Celebrating Library Staff Success – Abergavenny

Abergavenny staff receiving Angored certificates
Sally Bradford, Helen Bookless, Judy Wells, Ann Jones, Julie Warburton, Sandie Evans, David Fraser and Claire Cross


Library staff in Abergavenny were congratulated on the achievement of completing their Agored level 2 qualification in Information Literacy.

Helen, Judy, Sandie, David and Melanie all completed the level 2 qualification, while Julie achieved level 3.

Being able to find the information you need when you want is a vital skill both in our daily lives and at work. The Welsh Government recognised this when they set up the Welsh Information Literacy Project (WILP).

Library staff have always supported customers finding and evaluating information. For the last year we have been working with WILP to evidence the skills all library staff possess.

In March 2013 three members of staff achieved their Agored level 3 in information literacy. This enabled them to mentor their work colleagues and in September 2013 the first group of library staff began their level 2 qualification. Since then all library staff have completed their level 2.

Staff have demonstrated exactly what library staff are brilliant at – finding information on any subject and packaging it as the customer needs.

Helen chose to base her study on Abergavenny Library being a Carnegie Library after a gentleman came in just because it was a Carnegie library. Her research and work can now be promoted as a good source of information for future enquiries and the original research documents could be digitalised.

As David has his own interest and knowledge in performing arts, he chose the sourcing of these materials for customers. Current customers include Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra and Monmouth Choral Society. His finished work is suitable as a resource to be used outside the authority not just in Monmouthshire.

Sandy based her study around the sourcing of foreign language books after being requested for books in Bengali from a local customer. She built good working relationships with librarians outside the authority in libraries that offered a good choice of books.

A customer wanted information about a tram worker that she thought was haunting her cottage. Judy researched the tram roads in Gilwern, finding old maps showing the customers’ cottage on the tram road. Judy also put the customer in touch with another library user who was a supernatural expert.

Claire chose Parkinson’s as a customer’s husband was diagnosed with the disease.  The customer was not computer literate and came to Claire for help. Claire ordered books for her and found out about local schemes that could help, which she now wants to promote via the library.

Julie was approached by a customer who wanted family history information on a family member who was a dentist in Abergavenny. Julie tapped into a customer with family history knowledge who was happy to help. The dentist was Mr Fullylove and was related to Dylan Thomas.


e-Books for Free from your Library

eBooks for Wales Logo

Monmouthshire Libraries are now offering access to over 2,500 ebooks – an exciting mix of fiction, biographies, real life stories, children’s books and non-fiction titles – as part of the eBooks for Wales pilot project.

To use the service you have to be a library member and have a PIN. It’s easy to join online and then collect your card and PIN from your local library. Forgotten your PIN? Then just email us to request a reminder.

Begin Borrowing eBooks

  • You can borrow, or reserve, up to 4 ebooks at any one time
  • eBooks are issued for 3 weeks (unless you choose to shorten the loan period). After the loan period expires the book will automatically delete
  • eBooks are downloaded to your PC, laptop or MAC using Adobe Digital Editions download manager. You can then transfer the book to your ebook reader, tablet or smartphone. Alternatively ebooks can be downloaded directly to smartphones and tablets once an ebook reader app has been installed
  • The download service is not yet available for Kindle ebook readers

To find our more about how the service works and whether your device is compatible please consult the FAQs

This pilot project is match funded by a grant from the Welsh Government. Please let us know what you think.

Chepstow gives thumbs up to new library

Chepstow library reopened on Saturday 21st January, throwing open its doors to reveal a new improved service following four months of refurbishment.

Entrance View Chepstow Library

Nearly 700 people attending the relaunch were very pleased with the new layout and facilities on offer. The re-opening included balloon modelling for youngsters, local story teller Daniel Morden kept captivated children with his tall tales, members of the Gwent Family History Society were on hand to help people discover their roots and the Chepstow Society promoted the historic Chepstow Collection to customers interested in days gone by.

Children's Area Chepstow Library

The refurbished library has been designed to deliver a much improved library provision with increased opening hours. In addition to an extensive range of books, DVDs and talking books, customers can now enjoy improved Internet access, free wi-fi and laptops for use within the library. Other features include an updated children’s area, an area especially designed for teenagers and a quieter area for family and local history research. Weekly activities will take in First Click basic IT sessions, story times for the under fives, baby rhyme times and family history research sessions. The library will open for an additional four hours on Wednesdays from 9am to 1pm.

Teenage Area Chepstow Library

Work on the library’s reading garden will continue throughout the winter months ready for a launch on World Book Night – 23 April 2012. Keen gardeners interested in joining the new Library Gardening Group or those requiring more information about the World Book Night book giveaway should contact library staff for more information. Sally Bradford who manages the library with her jobshare colleague Sue Wallbank thanked staff for their hard work since September, initially transferring the library service to the town’s leisure centre then returning to the refurbished facilities.

Sally said: “A massive team effort has played a large part in the design and success of the new library”.

Chepstow Library Team

The refurbishment of Chepstow Library has been jointly funded by Monmouthshire County Council and CyMAL (Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales; a division of the Welsh Government) which is committed to creating a 21st century library network as part of the Libraries for Life programme.

Chepstow Library is open:

Monday – 9.00 – 5.30
Tuesday – 10.00 – 7.00
Wednesday – 9.00 – 1.00
Thursday – 9.00 – 7.00
Friday – 9.00 – 5.30
Saturday – 9.00 – 1.00


Library Management Team wonders if they’ll be on TV tonight!

Monmouthshire’s full council meeting on 12th January was filmed by BBC colleagues ahead of the ‘Week In Week Out’ programme being shown on BBC Wales on Monday 30th January. As outlined in local TV guides, the programme is taking ” A look at a council facing cash cuts, job losses and a move away from its crumbling headquarters. The local authority faces an uphill struggle if it is to keep the public happy during a period of uncertainty.”

The Library Management Team had been invited to give a presentation at the full council meeting to highlight recent changes made within our libraries to improve service to the public .

This included news about the reopening of Chepstow Library to the public on Saturday 21st January. The ground floor has, courtesy of Welsh Government grant funding & match funding from within the council, had a very well received refurbishment giving people more space to browse, use computers and far, far more.  This formed part of the building’s major refurbishment and transformation into a corporate regional hub. The first floor will give a new home to officers from a variety of services moving out of County Hall & other offices as well as existing One Stop Shop staff already working there.

Although we hear that all attempts to get the film crew to film any of this directly in Chepstow failed, who knows, we might just stand a chance of it being picked up from our presentation to full council!