Songs and Rhymes & Building a Castle fit for a Welsh Dragon

Originally posted on caldicotlibrary:

On Saturday 27th June the Proclamation Ceremony for the Eisteddfod, which is coming to Monmouthshire next year, will be held in Caldicot. It is promising to be a very colourful and exciting day, with lots going on. More information is available on the Eisteddfod web site.

With help from the Friends of Caldicot Library we are going to celebrate our Welsh culture with enthusiasm!

Songs and RhymesA free “Song and Rhyme” session for the Under Fives will take place in the library from 10.30 am until 11.00 am. There will be a mixture of Welsh and English songs and rhymes, and everyone is welcome to come along and join in.

We are going to build a Castle fit for aFrom 11.15 am until 12.30 pm we are going to “Build a Castle fit for a Welsh Dragon” in the library, using cardboard boxes and our imagination. This activity is for any child over 4, the session is free but…

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The Big Wild Rumpus


The Big Wild Rumpus is a nationwide campaign to celebrate the nation’s love of the classic Maurice Sendak book Where The Wild Things Are, which was first published in 1963.

For many children, it was be the perfect opportunity to introduce them to this book, which has entertained generations of young readers.

Author Maurice Sendak wrote and illustrated the book, which follows the exploits of Max, a young boy who “rages” against his mother who sends him to bed without any supper.

David Fraser reading

The Big Wild Rumpus at Abergavenny Library featured a story-telling session with David Fraser.

We had around 12 children taking part and ended with them all performing their ” Big Wild Rumpus”.

DSCF1509The children enjoyed making masks and David was excellent at his story telling and kept everyone enthralled.

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Posted in Library News for June 2015, The Big Wild Rumpus

Two fantastic sessions during Adult Learners’ Week

Originally posted on caldicotlibrary:

We are holding two sessions to celebrate Adult Learners’ Week 2015.ALW15a

On Tuesday 16th June (10am – 12 noon) we are holding a session to answer any queries you may have about downloading e-books and e-zines from the library website.

We are also hoping to demonstrate our new downloadable audio book service (not quite ready at the moment!).

These are fantastic and free services so don’t miss out on the chance to find out more. Please feel free to bring along your e-reader or tablet with you.

ALW15On Thursday 18th June (7pm – 8pm) we’re delighted that local historian Peter Strong is giving a talk on “Drinking with England and Praying with Wales: Musings on Monmouthshire”. Last year Peter talked about “The Murder of Kymin Bet” which was fascinating and very entertaining so we know this will be a very enjoyable evening.

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Jungle adventures for Bookstart week!

Originally posted on caldicotlibrary:

Can you roar like a lion? Hiss like a snake? Squawk like a parrot?

Baby Rhyme TimeThe theme for this year’s Bookstart Week (8th June – 14th June) is “Jungle Adventures” and at Caldicot Library we are planning to have great fun celebrating being part of the wonderful Bookstart programme.

On Wednesday 10th June (2.00pm to 2.30pm) we are going to hold our noisiest Baby Rhyme Time ever! All babies and toddlers welcome.
Story Time
On Friday 12th June (10.30am – 11.30am) our extended Story Time for the Under Fives is going to have a jungle adventure theme.

There will be fantastic, noisy stories and jungle activities. Thanks to Bookstart, at this session we can also give out free copies of a special Rumble in the Jungle booklet for children to take home.

For more information about the Bookstart project which gifts two Bookstart packs to every child in Wales, please follow the link…

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R J Ellory at Chepstow Library for World Book Night

 R J Ellory World Book Night 2015Chepstow Library was really pleased to welcome award winning crime writer R J Ellory. We were treated to a fascinating talk about the difficulties of becoming published author and given an insight into how his bestselling books are written. Thanks to Chepstow Bookshop for attending.

E J Ellory book signing at Chepstow Library

E J Ellory book signing at Chepstow Library

R J Ellory World Book Night 2015

R J Ellory in Chepstow Library’s Reading Garden


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Posted in Library News for April 2015, R J Ellory at Chepstow Library for World Book Night

How would you like to save £1000 this year?

Joining your library and accessing the amazing free services they have on offer could save you hundreds of pounds a year!

The number of people borrowing from public libraries in Wales went up by almost 5% last year. There were over 14 million physical visits and over 12.3 million books issued to library users.

Audio-visual and electronic issues, including e-books and e-zines rose to over a million showing an increase in usage of 19% compared to last year. The all-Wales roll out of free e-books and e-magazines is a major factor in this increase. This is an excellent example of how libraries in Wales are continuing to meet the changing demands of customers by providing up to date services, relevant to them.

The people below are all regular library users from across South Wales and are keen to share their stories and encourage more people to join the library:

Mary Neck – Aberdare Library

Mary Neck, aged 67, lives in Aberdare in Rhondda Cynon Taf. She has been a member of the library service for many years, nearly all her life in fact. In 2014 alone she borrowed 61 books – saving £970 – goodness knows how much she has saved over the years!

“As I am a pensioner I could not afford to buy these books through the year. Therefore I appreciate the library and the staff who are very friendly and helpful and it also gives me a chance to meet other people.”

Mary has even learnt how to use computers at her local branch and now regularly sends email, shops online, and Skypes her grand-daughter in Kent. All thanks to the support and help of her local library.

