Monday, 21 November 2011

2011 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry

The shortlist for this year's prize has been announced with all sorts of extra joiny-on goodness.

There's an affiliated Reading Group scheme with downloadable notes on the poems and poets, and suggested ideas for discussion.

Three poems from each of the shortlisted poetry collections are available to download.

It's well worth checking out the
Poetry Book Society’s website as there are all manner of extras up for grabs.

Here's the list of titles - you can click on them individually to check on availibilty, or you can click here to bring up the whole list.

John Burnside Black Cat Bone
Carol Ann Duffy The Bees
Leontia Flynn Profit and Loss
David Harsent Night
John Kinsella Armour
Esther Morgan Grace
Daljit Nagra Tippoo Sultan's IncredibleWhite-Man-Eating TigerToy-Machine!!!
Sean O'Brien November
Bernard O'Donoghue Farmer's Cross
Alice Oswald Memorial
Just heard they've announced the 2011 Costa Poetry Award - there's a fair bit of cross-over, so we won't be doing a separate blog (don't want you getting poetry fatigue do we), but you can check out what we have here.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Cardiff Libraries Olympic and Paralympic Quiz

As part of the Welsh Libraries Fortnight (1st – 14th November), Cardiff Libraries are offering you the chance to win some great prizes. The theme of the festival this year is the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme which inspires creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

For your chance to win loads of prizes to keep you fit, healthy and happy, including sports equipment and free passes for your local leisure centre, simply answer the questions below.

All of the answers to these questions can be found using the online resources at your local library. Visit for more details or ask a member of library staff.

We're doing two versions of the Quiz - one for 18s and one for over 18s. 

Here's the quiz for Under 18s

Please circle the correct answers below:

1.      Which city hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896?
a)     Athens
b)     Paris
c)      St Louis

2. What do the 5 rings in the Olympic flag represent:
a)     Number of countries taking part in the 1896 Games
b)     Number of events in the original Games
c)      Number of continents

3. Dorando Pietri of Italy was famously disqualified in 1908 after which race:
a)     100 metres
b)     1500 metres
c)      Marathon

4. Welshman Lynn Davies won a gold medal at the Tokyo games in 1964 in which event:
a)     High jump
b)     Long jump
c)      Triple jump

5. Michael Phelps won how many swimming gold medals at the Beijing games in 2008:
a)     6
b)     8   
c)      10
6. Cardiff born Tanni Grey-Thompson won her first Paralympic Games medal in:
a)     1988
b)     1992
c)      1996

7. The first Paralympic Games were held in which city in 1960:
a)     London
b)     Paris
c)      Rome

8. Jesse Owens won how many gold medals at the Berlin Games in 1936:
a)     4
b)     6
c)      8

9. The London 2012 Games will be held during which months:
a)     May and June
b)     June and July
c)      July and August

10. The Olympic torch for the London 2012 Games will be carried by how many torchbearers in the UK:
a)     8,000
b)     10,000.
c)      12,000

We'll need to know your -

Telephone number / email address
Library card number (if you’re a member)

Please email your answers to any by Wednesday 30th November.

Winners will be chosen from all correct entries received and will be notified by 15th December 2011. 

And here's the Quiz for Over 18s

Please circle the correct answers below:

1. Approximately how many countries took part in the 1896 Games:
a)     10             
b)     12 
c)      14

2. When was the first Winter Games, originally called "International Winter Sports Week":
a)     1924        
b)     1928        
c)      1932

3. Who holds the record for the total number of Olympic medals:
a)     Larisa Latynina
b)     Michael Phelps
c)      Björn Daehlie

4. When was the first Olympic torch relay held?
a)     1896
b)     1936
c)      1952

5. The Olympic’s Latin motto is Citius - Altius - Fortius, but what does this mean:
a)     Faster, higher, stronger
b)     Be the best
c)      Effort, dedication, glory

6. In the 2008 Beijing Games what was Usain Bolt’s time in the 200m final:
a)     19.10
b)     19.20
c)      19.30

7 What was Rebecca Adlington’s new world record time for the 800m freestyle in the 2008 Beijing Games:
a)     8:14.10
b)     8:24.10
c)      8:34.10

8. The name of the mascot of the 2012 Paralympic Games - Mandeville - was inspired by:
a)     A hospital
b)     First chairman of the Games
c)      First winner of the Games

9. In the 2008 Paralympic Games Eleanor Simmonds won gold in the 100m Freestyle with a time of:
a)     1:18.56
b)     1:18.75
c)      1:19.29

10. The name of the mascot for the 2012 Olympic Games - Wenlock - was inspired by a town in:
a)     Shropshire
b)     Staffordshire
c)      Surrey

We'll need to know your -

Telephone number / email address
Library card number (if you’re a member)

Please email your answers to any by Wednesday 30th November.

Winners will be chosen from all correct entries received and will be notified by 15th December 2011. 

Give it a go, you know it makes sense!

Good luck!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

CAPITAL READS - a festival of words at Cardiff Central Library

On Saturday 22nd October, from 9:45 to 5:00, we'll be celebrating words, and books, and writing, and reading, and reading groups and anything else we can cram into the day.

  • There'll be meet the author sessions with award-winning adult, teenage and children's authors.
  • Come and see what our Reading Group service can offer.
  • Listen to prose and poetry performances in English, Welsh, Arabic, Urdu and Punjabi.
  • Keep the children occupied with storytimes and the make-your-own comic workshop.
  • Check out the latest developments with our eBook service and fiddle with some of our devices (please insert your own gratuitous Carry-On quote here).
The programme for the day looks like this -

For children -
  • 10:00-11:00 Dear Zoo - storytime/rhymetime for children ages 0-4
  • 11:30- 2:30 Comic Creations - A chance for kids to design their own comics, with Sian Kennedy.
  • 1:00-2:00 Meet the Author with Lucy Christopher.  Author visit and talk by Lucy Christopher, author of teenage books Stolen and Flyaway.
  • 2:30-4:00 Meet the Author with Damian Harvey.  Author visit and talk by Damian Harvey, author of many children's books, including The Monster Party and A Band of Dirty Pirates.

