TREDEGAR Library yesterday launched a brand new nationwide scheme to give every primary school child a free library card.

Welsh libraries and primary schools are teaming up to provide every eight and nine year old with a free library card starting, in six local authorities - Blaenau Gwent, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Powys and Swansea.

Minister for culture and sport, John Griffiths, officially launched the initiative in Tredegar Library yesterday morning along with Dr Rhys Jones, best known for his hit BBC series ‘Rhys to the Rescue’, a patron of the project who led workshops with Year 4 pupils from Bryn Bach Primary School.

Launching the initiative Mr Griffiths said: “The link between library usage and literacy levels is well documented. Over 42,000 children in Wales took part in last year’s summer reading challenge, which ran in 245 libraries across the country.

“Those children that took part maintained or improved their reading levels and we are hoping to build on this by giving every child the opportunity to use their library to borrow books and access all the other services available to them.”

Bryn Bach Primary School teacher Sam Jones said: “Getting the children out of school and into the library enabling them to pick their own books and hearing them discuss their favourites is wonderful. If we can encourage all children to use the library it will no doubt have a beneficial effect on how they perform in class too.”

This library card will allow the children to borrow books and get a free goodie bag to carry their books home with them. 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 fiction, non-fiction, comics, graphic novels and talking books, free homework help - online and in the library, e-books and e-magazines, free computer use and internet access and free clubs, games, events, activities and classes in the library.

For more information visit: