Easter Events in Welsh Libraries

April 16, 2014

Libraries across Wales are holding some great, fun events over the Easter holidays.  From an Easter Egg Hunt at Gladstone’s Library to a Teddy Bear Picnic at Caldicot Library there will definitely be something happening in your local library this Easter.

Other events across Wales include:

-          Easter Story and Rhyme time at Gwersyllt Library

-          Story time and Easter Bonnet Parade at Caerphilly Library

-          Easter Holiday Egg Hunt at Fishguard Library

-          Fun Morning for all the Family at Blaenau Ffestiniog Library

-          Story and Craft Sessions at Cwmbran Library

- Colouring Competitions and Storytelling in Haverfordwest Library


To find out when your library will be open (or closed) over the Easter holidays click on ‘Find Your Library’ and follow the links to your local library service.

Don’t forget to let us know what you are reading over Easter and remember check back for details of events and activities taking place across Wales throughout 2014


Automatic library card for every child in Wales

April 13, 2014

Welsh libraries and primary schools are joining forces to provide every primary school child with a free library card – starting with children aged 8/9 in six local authorities – Blaenau Gwent, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Powys and Swansea.

Launching the initiative in Caernarfon Library, Hywel James said: “Over 42,000 Welsh children took part in last year’s Summer Reading Challenge which ran in 245 libraries across the country.

“Those children that took part maintained or improved their reading levels and libraries across Wales are hoping to build on this by giving every child the opportunity to use their library to borrow books and access all the other services available to them.”

As 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’ said: “Libraries are such an important resource – they are a great place for children 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.”

Year Four pupils from Ysgol Yr Hendre Primary School attended the launch event and their teacher Eleri Pollard commented: “Getting the children out of school and into the library enabling them to pick their own books and hearing them discuss their favourites is wonderful.  And if we can encourage all children to use the library it will no doubt have a beneficial effect on how they perform in the classroom too.”

This library card will allow the children to borrow books straight away and get a free goodie bag to carry their books home with them. Once proof of address is provided, they can then have access to thousands of free books as well as many more resources to help improve their school work and enhance their leisure time, including:

  • FREE      fiction, non-fiction, comics, graphic novels and talking books
  • FREE      homework help – online and in the library
  • FREE      e-books and e-magazines
  • FREE      computer use and internet access
  • Clubs,      games, events, activities and classes in the library
  • Friendly,      helpful library staff
  • Somewhere      safe to meet friends

This project also compliments the Welsh Government’s “Make Time to Read” campaign, just 10 minutes reading a day can make a big difference. Reading books at home will help you enjoy reading and do better at school.

For more information please visit:

£2.2million investment for Welsh libraries, archives and museums

April 10, 2014

The Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths has today announced the latest round of grant funding for Welsh libraries, archives and museums.

Making the announcement at the Richard Burton Archives in Swansea University the Minister outlined how the £2.2m funding will be used to develop, promote access to and encourage use of the rich and diverse collections on offer at museums, archives and libraries across the country.

This new allocation for 2014-15 will be broken down by:

  • nearly £1m to modernise 9 libraries at Pontardawe, Llantwit Major, Ely, Grangetown, Pembroke Dock, Llandrindod Wells, Aberfan, Pennard and a mobile library in Ceredigion
  • £400,000 to ensure the continued success and popularity of Welsh museums including the development of joint marketing opportunities
  • £685,000 to develop library services such as improving digital inclusion and sharing resources
  • £140,000 for archives in order to widen access to archival resources.

The Minister made the announcement at the Richard Burton Archives in Swansea University, which is one of four archive services across Wales to benefit from grant funding to open up access to their collections relating to the steel industry as part of the ‘Wales Showing Our Metal‘ project.

A Welsh Government grant of £20,000 along with £56,000 from the from the National Cataloguing grant scheme will enable the Richard Burton Archives, Glamorgan Archives, Flintshire Record Office, Archives and Records Council Wales, Wrexham Archives and Local Studies to catalogue and make details available online of the archives of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, British Steel Collection and the Brymbo Steel works collection.

John Griffiths said:

“This welcome investment will enable local museums, archives and libraries to develop their services, improve facilities and encourage greater use by the public.

