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.


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!


Cantref School Enjoy Magical Indian Myths

Abergavenny School Children

Another successful class visit from Cantref Junior school year 4. Abergavenny Library Assistant, David, retold tales from Magical Indian Myths.

The children all borrowed a book or two and each received a book bag.

David in character
Library Assistant, David in character


“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.” ‘Dr Rhys Jones




Today Abergavenny Library had a class visit from Llanfoist Junior School year 4 with author G R Gemin  promoting his latest book Cowgirl, which is set in Wales.

lanfoist Junior School year 4 with author G R Gemin

“ If Gemma ever stops to think about it, she knows hiding a load of cows from Cowgirl’s farm on a housing estate is a bit mad, After all, Cowgirl’s a weirdo and the estate is no place to bring up a cow. But it’s exciting, and she loves it, and it’s making things better. The only question is, how long can it last?”

A funny, moving story by GR Gemin about finding happiness when the cows come home.

The children enjoyed the session and all took home with them their new library card and all borrowed  a book or two to read.

lanfoist Junior School year 4 pupils

Welsh libraries and primary schools are joining forces to provide every primary school child with a library card – the 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 & Tourism, this has now been rolled out to ten more local authorities (16 in total) targeting another 25,000 children.

This card will allow children to borrow two books straight away. 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 computer use and internet access
  • FREE fiction, non-fiction, comics, graphic novels and talking books
  • FREE homework help – online and in the library
  • FREE e-books and e-magazines
  • Clubs, games, events, activities and classes in the library
  • Friendly, helpful library staff
  • Somewhere safe to meet friends

lanfoist Junior School year 4 with author G R Gemin

Bike Bash in Abergavenny

DSCF1013As part of the National Cycling Championships held in Monmouthshire, Abergavenny Library staff along with the Friends of the Abergavenny Library Service staffed a stall at the Bike Bash in Bailey Park. Pride of place on their display were the bikes covered in knitting, proudly produced by several of our regular library customers. The smoothie bike, which used pedal power to run a blender using fruit donated by Tesco, was also a big hit. While trying their luck with the bike our visitors were able to find out about the many services which libraries offer, including the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service and, of course, the Mythical Maze Summer Reading challenge.



The mayor of Abergavenny

The mayor of Abergavenny proved a very enthusiastic pedaller!


Looking after your lungs

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Monmouthshire Libraries have information to promote a healthy lifestyle and booklets about coping with lung cancer.

Macmillan Cancer Support is working in partnership with Monmouthshire Libraries to develop a good quality information service for people affected by cancer, their friends, family and anyone worried about the risk of cancer.

Come along to Abergavenny Library on Tuesday 22nd November from 2pm until 4.30pm to meet the Macmillan Information Coordinator and chat about the books and leaflets on wellbeing available in the library.

We are also staging another information ‘drop in’ session at Caldicot Library on Wednesday 23rd November from 2pm-4.30pm.

For further information please call 01873 735980 or email