And thoroughout the day, the Roald Dahl Trail, giving children a chance to explore the deepeset, darkest corners of the Library.

For adults -
  • 9:45-11:15 Creative Writing with Clare Potter.  Book now to avoid disappointment for creative writing with Clare Potter, the award-winning poet and creative writing tutor.
  • 11:45-12:30 Meet the Author with Richard Gwyn.  Meet the author of The Colour of a Dog Running Away and The Vagabonds, as well as several poetry collections.
  • 1:00-1:45 Meet the Poet with Maggie Harris.  Maggie will read excepts from her books and answer questions from the audience.
  • 2:15-3:00 Meet the Author with Shelagh Weeks.  Award-winning author Shelagh Weeks lectures at Cardiff University and is the author of Mint Sauce and Up Close.
  • 3:30-4:15 Meet the Author with Kristina Taylor. Kristina's book, Tied With and Easy Thread charts the author's search to discover what became of her ancestors.

Whew, that's me exhausted.

There'll be lots more going on too.  Why not drop in and out throughout the day, or bring sandwiches and make a day of it.  

What more could you want?  Well, how's about refreshements courtesy of Starbucks and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, a chance to win a £25.00 voucher from St. David's Hall, and book prizes courtesy of PanMacmillan, Short Books and

Hope to see you on the 22nd!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Future of eBooks - a talk at Rhydypennau Library.

eBooks - they're changing all the time - it's like evolution after a couple of espressos.

On Monday 10th October at 11:00, Jennifer Connor, Head Editior of eBook site Books to Go Now, and local author Margerita Felices will be giving a talk on the current eBook scene as it affects them, and how they see it developing in the near future.

Why not join them?

There may be biscuits.

There may not.

Oh, the exciting uncertainty of it all!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Saturday September 24th is History Day at Cardiff Central Library!

Come and help us celebrate the end of History Month at Cardiff Central Library.

We have a host of talks, and library staff will be on hand to help you get the most out of your on-line resources.

Talks include -

10.30 The Glamorgan Family History Society
11.15 Councillor Jaswant Singh - A First Sikh Family in Britain
12.00 Jeff Childs - Roath
1.00 Pradyuman Halai - Swaninarayan Temple
1.30 Channi G S Kaler - The Punjabi Community
2.00 Glen Jordan - Butetown History and Arts Centre
3.00 Saleem Kidwai - Muslim Council of Wales (Muslim History in Cardiff)
3.30 Mark Oliver Llangco - Pinoy in Bitoy’s town: A Statistical Story

Library Staff will be in the ICT Suite on Level 5 to reveal the mysteries of Find My Past and as well as other e-Resources and on-line Newspapers.

And to tickle your History buds, here's a little quiz.

Email your answers to to be entered into a draw to win signed copies of Peter Finch's Cardiff trilogy.

1) In which year did Cardiff become Capital City of Wales.
     a) 1935 b) 1945 c) 1955
2) Which Cardiff suburb is called Treganna in Welsh?
3) Which current Premier League footballer was brought up in Whitchurch, Cardiff ?
4) The Bluebell pub in St. Mary’s Street changed its name to what in 1995?
5) Which street in central Cardiff is well known for its chip shops.
6) The statue of John Batchelor in Cardiff city centre states that he is the friend of –
     a) The poor b) Freedom c) Wales
7) In which hotel in Cardiff would you find the Captain Scott Room ?
8) Billy The Seal was a famous occupant of which Cardiff Park?
9) Which year did Buffalo Bill Cody visit Cardiff with his show?
     a) 1891 b) 1901 c) 1911
10) What is the Catholic Cathedral in Cardiff called?

Three multiple choice - how easy can we make it!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Update to our eBooks service!

Hello eBook people - if you use an iPhone, iPad or Android based smartphone to read our eBooks, you're going to love this!

Overwhelmed by ennui, I've just cut and pasted the instructions we received from our service suppliers - but what it boils down to is that you can now download directly to your devices! Hoorah!

Here's the cut and paste bit -

Direct Download to iPhone/iPad/Android Devices

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer direct download to both Apple (iPhone/iPad) and Android Devices.

Browsing the eLibrary Catalogue from these devices has always been possible but until now, downloading has not been an option. Our new download platform is now able to detect the device being used and offer the appropriate download methods.

Apple Device

Accessing the download window from an Apple device will result in the following screen being displayed:

Note: This download service requires that the previously recommended 3rd party app ‘BlueFire’ is installed on the device.

Hitting the download link will result in the title downloading directly into BlueFire with full digital rights management.

NOTE: BlueFire does not offer a download status bar. Therefore, there will be a period of inactivity whilst the title is downloaded. The app will only display a message once the title finishes downloading.

Android Device

Accessing the download window from an Android device will result in the following screen being displayed:

Note: This download service requires that the previously recommended 3rd party app ‘Aldiko’ is installed on the device.

Hitting the download link will result in the title downloading directly into Aldiko with full digital rights management.


We still recommend that titles are downloaded via a PC/MAC through Digital Editions and transferred to the Reader at this stage and this would be our first suggestion to anyone having any direct download problems.

Full download instructions are available in the Help/FAQ section of your eLibrary web site.

So there you have it - I shall now leave you to your own devices (ha ha - see what I did there?)

Go give it a go.