“It will help promote our rich culture and heritage and ensure that more people can access and enjoy our collections. An excellent example of this is the charity Kids in Museums. They have received a grant of £34,870 to increase participation in museums by children and young people across Wales.

“The Steel industry has played a key role in the development of Wales and the ‘Wales Showing our Metal’ project will enable researchers of all ages to understand the legacy of the steel industry and its ongoing impact on Welsh communities.

“Without the support of archive services and this investment, these records could have been lost to future generations.”

Elisabeth Bennett, Head of the Richard Burton Archives at Swansea University, said:

“Archives have a vital role to play in bringing the past to life, as we see from the huge public interest in the First World War.

“The funding announced today is a very welcome boost for our work on the history of steel in Wales, which has been an untold story for too long.  By cataloguing the archives and making them accessible, we will be able to make the fascinating history of steel available to all.”

The funding programme is administered by the Welsh Government’s CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales division.

Carmarthen Library Opening

March 27, 2014

Carmarthen’s newly refurbished library opened its doors to around 1,300 people on its first day.

The official opening by Carmarthenshire’s leisure executive board member Cllr Meryl Gravell was celebrated with a bagpipe player, Superbook and Richmond Park School Choir.

The first 100 people through the doors qualified for a free CD or DVD, and free tea and coffee was provided throughout the day.

It followed a £55,000 investment in the library which included self service RFID machines with hundreds of new books, DVDs and CDs available, along with free access to an online newsstand.

A new e-zine service allows users to view a collection of popular digital magazines titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limit to the number of magazines that can be downloaded.

The opening is being followed by a series of events throughout this week, including talks from authors; story time for toddlers, a family history demonstration, visits from local schools and a presentation on E-books and E-zines.

Caterpillar Music will visit on Thursday morning with songs, puppets and activities for babies and young children, and a treasure hunt will run throughout the week.

Cllr Gravell said: “It was a really successful opening day with around 1,300 people visiting the library.

“I hope they will continue to be regular visitors as the library has something for everyone from toddlers storytime to IT training and book clubs.

“It’s not just about traditional book lending, although that remains popular, but libraries now offer a vast range of services including e-books which are increasingly in demand and a selection of events for all ages.”

Carmarthenshire’s libraries also offer homework clubs, free internet access, iPad training and the first theory test for

Mark Jewell Library Services Manager said:” These are exciting new additions, adding to the already vast range of services available.”

For further information on all library services visit call 01267 224824 or email

Scrum down at Bridgend Library with rugby competition

March 25, 2014

Have you got unbelievable rugby tekkers? Bridgend Library and Information Service is inviting you to put your money where your boot is by taking part in a challenge that combines rugby and reading.

Youngsters aged 7 – 11 can team up with their parent or carer and kick their way to glory in a ‘penalty kick challenge’, which is being held at the all-new Bridgend Library in Bridgend Recreation Centre.

As part of the competition, the participants will hone their rugby talents and dust off their reading skills in a series of workshops which will take place at the centre during March. All teams will then go head-to-head in a battle of both brain and brawn at the grand slam final on Monday 12 May at Bridgend Library, where they will also be able to meet popular children’s author, Tom Palmer.

The workshops will be kitted out with skills lessons with the Ospreys, a rap master class with Cardiff-based hip-hop songwriter and producer Jason Camilleri, a chance to create comic book characters with local artist Rianne Rowlands, and fun and games with local children’s entertainer and funny man Mike Church.

At each workshop, the teams will also be assigned a selection of fiction, non-fiction, rugby news articles and comics to read, and they will need to keep their eye on the ball as they will be tested on what they have learned in the final.

Councillor Lyn Morgan, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “With the likes of local star Rhys Webb currently battling for Wales in the Six Nations, this penalty kick challenge is a great opportunity for local youngsters to showcase their skills and emulate their rugby heroes.

“We all know that rugby is a popular pastime for many youngsters across Wales, but reading can often be lower on their agenda – especially for boys, and this is something that we are working to change.  

“This event will show local young people that with the right book they can get a big kick out of reading, and that their local library has thousands of different exciting books and other materials for them to enjoy.”

Spaces on the challenge are limited, so residents are advised to sidestep their way to the front of the pack by registering their interest as soon as possible.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to win challenge, or for more information, contact Diana Apperley on 01656 642048, or email