New initiative to encourage children to join their local library

November 18, 2014

Bridgend Library and Information Service has teamed up with local primary schools to inspire children to use their local library and provide every child aged eight and nine with a free library card.

The ‘Every Child a Library Member’ project started in March this year with six local authorities piloting the initiative and, thanks to Welsh Government funding from the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, a further 25,000 children will now benefit as the scheme is being introduced in ten more local authorities, including Bridgend County Borough Council.

On Friday 7th November, year four pupils from local primary schools attended events at the libraries in Maesteg and Bridgend to launch the new initiative and enjoy fun group activities promoting the importance of the library and the opportunities available there.

Champion of this new initiative, Dr Rhys Jones – best known for his hit BBC series including ‘Rhys to the Rescue’ and ‘Dr Rhys Jones’s Wildlife Patrol’ – was on hand to talk to the children about his adventures and lead them through a creative session.

Dr Rhys Jones said: “Libraries are such an important resource for children – they are a great place for them to let their imagination grow and to develop and it is vitally important that we encourage our children to read more not only to improve their literacy levels but also to help them with life skills and future opportunities.”

Following the launch of the initiative in Bridgend County Borough, further events will follow in libraries, schools and sports halls to allow all year four children to receive a goodie bag and free library card, allowing them to explore the benefits of their local library for themselves.

Once proof of address is provided, they can then have access to thousands of free books, use the computers as well as many more resources to help improve their school work and enhance their leisure time.

The project supports the Welsh Government “Education Begins at Home” campaign, which encourages parents to help their child at home by making time to read, which can be beneficial to their performance in school and life in general.

Councillor Lyn Morgan, Bridgend County Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “Libraries provide an invaluable environment for a child’s development. Getting children into the library and enabling them to use the wealth of resources available to them is wonderful.

“Whether it’s the opportunity to explore the bookshelves for their favourite stories, using the modern digital facilities for a homework project or joining a reading group, there’s plenty to motivate a child’s mind.”

Flintshire Connects competition winner

November 14, 2014

The winner of a council competition was invited to meet Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for education at Connah’s Quay Library after she wrote a thank you letter to library staff.Nine year old Felicity Birch won a family bowling ticket to celebrate the official opening of the new Flintshire Connects and Connah’s Quay Library earlier in the year.Felicity is a regular library visitor and was delighted with her prize, her letter said: “I would like to say how surprised and excited I felt when my Mum told me I’d won a prize. I really enjoy bowling so I am looking forward to going with my family. “I would like to say a big thank you to all the library staff and the competition organisers. I will let you know how I get on when I next change my library books. “(Hopefully I will win the game of bowling) from Felicity.”Councillor Chris Bithell, Cabinet Member for Education who spoke to Felicity and her little brother, Fynnlay about the prize said: “I was delighted to meet Felicity and her family at the library and to hear all about her prize winning bowling trip. The competition was a great way of encouraging children to use the library and I’d urge all parents to join their local library to get children reading. Connah’s Quay Library is also part of the Flintshire Connects centre which offers help and advice to anyone who uses council services.”Local schoolchildren attended an open afternoon earlier in the year where they visited the Library, Heritage Display and Connects Centre following a formal ceremony in the morning when Cllr Aaron Shotton, Leader of Flintshire Council cut the ribbon. Located on Wepre Drive the new Flintshire Connects centre provides local access to Council Services, Connah’s Quay Library and Learning Centre and a new Heritage Display.The opening times for the new combined Flintshire Connects, Library and Heritage Display are:Monday and Tuesday – 8.30am to 7pmWednesday, Thursday, Friday – 8.30am to 5.30pmSaturday – 9am – 12pmPhoto caption L-R: Cllr Chris Bithell, Cabinet Member for Education, Nicky Drury from Flintshire Connects, Felicity Birch (winner), Fynnlay White and Phillippa Birch.

Rare Welsh language Bible on display at Newtown Library

November 4, 2014

A rare Bible printed in the Welsh language and dating back to 1620 is on display at a north Powys library.

St Llwchaiarn’s Church, in Llanllwchaiarn, has generously loaned the Bible to Newtown Library for a year. The 1620 Bible has cultural and historical importance because it was the second Welsh language version of the Holy Bible to be published.

The first Welsh language Bible was printed in 1588 and translated by William Morgan. The 1588 translation was the basis of the 1620 revised edition and tis was carried out by Bishop Richard Parry and Dr John Davies of Mallwyd 32 years later.

Cllr Graham Brown, Powys County Council’s Cabinet Member for Library Services, said: “I’m delighted that Newtown Library will display this item for a year and I would like to thank Llanllwchaiarn Church this generous loan.

“Due to its age, copies of the 1620 Bible are now relatively scarce so to have such an item of cultural and historical importance on display at one of our libraries is a huge honour. Displaying this Bible in Newtown Library will give the public a wonderful opportunity to view this fascinating item.”

Rev Nia Morris, Rector of Llanllwchaiarn and Newtown with Aberhafesp, presents the 1620 Welsh language Bible to Newtown Library staff Rosalind McLean and Kate McCaffrey Also pictured is church member Chris Flemming.

Welsh public libraries review

October 24, 2014

This review looked at the role of libraries in our communities and how services are delivered across Wales.

We carried out a review in 2014 to look at local authorities’ current and future plans to deliver public library services in Wales. The aim was to identify sustainable future models that maximised the benefits of collaboration and innovation.

The review also asked for responses to the following questions:

  • What services should public libraries provide in the future to meet the changing needs of the people of Wales?
  • What should be the roles and functions of the public library workforce in the future?
  • How can libraries in Wales work together in the future to offer an efficient and effective library service on a local, regional and national basis?
  • Do we require a new legislative framework and/or delivery model for public library services in Wales?


The report includes 11 recommendations covering the following areas:

  • managing change
  • strategic improvements
  • future models of service delivery.

What next?

Please send your comments on the report to

This report will help us to develop our next library strategy for Wales.

You can download the report HERE

Further information

Written statement announcing the expert review of public libraries in Wales

Written statement announcing members of the expert panel

National Assembly for Wales inquiry into public libraries in Wales (external link)

Welsh books are favourites with Gwynedd children

October 15, 2014

With the new school year underway, Gwynedd Library Service is pleased to announce that Welsh books are still favoured by the county’s schoolchildren.

Not only were more Welsh books borrowed and read by Gwynedd primary school pupils through visits by the Lori Ni mobile library to their schools last year, the amount of Welsh fiction books borrowed to children increased to 12,626.

The Lori Ni mobile library visits every school in Gwynedd twice a year, and gives youngsters the chance to pick and choose books for themselves and their classmates. There is vast variety of exciting contemporary literature available to keep even the keenest reader busy for the term.

This announcement follows extensive work by the ‘Siarter Iaith Gymraeg’ – the Welsh Language Charter, which is an innovative scheme by Gwynedd Council to promote and encourage the use of the Welsh language amongst the county’s primary school pupils in their everyday life.

Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member responsible for libraries said:

“It’s extremely important that children have regular access to new Welsh and English books to develop their reading, literacy and bilingual skills. Teachers and pupils alike at Gwynedd schools find the Lori Ni library service vital, and they really do appreciate it.

“It’s very encouraging that Gwynedd children chose to read Welsh book more often than other books. With a hugely varied choice of Welsh books to choose from the Gwynedd library service, it’s no wonder that Welsh books are so popular with the county’s youngsters.

“This announcement is also great news for the Welsh Language Charter, and shows that the brilliant work they do in the county’s primary schools encouraging use of the Welsh language is paying off.”

For more information about Gwynedd libraries, visit

To learn more about the ‘Siarter Iaith Gymraeg’ – Welsh Language Charter – follow them on Twitter – @SiarterIaith