Dual Celebration at Abergavenny

Claire Cross, Julie Warburton, Cheryl Haskell

Claire Cross, Julie Warburton, Cheryl Haskell


Abergavenny Library had a coffee and cake sale for Children in Need today.  Staff entered into the spirit by dressing up as Superheros. They were also celebrating the 50th birthday of Claire Cross, a member of the Abergavenny Team. Hard to believe we know.




Claire Cross

Claire Cross

The team displayed photos from Claire’s childhood to the present and customers are now asking what is her secret to such a youthful appearance. We’ve put it down to working at the library.






Claire Cross and Councillor Maureen Powell



The Mayor of Abergavenny, Councillor Maureen Powell, called in just in time to present a birthday cake with lots of candles on.

A lot of money was raised for a good cause too.

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Posted in Dual Celebration at Abergavenny, Library News for November 2015

I’m Dreaming of a Write Christmas

Festive short story competition challenges students to win £1,500 for their school

A top children’s author is launching a UK-wide competition encouraging children to pen a new festive classic for inclusion in a winter inspired book.

Sam Hay, author of the Undead Pets series of books, has partnered with cartridgesave.co.uk to stage the competition, which is open to children aged between 4 and 11, inviting them to write a short story (less than 200 words) or poem inspired by winter or Christmas.

The very best 50 entries from across the UK will be published in a special free to download e-book, released in December 2015. In addition, one overall winner will receive £1,500 for their school to spend on books or writing equipment, with two runners up prizes of £250, plus bag themselves a stocking packed with festive treats worth £50.

Stories or poems will be judged by top children’s author Sam Hay and a representative from cartridgesave.co.uk.

Children, parents and teachers can get hints and tips from Sam Hay, plus full details of how to enter at www.cartridgesave.co.uk/writechristmas.

Sam Hay believes the competition is a great step towards unlocking children’s creativity. She says: “Writing books for children has given me the opportunity to meet and talk to many young people and I’m always amazed and impressed by the stories they come up with.

“The season is a magical time and has so much potential for storytelling. I can’t wait to read the entries.

“I’m passionate about encouraging children to read and write more. Harnessing the power of the imagination is a brilliant way of enhancing a child’s development, as well as being lots of fun.”

Ian Cowley, Managing Director of cartridgesave.co.uk, comments: “We like to encourage creativity across all age groups and are right behind the idea of children using their imaginations to come up with magical Christmas stories.

“Having the best entries collated intwhite christmaso a beautifully designed e-book also gives parents and children a lasting memory too.”

Useful information:

  • The competition has three categories: 4 – 6, 7 – 9 and 10 – 11
  • The will be one overall winner across all categories. The winning school will receive £1,500 to spend on books or writing materials and the winning child will receive a goody bag worth £50.
  • Two runners up will win £250 for their school to spend on books or writing materials, as well as a £50 goody bag each.
  • The best 50 entries from across the categories will be selected to appear in the e-book.
  • Poems and short stories (less than 200 words) must be entered by a caregiver, parent or teacher, who can give permission for the story, name and age of the child to be included in the book.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Closing date for entries is 4 December 2015.

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Posted in I'm Dreaming of a Write Christmas, Library News for November 2015

Coding Club launched in Chepstow Library

Coding Club Chepstow

The first @theideasgarage coding club session ran yesterday, Wednesday 16 September, at Chepstow Library. Twenty young people ranging from 8 to 16 years of age attended the club to learn and have fun.

Lots of great and unusual ideas were generated for future projects; sending a camera into space, making a wind power computer, exploding chocolate and creating an App and selling it!!!Coding Club Chepstow

David Rogers has volunteered to run some of the sessions. David is the CEO of Copper Horse Solutions, and recently presented at Bletchley Park on some of the security issues facing IoT as part of the NMI IoT Security Summit. The children engaged well with David whilst he explained how coding is used in his company.

Discussions centred on hacking and How to Use Your Cat to Hack Your Neighbour’s Wi-Fi. David’s philosophy is to teach children how to hack for good purposes, to think of innovative new ways to make, break and use anything to create a better world. With many cybersecurity jobs in the UK, these skills are in demand.

The young people had fun exploring hacking, robotics, Minecraft, Raspberry Pi , Python and also some lock picking.

Volunteer mentors, Musician Robert Hickman and University student Ben Bonsor were also on hand to provide their valuable and much appreciated technical expertise.

RoboticsSessions are running weekly on Wednesday’s, 4pm to 6pm. All levels of coders are welcome.

Book your place here theideasgarage.eventbrite.co.uk

Looking for Mentors
If you are interested in being part of this rewarding and worthwhile project by sharing your technical knowledge with young people, contact Claire Lewis on 01291 635649.

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Posted in Coding Club launched in Chepstow Library, Library News for September 2015

Storytelling Chair

storytelling chair

storytelling chair

Every Library Reading Garden needs a storytelling chair and Chepstow now has one taking pride of place in the library garden.

The chair, which has a books motif front and sides, was built by local carpenter Ben Miller and was  generously financed by Sainsbury’s Welsh Community Fund.

The design was inspired by children’s art work at the Dell Primary School following a competition where all year 5 pupils attending a local school were invited to submit a design. 

The chair will become a focus for children’s story time and who knows, maybe adults story time as well!

Please do come along to the garden to look at this new practical work of art (please sit on it as well!) which joins the beautiful and colourful banner on the railings designed by Chepstow School pupils. The garden is open when the library is open and is wheel chair and pushchair accessible.

Gardening group with reading chair

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Posted in Library News for September 2015, Storytelling Chair

Home Delivery Service: taking books (and flowers!) out into the community

Originally posted on caldicotlibrary:

We are delighted that Susan has now been appointed as the Outreach Officer for the Strategic Library Service in Monmouthshire.  Susan is responsible for our Home Delivery Service, which delivers books to people in their own homes.Susan 15th July 2015

The service is available to anyone in Monmouthshire who finds it difficult to visit their local library because of mobility issues, ill-health or frailty.

  •  We can deliver books in all formats (ordinary print, large print and audio)
  •   We can deliver up to 20 books per customer per visit
  •   The service is completely free (no charge for requests or overdue items)
  •   We deliver books on a three week rota

Today had added sparkle as Susan met another “white van man” out in the community giving out free bunches of flowers! The lovely man from Tesco insisted Susan take some of the flowers and she then presented them to the residents…

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Posted in Home Delivery Service, Library news for July 2015

Coding Club Launch at Chepstow Library

Originally posted on The Ideas Garage:

Boy on Macbook

Yesterday we launched the first coding session for the Ideas Garage at Chepstow Library.  This was a free session teaching children between the age of 11 and 17 the basics of HTML.

We almost had a full house with 9 students.  One of the participants was only 10 years old and had a fantastic aptitude for learning coding.  I was so pleased to see one of the students was a girl who was very inquisitive and enthusiastic about creating her own webpage.

Coding Club Session

The session wouldn’t of ran without the help of local volunteers and their expert knowledge.  Robert Hickman ran the session, with Ben and Callum helping out with individuals.

  • All the students created their own webpage
  • All the students thought coding clubs are a good thing for Libraries
  • 8 out 9 said they would definitely recommend the coding club

A parent of one of the boys attending said, “I…

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Posted in Coding Club Launch at Chepstow Library, Library news for July 2015

Library Volunteers

Abergavenny volunteersRichard Wride and Gene Kent are working at Abergavenny Library as volunteers.

They have both been a great help in preparing for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge which starts on Saturday 11th July.

If you are interested in volunteering at your local library, contact them directly.

Posted in Library news for July 2015, Library Volunteers

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