“I really enjoyed learning how to use the computer and becoming a silver surfer!  It also means I am now able to chat to my grand-daughter over the internet, its marvellous stuff!”

George Beale – Abergavenny Library

George Beale from Abergavenny uses his library almost every day for a variety of things, especially:

  • Reading local and national newspapers and magazines
  • Research using the internet and reference library
  • Sending and receiving e-mails
  • Book borrowing
  • Social Inclusion
  • George estimates that the national newspapers alone would cost around £780 per annum and the additional local papers bring this up to over £900

He also uses the internet for family history research and other research to use this at home would probably incur a capital cost of at least £250 plus a £10 per month broadband subscription and the annual costs of two ancestry type websites which is about £200 per year.

George is also keen to point out the additional benefits of being in a warm, welcoming environment and meeting lots of different people which are incalculable.

Graham Anderson

“I have been visiting Rhydypennau library for around 6 years with our daughter, Gigi who is now 11 years old. Our trips to the library started with me reading her stories, borrowing numerous books on a weekly basis, listening to story time and generally having a great time. As she grew and started to read, even more books were taken home. I cannot imagine the cost if I would have had to buy these books and it would never have been much fun without going to the library.

“Gigi’s brother, Steen, has been a library member ever since he was able. Just like Gigi, we read at the library, took volumes of books home, Julia Donaldson,  picture books, Thomas The Tank, early reading etc. Joined the reading club with Clare and read with the PCSO Joe, this would never have happened without the library. The Summer Challenge, wow reading books AND get stickers!! What a bonus!

“I have saved many hundreds of pounds by using the facilities of the library, buying many withdrawn books for private use and to take to the school library. But the friends made at the library and the fun we have had and are still having is priceless! “

The librarian has worked out that Graham’s total savings for events, books and loans in 2014 was probably around £500.

Jeff Parsons

Jeff is a 52 year old maintenance craftsman from Cardiff.

“I can only roughly guess as to how much I’ve saved over the years, it’s easily hundreds of pounds quite likely thousands (over my whole membership period) more than that it’s just the scope and diversity that I have access to that has been such a constant.

“I have a passion for music and like to travel, I’m married and have no children I live 10mins from the library so it’s ideal for me. I realised a long time ago I’ve learnt more from the library than I did at school!

“I honestly think the person selecting the music must read the same magazines as me and has a real passion for it too…it’s been like a domino effect really, listening to artists that I might not ordinarily have thought about. I attempt to play guitar and piano, again I’ve borrowed tutorial DVD’s to help my understanding of chord structure, inversions etc….

“I borrow from the library virtually every week unless we are on holiday! The service provided and the staff are second to none……..I do appreciate it.”

Jeff’s local library has worked out that his average saving based on the 149 items (films, books, music) that he borrowed in 2014 is in the region of £1170

Jeff commented: “Well I’m amazed at the amount I’ve saved, I knew it would be good but to think of that amount in one year! I can’t begin to imagine how much I’ve saved during my entire membership.”

Rick Eaglestone

Rick Eaglestone 37, lives in Fairwater and has been a member of the library service since the age of five. “I read over 60 books a year and the library service has saved me a fortune as most of the books I get from the library are new release titles. I also use the library because I find the staff have wonderful local knowledge and I am also a member of the library book club.”

If Rick had bought all 60 new release titles that he read last year – this would have cost him at least £1000.

Miranda Millett

Miranda is aged 30 and is a midwife – she lives in Cyncoed with her family.

“My partner and I both work at the University Hospital of Wales and so my mum often cares for our young child whilst we are at work.   My mum and I frequently take my daughter to Rhydypennau Library.   The setting is lovely for children of all ages and is perfect for under-fives who are just finding their feet in the outside world.  There is a huge range of books (with or without CDs), drawing materials, comfy furnishings and of course many other parent-carers and children just browsing or attending the special story sessions.

“My young daughter has greatly benefitted from the friendly & calm atmosphere and avidly collects her stickers and certificates to show her involvement.  This Children’s Library provides a perfect start to the world of education for my young child and is a very valuable resource for families and the local community. “’

Miranda and her family have saved hundreds of pounds by borrowing books and other resources, taking part in rhyme times and craft activities but as she says it’s not just about how much you save, it’s also about how much you gain.

In addition, libraries are free to join – so no upfront costs either!  To find out more please call in to your local library or visit

Roha Rafiei

Roha is only six years old and loves her library so much that she was driven to write to her local council in a bid to save it from closure.

During 2014, Roha borrowed 231 books, assuming that the retail price for these books averages out at £5.00 per book, then she has saved over £1100.00!


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Posted in How would you like to save £1000 this year?, Library News for April 2015

World Book Night 2015

Originally posted on caldicotlibrary:

World Book Night (Thursday 23rd April) is nearly upon us and we can’t wait to give out all the lovely free books!

Each year World Book Night sees passionate volunteers give out free books to people who don’t read regularly.

This year the Friends of Caldicot Library will be outside the library gifting books and encouraging residents to pop into the library for a free tea and coffee (11am until 12 noon).

In the evening we are off to the Caldicot Community Café to enjoy their World Book Night celebrations (6.30pm – 8.30pm). As well as the World Book Night give-away, there will be a book swap table, a book quiz and a light supper (soup and roll, tea, coffee or squash and a piece of cake for £2.50).

If you know someone who hasn’t read a book in ages please encourage them to join in with the World Book…

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