I was brought up by the Ystwyth river in the small village of Llanafan and attended the local school and then on to Ysgol Uwchradd Tregaron, as its name was at the time. I enjoyed my time in school but by the end, I’d had enough and after completing my A-Level’s, I chose to go for it and join the world of work. I worked in a supermarket in Aberystwyth to begin with but then the opportunity arose to join the world of books.

Stepping into the world of books

In 2003, the chance came to try for a part-time job in Tregaron Library where I worked two nights a week from 4-7pm and every Saturday. When I told my mates that I’d got a job in the local library, the response I got every time was, “What, a library? What do you know about books?” I started to ask myself if I understood enough about books? However, after a while, the job came natural to me and I learnt a lot about authors, how the library worked and what people enjoyed reading.

Then, the big step came when my part-time work turned into a full-time role. Eira Griffith, the librarian at the time, said, “Emyr, go for it!” and that’s the best advice I’ve had. As the library was part of the secondary school, part of my daily duties was to attend meetings with the school staff. Being amongst all the teachers was a strange feeling!

This period of working in Tregaron was great because I’d been brought up in the area, and therefore I knew the majority of people and children who used the library. It was lovely to work with the school staff too. I could share many a story of the fun and mischief that we’d had! Unfortunately, due to the financial cutbacks, the Library had to close.

As a result, I was offered a job in Aberystwyth Library. It was a completely different world, moving from a small town like Tregaron to a Library that was lot bigger. A year or so had passed by working in the Library when I got promoted to being the manager of the branch – a role I’m extremely proud of. One aspect of my job that I enjoy doing the most is meeting people and holding events for them. It gives me great pleasure talking to the public and being able to help them with their questions.

From day to day, I run the Aberystwyth branch and ensure that there’s enough staff available, that the place is tidy and that the displays are attractive and up-to-date. A lot of my time is spent working behind my desk dealing with customers. Inside the Library, there’s many more things to have apart from just books - we have DVD’s, CD’s, computers where you can print out your work and also scanners.

New developments

Another interesting aspect of my work is organising events in Libraries across the whole of the county. Over the last few months, we as staff have worked hard to create a new website; if you haven’t see it, go to the Council’s website and click on ‘Ceredigion Libraries’. In addition to this, we’ve also created a Facebook page ‘Llyfrgell Ceredigion Library’, so remember to ‘Like’ us to follow our journey and adventures!

What’s on?

There’s lots of things going on that we’re busy organising at the moment including the Summer Reading Challenge and Library Week.

• The Summer Reading Challenge is open to every child primary school age. The challenge is to visit the library at least four times over the summer holidays and borrow two books or more during each visit. Following every visit, there’ll be a small prize available, such as stickers or a bookmark. Once the child has completed the challenge, they will receive a medal and a certificate. This challenge is popular every year and nearly 800 children completed it last year. We’ll be launching the challenge this year on Saturday, 14 July. So, children of Ceredigion, how about it? Do you enjoy reading? Are you game for a challenge over the summer? Visit any library in Ceredigion and join the fun!

• Library Week will be celebrated in October and we’re currently organising events. Of these will be a remembrance evening for T. Llew Jones. The guest speaker will be the acclaimed poet, Ceri Wyn Jones and there will be items by a group of actors from Theatr Felinfach. Come and join in with the celebrations.

More than just books

There’s lots of resources available on our website, from searching for books to news, e-books or renewing books.
Did you know that you can download books and audio books from the app ‘Borrowbox’ for free – yes, for free remember. Also, what about downloading magazines similar to ‘OK’ and ‘BBC Good Food’, all for free!

For those who are learning to drive, a free service available at Ceredigion Libraries is the ‘Theory Test Pro’. This is a highly realistic online simulation of the UK's driving theory tests for all vehicle categories and can be used at home online.
Visit your local library and join – the library has a lot more to offer than just books!

For more information on what’s available at Ceredigion Libraries, visit libraries.ceredigion.gov.uk , follow ‘Llyfrgell Ceredigion Library’ on Facebook, email llyfrgell.library@ceredigion.gov.uk or phone 01970 633717.