Monday, 4 March 2019

World Book Day Events at Clare County Library

Clare County Library branches celebrate Ireland’s World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019. Over the last 22 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading among children.

Clare County Library promotes the importance of developing a love of reading by organizing a variety of events each year to bring children closer to books and their authors and illustrators.

On the 6th and 7th of March Maeve Devoy will facilitate creative writing workshops for children in Kilrush, Kilkee, Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay libraries. Maeve published her first collection of short stories, The Tell Tale Collection at the age of just 23 and says that in her teenage years, writing helped her find her way in life. As well as writing a second book and completing a Research Masters in Literary Journalism, Maeve regularly hosts creative writing workshops for children and teenagers in Fingal libraries.

Her workshops for World Book Day in Clare libraries will focus on children thinking about reaching their dreams and telling their own stories that they will take away in a special notebook to work on at school and at home.

Dublin author Brian Gallagher’s most recent novels for young people, Pawns and Spies were specially commissioned by The O’Brien Press to mark the centenary of the War of Independence this year. Brian will visit Scariff, Killaloe, Shannon and deValera Library, Ennis on the 6th and 7th of March where he will discuss the importance of our shared past with senior classes in local primary schools, as well as revealing the nuts and bolts of how a historical story for children is created including inspiration, research, plotting and characterization.

In recent times Brian has concentrated on historical fiction for older children, writing the novels Across the Divide, Taking Sides, Secrets and Shadows, Stormclouds, Friend or Foe, Arrivals, Pawns and Spies, and One Good Turn, the Irish entry for World Book Day 2016. His books have been hugely popular with schools.

His recent novel Spies was very favourably reviewed by In Touch Magazine as "a historical fiction that immerses the reader into an Ireland full of Black and Tans, soldiers, rebels, and police informers. In the novel, Ireland’s War of Independence is portrayed from both sides and this book is be a fantastic resource to discuss and debate the dilemmas faced in the throes of war. With its rich vocabulary, unravelling plot and teen friendships it makes a fine class novel for 11-12 year olds of fifth and sixth classes".

Contact participating libraries for further details.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019 i Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir

Ré Ó Laighléis chun Labhairt le Daltaí an Dara Leibhéil

Is mór is cúis áthais ag Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir í a fhógairt arís i mbliana go mbeidh an t-údar aitheanta, Ré Ó Laighléis ag tabhairt cuairte ar leabharlanna éagsúla de Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir i rith Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019.

Scríobhann an Laighléiseach idir Ghaeilge agus Bhéarla agus tá ábhar leis ainmnithe ar An Teastas Sóisearach Nua (T1 & T2) do na scoileanna Dara Leibhéal. Ar an ábhar sin do Scoileanna T2 tá na gearrscéalta ‘Punk’ agus ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’, chomh maith leis an dráma ‘Gan Choinne’ (leagan stáitse den scéal ‘Punk’). Táid sin uile ar fáil faoi aon chlúdach amháin sa saothar sainiúil COMHTHÁTHÚ ABÚ! atá foilsithe ag MÓINÍN, agus a bhfuil Nótaí Anailíse ar an ábhar ann atá scríofa ag an údar féin. Anuas air sin, tá a úrscéal móréilimh, ‘Trumptaí Dumptaí agus An Falla Mór’, ainmnithe ar liosta na n-úrscéalta do T2.

Maidir le T1, tá na gearrscéalta ‘Claonfhéachaint’ agus ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’ ainmnithe, chomh maith lena dhráma ‘Coimhlint’ agus an t-úrscéal ‘An Taistealaí’.

Ar ndóigh, tá an t-úrscéal ardaitheanta leis, ‘Gafa’ ar chúrsa Ardleibhéal na hArdteiste i gcónaí.

Is deis iontach í seo ag daltaí agus múinteoirí araon éisteacht le duine de mhórscríbhneoirí na linne ag tabhairt léargais ar a scríbhinní féin agus ceisteanna a chur air ina dtaobh.

Beidh Ré Ó Laighléis i Leabharlann Chill Rois: Dé Máirt 12ú Márta 10.30r.n. go mean lae agus i Leabharlann na Sionna: 1.45 go 3.15i.n. Ar an Aoine 15ú Márta beidh sé i Leabharlann na hInse: 9.30am to 11r.n. agus i Leabharlann Inis Díomáin: 11.50r.n. go 1.10i.n.

Agus do na páistí bunscoile

Tabharfaidh Aidan Courtney Maisitheoir, ceardlann líníochta spraíúil trí Ghaeilge do pháistí ó rang 3, 4, 5 agus 6 ó na scoileanna náisiúnta i leabharlanna éagsúla. I mbliana tabharfaidh Aidan nodanna i bhfoirm léiraidí faoi leabhar ag tabhairt a dteideal i nGaeilge. Beidh neart spraoi ag páistí ag tomhas teideal na leabhar atá roghnaithe ag Aidan a d’fhéadfadh nó nach bhféadfadh a bheith léite ag na páistí. Beidh neart idirghníomhaíocht, caint agus comhrá agus spraoi sa cheardlann dátheangach seo.

Tabharfaidh Séamus Ryan cuairt ar bhrainsí áirithhe ar fud an chontae ag léamh scéalta do pháistí ó ranganna shóisreacha i mbunscoileanna freisin. Beidh neart cúnamh ag teastáil ó Shéamuis óna lucht éisteachta óg sna seisiúin spraíúla, idirghníomhacha seo. Bígí linn i rith na seachtainne.

Seachtain na Gaeilge Celebrations at Clare County Library

It is with great pleasure that Clare County Library again welcomes acclaimed author Ré Ó Laighléis to a number of its branch libraries as part of its Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019 programme.

Ré Ó Laighléis writes in both Irish and English and his material has enjoyed translation into many languages. Several of his works currently feature prominently on the New Junior Cert Irish T1 & T2 programmes for Second Level schools. His stories ‘Punk’ and ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’ feature on the T2 curriculum, as does his play ‘Gan Choinne’, which is the stage version of the story ‘Punk’. Recently, MÓINÍN has published all three of these, along with analytical treatment of the material by the author himself, under the groundbreaking title COMHTHÁTHÚ ABÚ! which is geared at second level students and teachers alike. Ó Laighléis’s hugely successful and increasingly ever-topical novel ‘Trumptaí Dumptaí agus An Falla Mór’ is also listed reading for Junior Cert T2.

His stories ‘Claonfhéachaint’ and ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’, along with his play ‘Coimhlint’ and his novel ‘An Taistealaí’ are listed readings on T1. Of course, his critically acclaimed novel ‘Gafa’ remains as listed reading on Leaving Cert Higher Level. This is a fantastic opportunity for Second Level students and teachers alike not only to hear one of the major writers of our time speak on his works, but also to pose questions they may have.

On Tuesday the 12th of March Ré Ó Laighléis will be in Kilrush Library at 10.30am and in Shannon Library at 1.45pm. On Friday the 15th of March Ré will meet with Secondary School students in deValera Library Ennis at 9.30am and in Ennistymon Library 11.50am. All four interactive sessions will run for an hour and a half.

Primary School children will also have an opportunity to join in the Seachtain na Gaeilge fun at their local libraries. Throughout the festival cartoonist Aidan Courtney will provide illustrated clues to children’s books giving their names in Irish. Children will have lots of fun guessing Aidan’s choice of books that they may or may not have already read. Lots of interaction, caint, comhrá and fun is guaranteed in this bi-lingual workshop.

Seamus Ryan of deValera Library Ennis will also visit branches throughout the county telling stories in Irish to children from junior classes in primary schools. Seamus will be calling on his young audiences for lots of help and ideas to enhance his chosen tales in these fun interactive storytime sessions.

Further details will be available on the library events section of the library website or from your local library branch.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Scéal: An Intergenerational Project at Corofin Public Library

Clare County Library along with Limerick/Clare Education and Training Board (lcetb) are set to embark on an exciting intergenerational literacy project involving grandparents and their grandchildren.

The Scéal project begins at Corofin Public Library on March the 8th 2019. Children and grandparents will share memories, stories, current and old photographs, poems and songs led by facilitator and storyteller Ruth Marshall. The objectives and aspirations of the cross-generational learning experience are many including writing, storytelling, poetry recitation and music performances in a casual setting in a community space where older adults and children will come together to share insights into their lives. The programme will also focus on offering all participants an opportunity to develop new interests and increase awareness of the lives and experiences of one another.

The six week project will run on Friday evenings from 4 to 5pm with a family celebratory event and exhibition at Clare Museum, Ennis at the end.

For further information and bookings contact Corofin Library 065 6837219 or 065 6899083

Monday, 18 February 2019

Clare County Library’s Teen Week 2019

Clare County Library partners once again with Ennis Book Club Festival to provide a diverse and stimulating programme of cultural and art events for secondary school students in Ennis and Kilrush libraries during the month of February.This year’s Library Teen Week programme includes travel, mythology, history, and music delivered by authors and presenters with a special interest in and focus on creativity for young adult audiences.

On Monday the 25th of February writer and independent producer Ann Dalton presents Pakistan – A Peep into the Melting Pot in Kilrush Library at 10am and in deValera Library Ennis at 2pm. Ann has travelled regularly with her family to Pakistan over the last 15 years. She travels throughout the country during her visits, from Islamabad the capital city, to Lahore, Faisalabad and to Karachi, a bustling city of approximately 15 million situated on the Arabian Sea. In 2013, she researched and produced a radio documentary ‘From the Punjab to Pana’ in which the Pakistani women of Cork shared their stories of life in Cork at that time. In this audio/visual presentation, Ann will look at the themes of hospitality and tolerance and she will share her experience as an Irish woman travelling in Pakistan. This will be a lively, evocative and informative presentation on Pakistan, the country and its people. Audiences can expect humour, honesty and a lot of bright colours!

Peadar Ó Guilín author of the YA novel, The Call, visits deValera Library, Ennis on the morning of Tuesday the 26th of February and Kilrush Library in the afternoon. His writing workshop based on Irish mythology and inspired by the beautiful northwest of Ireland where he grew up is certain to engage teenage audiences.

A joint event by authors Nessa O’Mahony and Sheena Wilkinson takes place in deValera Library Ennis from 10am to 11.30 on Thursday 28th of February and in Kilrush Library later that afternoon at 2pm. In their talk Every Family has its Own History both writers will discuss exploring family histories and their passion for history as demonstrated in their writing. Nessa O’Mahony was introduced to history at a young age with the stories that her mother told her in the kitchen of their family home in Dublin including accounts of her childhood in Ballinasloe. As she became older the stories her mother now told were about her grandfather and grandmother’s experiences during the War of Independence and the Civil War. Her first novel, The Branchman, is based on her grandfather's real-life experiences in the period of most political and historical change in Ireland’s history. In this workshop she will examine how every family’s history can be used as the trigger for a piece of creative writing. Students are encouraged to find out about their own family histories in advance of the workshop.

Sheena Wilkinson has established herself as one of the most acclaimed Irish writers for young people. At her presentations in Ennis and Kilrush Library she will concentrate on both her first and most recent, widely acclaimed historical novels, Name Upon Name and Star by Star. Growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, with family on both ‘sides’, Sheena was confused about Irish history prompting her to seek out untold stories. Her books Name Upon Name and Star By Star, look at the events of World War One, The Easter Rising, The Spanish Flu and women’s fight for the vote. Name Upon Name was Waterford’s One Community, One Book choice in 2016. Star by Star won the Honour Award for Fiction at the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2018 and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2017 Children’s Book of the Year. Both authors will demonstrate how our places of birth shape and influence our lives and in this case create a background for some of the best historical fiction available to readers in Ireland today.

John Bowker’s African Drumming Workshop is on offer once again to students at deValera Library Ennis on the 27th of February at 11.15am and in Kilrush Library on Friday the 1st of March at 11am. For the past 25 years Tribal Spirit Drumming has captured the hearts of thousands of people across Ireland, the UK and beyond. John invites teenagers and their teachers from post-primary schools to join him for an unforgettable musical experience. In the library workshops you will be encouraged to learn the basic techniques of playing the hand drum and to contribute to an arrangement that may be typically based on a traditional piece of music from a village in Ghana or the Congo!

The Ireland Professor of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin will read from her acclaimed work to teenagers in Clare at her visit to glór at 11.30am on the 1st of March during the Ennis Book Club Festival 2019. Eiléan is the author of many collections including The Girl Who Married a Reindeer (2001), to The Sun-fish (2010). Senior Cycle Students are invited to experience the wonderful poetry of Eiléan first hand and to acknowledge the power of poetry in appreciating the world around us.

All events are free of charge but participating venues must be contacted for advance booking.

Women in Politics and Public Life, from 1918 to 2018

'Women in Politics and Public Life, from 1918 to 2018' – a Pop-Up Museum, exploring 100 years of women's participation in politics and public life.

This exciting exhibition shines a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame. It is a feminization of the historical narrative containing unseen family photographs, films, interviews, objects, clothes and even music that evokes each era of women in public life - it features all the female TDs, Senators and MEPs. It is laid out in a chronology from 1920s to 2000s. Key elements include clothing of women in politics and public life, objects showing the working life of women from election literature, to items belonging to them, an early apple Mac to a briefcase as well as films and inter-actives including one where you can review the lives of the 19 women elected 1918-2018.

In opening the exhibition, Minister Madigan said: “One of the great legacies of the Decade of Centenaries is a greater understanding and appreciation for the important role of women in shaping Ireland's history. Throughout the Decade, the State has shone a light, often for the first time, on women's experiences and influence in the significant historical events that shaped our journey towards independence and self-determination. These remarkable and capable women were defiant, strong and united in their belief for a better Ireland that would accept male and female as equal. They continued the journey towards equality and empowerment, paving the way for all future generations of women to take on the world as equal partners.”

The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to encourage people of all ages to reflect upon the journey that this country has taken, particularly over the past 100 years. The exhibition, reflecting upon and celebrating all that has been achieved over the past 100 years but with an awareness of the considerable work remaining to be done, will encourage discussion, debate and analysis in ongoing exploration of our history. The exhibition is on display in Istabraq Hall, Merchant's Quay, Limerick from 18th February to 1st April 2019, Monday to Friday 10am-5pm.

Curated by the historian, Sinéad McCoole, and supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Blind Date with a difference at the Library

This Valentine’s Day Clare County Library would like to play matchmaker for you and set you up on a blind date…with a book! Following on from the success of previous years we are excited to once again present Blind Date with a Book, where you take a chance and check out a book that we have selected, without knowing exactly what that book is until you get it home. We’re hoping we can introduce you to a book you’ll love, but may not have chosen for yourself otherwise. It could be the book you’ve been searching for all your life!

From February 13th-16th, during library opening hours, you are invited to visit any of the participating library branches in Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilkee, Killaloe, Kilrush, Lisdoonvarna, Scariff, Sixmilebridge and Shannon where there will be a display of books wrapped in plain paper. Make your selection and bring it to the checkout desk, where you will also receive a sweet treat to take home along with your newfound book love. The selected books will include a range of genres and themes but you won’t be able to judge any of them by their cover before you get to know them. Here’s hoping it will be love at first page, but there is no need to worry about any hard feelings or awkwardness if it’s not! If you don’t make that special connection you can simply return it and move on to the next book. After all, there are plenty more books on the shelves!

We’re also giving you the opportunity to show yourself some love with a host of Healthy Ireland at Your Library events planned for Valentine’s Day. You can join Kevin Kinsella for a taster session of Tai Chi in Sixmilebridge Library at 6.30pm, start your journey into Mindfulness with experienced, accredited therapist Pauline Bradley in Tulla Public Library at 6.30pm, learn how to offset life’s wear and tear on your body with a ‘Fit for Life’ talk by Physiotherapist Fintan O’Donnell in Corofin Public Library at 7pm or get expert tips on how to improve your nutrition from registered dietitian Dr. Anne Griffin in Lisdoonvarna Public Library at 7pm. Dr. Griffin will also give her talk on expert tips to improve your nutrition in Kildysart Public Library on Tuesday, 12th February at 7pm.

All events are free of charge and more information is available by contacting each branch library. To view opening hours and contact details for Clare County Library’s branches visit or phone 065-6821616/6846350.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

BUMBLEance makes a return visit to Newmarket on Fergus

The children of Scoil Na Maighdine Mhuire visited Newmarket on Fergus Public Library on the morning of the 5th of February for a very special reason. It was the second time in five months that they met with Mary Heffernan founder of the Saoirse Foundation and the driver of the BUMBLEance Mr. Jim Burke.

As part of the annual children’s book festival Clare County Library programmed a Books and BUMBLEance tour in October 2018. Over three consecutive days the BUMBLEance visited Scariff, Newmarket on Fergus, Miltown Malbay and Shannon libraries with children’s writers on board. The children had a unique opportunity to see the equipment the BUMBLEance contains, hear about the services they provide and why the charity was set up, as well as focusing on the comfort of reading and how books can make a difference to children’s health.

Having experienced the stress and challenges that parents of sick children face, Mary and her husband established the Saoirse Foundation after their two children sadly succumbed to the fatal Batten’s Disease and the BUMBLEance was launched.

The children’s national ambulance service reaches into every town, city and county in Ireland, delivering safe and comfortable transportation of sick children to and from children's hospitals, national treatment centres, respite and hospice centres. BUMBLEance provides the highest standards in professional medical care, and a suite of top-of-the range entertainment facilities designed and tailored for children. The aim is to distract, comfort and entertain Ireland's youngest and most sick patients as they travel, allowing children to be children and parents to be parents. Their mission is to deliver smiles and compassion in equal measure, along with all additional medical supports when needed most.

So taken by the story of the BUMBLEance and its founders were the staff and children of Scoil Na Maighdine Mhuire, Newmarket on Fergus in October, that they decided to do what they could to join the Bee Team and help the children who need the BUMBLEance services.

Staff and children organized a cake sale especially for BUMBLEance on the 2nd of November and €310 was raised. The presentation took place at Newmarket on Fergus Library on the 5th of February 2019 during one of the weekly visits that the children and teachers make to their local branch to choose the latest reads and to access additional books to support the Accelerated Reading Programme running in their school since 2015. The children of 4th class were accompanied by teacher Emer Pigott and SNA Pauline O’Neill.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Familiar stories are most popular for Clare’s young readers

There are no big surprises in children’s reading choices indicated by the most popular books borrowed in 2018 from Clare County Library branches. David Walliams, Jeff Kinney, Rachel Renée Russell and Dav Pilkey are constants year on year, showing that children are happy to keep reading the authors and series they love.

David Walliams’ Bad Dad is at number one and is the most borrowed book by children in Clare, written by the biggest selling children’s author to have started writing since the year 2000.

Tom Gates Epic Adventure (kind of) is in second place. Author Liz Pichon is the author of this best- selling series for 9+ readers. The first book in the series THE BRILLIANT WORLD OF TOM GATES has won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, The Red House Book Award Best Book for Young Readers and the Waterstone¹s Best Fiction for 5-12 year olds prize.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney are as popular as ever and are well represented in Clare’s top 10 children’s books by three titles in the series, The Getaway, Double Down and Old School. These hilariously funny diaries that chronicle Greg Heffley’s middle school years have turned millions of kids into readers.

Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books remain popular with younger children who seem to never tire of reading about the escapades of this very naughty boy and his maddeningly good, little brother Perfect Peter.

Meanwhile the most popular Irish writer for Clare’s children is Marita Conlon McKenna whose Children of the Famine trilogy, including Under the Hawthorn Tree, Wildflower Girl and Fields of Home was an unparalleled publishing sensation in 1990. An amazing 20 years later, the books continue to be popular with new covers created by Ireland’s leading children’s illustrator, PJ Lynch in 2018.

Rachel Renée Russell’s Dork Diaries also make the top 10 and the ever popular Jacqueline Wilson whose books have entertained and inspired child and adult readers for nearly three decades is unsurprisingly included also.

Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants books first published in 1997 are still favourites among Clare’s young readers twenty years later, indicating that overall, familiarity with characters and knowing what to expect from favourite authors seems to be what children want when choosing library books and reading for pleasure.

Top 10 Children’s Books 2018
1. Bad Dad by David Walliams
2. Tom Gates Epic Adventure (kind of) by Liz Pichon
3. The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. Double Down: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
5. The Midnight Gang by David Walliams
6. The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams
7. Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
8. Frenemies Forever: Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
9. Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman by Dav Pilkey
10. Horrid Henry’s Krazy Ketchup by Francesca Simon

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

The Book Clubs’ Favourites 2018

Are you looking for a good book? Something that comes highly recommended by other avid readers? We asked local book clubs in County Clare, some library-based and others not, to list their favourite books from those they had read in 2018 and which they would recommend to others looking for a good read.

The top three recommendations were:
Homefire by Kamila Shamsie
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Lullaby by Leila Slimani

Other recommendations were:
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford
Lean on Pete by Willie Vlautin
Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Nutshell by Ian McEwan
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Plainsong by Haruf Kent
Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
West by Carys Davies
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Irish crime novels very popular in Clare’s libraries in 2018

The popularity of Irish crime writing continues among our readers, with Liz Nugent having 3 books in the list of the ten most popular fiction books borrowed from branches of Clare County Library in 2018.

Liz Nugent, picked up two awards at the 2018 An Post Irish Book Awards for her latest novel Skin Deep - the first for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year, and the second, for the Ryan Tubridy Listeners’ Choice Award. Skin Deep is her third novel. Her second novel Lying in Wait was the most borrowed adult fiction book in our libraries in 2018.

Other crime novels making the top ten list were The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and The Late Show by Michael Connolly. Connolly introduces a new female lead character in his latest book. Donal Ryan’s 4th novel From a Low and Quiet Sea which takes the reader from Syria to small-town Ireland was the 4th most popular fiction book in the libraries. The runaway success story of 2018, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman – a sad but humorous and life-affirming novel – reached number 6 on the list. The final three places on the top ten list were claimed by authors Emma Hannigan, Cathy Kelly and Sheila O’Flanagan – perennial favourites with the readers of Clare County Library.

Top 10 fiction books 2018
1. Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
2. Skin Deep by Liz Nugent
3. The Late Show by Michael Connolly
4. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
5. Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
7. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
8. The Perfect Gift by Emma Hannigan
9. The Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly
10. The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan