sound, music, text, and narrative voice.

 

The entries will be judged by a specially selected panel of judges comprising rugby personalities, authors, librarians and media experts and finalists will be announced early in September.

 

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.”

The exhibition will feature a range of fascinating artefacts, memorabilia and historically significant items which relate to the Rugby World Cup from the WRU’s archives including a hand-carved whale’s tooth from Tonga and a unique totem pole from Canada.

The WRU will host eight Rugby World Cup matches – including two Wales games – at the Millennium Stadium and the exhibition opens just four days before the first match in Cardiff (Wales versus Uruguay on 20th September).

WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis adds:

“This exhibition promises to be a fascinating insight into not just Welsh involvement in World Cups over the years, but also the unique history of the tournament in general.”

Libraries, museums and archives across Wales will be putting on activities to help young people generate ideas for their stories or poems, develop skills to help with creating digital stories and showcasing their rugby and sporting heritage collections. Year 3 children from Adamsdown Primary School attended the launch today ahead of their visit to Cardiff Story Museum where they will be exploring the history of rugby in the city and the Rugby World Cup.

The competition is open until 20th July 2015 and for more information including full terms and conditions please visit: www.rugbystories.wales and join in the conversation on #rugbystories


Join thousands of learners at hundreds of events in libraries across Wales this week

June 15, 2015

Adult Learners’ Week 13th – 29th June 2015 is the UK’s largest annual festival of learning and inspires thousands of people each year to discover how learning can change their lives. Across Wales hundreds events will be held with around 20,000 people attending an event and trying something new!

Libraries in Wales are key venues for adult learning and will be staging a wide variety of events and with so many to choose from there will definitely be something for everyone.

From computer taster sessions, gadgets and gizmos and tea and tablets, to job clubs and interview techniques; and from craft sessions and jewellery making to chairobics, tai chi or salsa. Why not join a group – reading, creative writing or knit & natter – learn new skills and hear about other people’s adventures and journeys through life.

To find out more about events taking place in your local area throughout the year please call into your local library, check out their Facebook page or website or visit: http://bit.ly/1FwJ1wP


First-time author scoops Tir na n-Og Award

May 15, 2015

Cardiff-raised author, Giancarlo Gemin, has won the annual Tir na n-Og Award with his début book,  Cowgirl.

The Tir na n-Og Award  – organised by the Welsh Books Council, and sponsored by CILIP Cymru/Wales  – celebrates the best English-language title with an authentic Welsh background. In a prestigious event held at Swansea Central Library on 14 May, the award was presented to Giancarlo Gemin for his book  Cowgirl  (published by Nosy Crow).

Cowgirl  is the funny yet moving story of Gemma. Growing up on the embattled Mawr Estate in south Wales, all Gemma sees are burglaries, sadness and boredom. With a dad in prison and a mum who has given up hope, she’s holding out for better times ahead. With the abrupt arrival of Cowgirl, the big angry weirdo girl from school, everything in Gemma’s life starts to look different.

The panel of judges agreed that  Cowgirl  skilfully showed aspects of contemporary life in Wales, and is brimming with personality.

Bev Bannon, Chair of the Tir na n-Og English-language Panel, stated of the winner:  “Cowgirl  is a great read and Giancarlo has done a superb job in developing that feel-good factor in the novel.”

Giancarlo Gemin, who is currently developing his second novel based on the Italian-run cafes of south Wales, stated,  “I’m delighted to win the Tir na n-Og Award  – it’s great to win this important prize for my ?rst book, as it certainly encourages me to keep writing. I was very moved and proud to receive such an acknowledgement from my native country.  Cowgirl  was the first book I decided to set in Wales, and in writing it felt immediately at home.”

The Tir na n-Og English Award  – which recognises the exceptional quality of books with a Welsh background for children and young people  – is sponsored by CILIP Cymru/Wales (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

The award-winning titles for the Primary and Secondary Welsh-language categories will be revealed at a ceremony held during the 2015 Caerphilly Urdd Eisteddfod.

Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, said:  “A number of exciting books were considered for this year’s Tir na n-Og Award, reflecting the quality and range of titles available for children. It is with great pleasure that we warmly congratulate Giancarlo Gemin and Nosy Crow on on their achievement.”

YouTube video:  https://youtu.be/00SWtSXnGTo