Celebrating Library Staff Success – Abergavenny

September 22, 2014

Library staff in Abergavenny were congratulated on the achievement of completing their Agored level 2 qualification in Information Literacy.

Helen, Judy, Sandie, David and Melanie all completed the level 2 qualification, while Julie achieved level 3.

Being able to find the information you need when you want is a vital skill both in our daily lives and at work. The Welsh Government recognised this when they set up the Welsh Information Literacy Project (WILP).

Library staff have always supported customers finding and evaluating information. For the last year we have been working with WILP to evidence the skills all library staff possess.

In March 2013 three members of staff achieved their Agored level 3 in information literacy. This enabled them to mentor their work colleagues and in September 2013 the first group of library staff began their level 2 qualification. Since then all library staff have completed their level 2.

Staff have demonstrated exactly what library staff are brilliant at – finding information on any subject and packaging it as the customer needs.

HelenHelen chose to base her study on Abergavenny Library being a Carnegie Library after a gentleman came in just because it was a Carnegie library. Her research and work can now be promoted as a good source of information for future enquiries and the original research documents could be digitalised.

DavidAs David has his own interest and knowledge in performing arts, he chose the sourcing of these materials for customers. Current customers include Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra and Monmouth Choral Society. His finished work is suitable as a resource to be used outside the authority not just in Monmouthshire.

SandySandy based her study around the sourcing of foreign language books after being requested for books in Bengali from a local customer. She built good working relationships with librarians outside the authority in libraries that offered a good choice of books.

JudyA customer wanted information about a tram worker that she thought was haunting her cottage. Judy researched the tram roads in Gilwern, finding old maps showing the customers’ cottage on the tram road. Judy also put the customer in touch with another library user who was a supernatural expert.

ClaireClaire chose Parkinson’s as a customer’s husband was diagnosed with the disease. The customer was not computer literate and came to Claire for help. Claire ordered books for her and found out about local schemes that could help, which she now wants to promote via the library.

JulieJulie was approached by a customer who wanted family history information on a family member who was a dentist in Abergavenny. Julie tapped into a customer with family history knowledge who was happy to help. The dentist was Mr Fullylove and was related to Dylan Thomas.


New Look Library Cards in Denbighshire

September 15, 2014

Denbighshire Libraries have launched a new card for new library members. As well as a fresh new look, the card have an extra fob which can go on your keyring so that you never forget to bring your card! Library membership is free for everyone and over 4,500 joined a Denbighshire library last year.

Arwyn Jones of Denbighshire Libraires said: “Customers suggested that having a fob for your keyring as well as a card in your purse or wallet would be useful, so we’ve launched this new card. As library members need to show their card to borrow books or use the library computers, this makes it much easier to remember to bring your card each time you visit. Existing library membership cards will still work of course!”

Once you are a library member, you can also use the free digital services like downloadable e-books, e-zines and e-audiobooks, and specialist online information services like Ancestry Library and Oxford Reference Online, and you can order and renew your books online too. Go to and click on Libraries & Archives to see what’s on offer.

Contribute to Dylan’s Great Poem

September 8, 2014

To celebrate Dylan Thomas’ centenary, Literature Wales is inviting children and young people from around the world to take part in Dylan’s Great Poem. Anyone aged 7–25 can enter this international online event to help the Developing Dylan 100 project write an epic, 100-line poem in the spirit of the famous Welsh poet. The finished bilingual (English/Welsh) poem will be broadcast on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru and published online.

To enter your contribution to Dylan’s Great Poem simply visit on National Poetry Day, Thursday 2 October 2014, from 9.00 am GMT and submit your lines. The site will be open for entries for 24 hours and the finished poem will be published online on Monday 6 October. Once you’ve submitted your lines you can follow the progress of the poem with the hashtag#GreatPoem

Dylan’s Great Poem will be edited by acclaimed Welsh poets Owen Sheers and Mari George. Two-times Wales Book of the Year Award winner and 2012 WRU (Welsh Rugby Union) Artist in Residence, Owen Sheers, will edit Dylan’s Great Poem in English; while Mari George, who has worked as a script writer for the BBC’s Pobol y Cwm and has published her second collection of poetry this year, will edit in Welsh.

Owen Sheers says “I’m looking forward to seeing what lines of poetry are submitted, and to how they respond to, distil or pick up from the style, themes and poetic devices of Dylan Thomas’ poetry. The editing itself will be quite a challenge but will, I hope, create an intriguing and unique piece of contemporary writing as a fitting tribute to Thomas’ own inventiveness and love of language.”

Click here to find out how you or your school can take part in this international online event.

Public Wi-Fi available in rural Denbighshire

August 21, 2014

Public Wi-Fi is now available at four sites in rural Denbighshire – Llangollen tourist information centre, Corwen library, Ruthin library and Denbigh library. This new provision has been funded by the Destination Denbighshire Rural Development Plan funded project* and allows visitors to access tourism websites to complement and aid them in their visit to rural Denbighshire; one of the websites that can be visited is the Digital Adventures website Hawys Lebbon, Tourism Project Officer said ‘this is a great tourist addition to the rural Denbighshire area allowing our visitors to interact with us digitally and allowing them to download various information onto their mobile devices’. Anyone who wishes to use the wi-fi must seek assistance from a staff member at the sites for login details in order to conform with Denbighshire’s Security Policy

*This project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

National award for Wrexham’s business information guru Gareth

August 19, 2014

Information Services Assistant Gareth Hatton who works for Wrexham County Borough Council’s Businessline service has been named Public Library Champion of the Year, a national award from the Public and Mobile Libraries Group (PMLG) of CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Gareth was presented with the award yesterday by Baroness Diana Eccles of Moulton, MP, at a special ceremony as part of CILIP’s two-day International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Satellite Conference in Birmingham.

Gareth has provided vital help and information to new and growing businesses in the local area for over ten years and was nominated in recognition of his outstanding information retrieval skills and efficiency, combined with a providing valued customer service support to his users, many of whom credit his assistance for helping their businesses to thrive and grow.

Gareth said:

“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been chosen as the winner of such a prestigious award and am overwhelmed that my work supporting local SME’s has been recognised on a national level by CILIP.”

The Public Library Awards formally recognise the individual approach and achievement of outstanding library staff employed in different capacities across the public library service, highlighting the value they bring to their employers and the difference they make to service users. Nominations are made by employers and must be endorsed by community partners, colleagues and public library service users.

Dr Darren Smart, Chair of CILIP’s Public and Mobile Library Group said:

“I am proud to announce the winners and runners up of our annual awards which recognise the outstanding contribution that paid library staff make to their customers, the communities they serve and the wider public library profession”.

Awards were also made to the winners of Public Librarian of the Year, Jacqueline Cooper, a librarian recognised as being at the heart of her community in Newbury and Mobile Library Champion of the Year Fiona Litscher, a trusted Relief Mobile Driver across Essex County Council’s 11 mobile libraries. Two Public Library Champion runners up, Kate King at HMP at Edinburgh City Libraries and Jo Norris from Essex’s Sible Hedingham Library were also commended.

Cllr Hugh Jones, Wrexham Council’s Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships and Collaboration, said:

“I would like to pass on my congratulations to Gareth for winning this national award. He clearly has made an outstanding contribution and the award is very well deserved.”