Thursday, 3 October 2019

Fighting Words comes to Clare

Clare County Library and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board are co-hosting an evening get together for prospective volunteers in their latest collaborative initiative bringing Fighting Words creative writing workshops to Clare. The original Fighting Words creative writing centre was established in Dublin by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love ten years ago. The project has helped students of all ages to develop and explore their love of writing over the last decade and continues to extend its network and its appeal year on year.

Some of the workshops provided by Fighting Words include story-telling, creative writing workshops for secondary students, summer camps for kids and teens and workshops for adults. One of Fighting Words’ key objectives is to help participants discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills.

All tutoring is free. Fighting Words workshops are created and run by volunteer writing tutors, who are trained in child protection and Garda vetted. The volunteers include people from all walks of life including third level students from all disciplines, retired people, writers (both professional and aspiring), teachers, journalists, visual artists, musicians and filmmakers or anyone who is keen to be involved in creative work. You don't need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words tutor. Anyone who enjoys working in a creative environment with individuals and groups is welcome to volunteer.

In general, workshops are divided into two parts. Group work and individual writing time and tasks are varied at each session. You may be involved in practical tasks regarding workshop set up, e.g. arranging seating and equipment to provide the most suitable space for participating groups or you will assist small groups of students as they work on their writing, providing help, advice and encouragement. Stories can be created through role play and improvisation, developing characters, setting and plot, adding dialogue and editing as they go, in a group setting to begin. Participants are then encouraged to work on their own, individual pieces of writing, helped and encouraged by Fighting Words volunteer tutors. Workshops run for two hours at a time once a month and may be one-off sessions for different groups or may be part of longer term projects. Volunteers will be required to be in attendance for two and a half hours. Long term projects may result in the publication of the finished work.

How to sign up and find out more?
On Tuesday 15th of October Clare County Library and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board invite you to meet four tutors from Fighting Words, Dublin who will demonstrate the practicalities of how Fighting Words workshops run. The hour-long meeting will take place at the Further Education and Training Centre, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Clonroad Campus, Ennis, beginning at 7pm. Recruitment will take place with a view to volunteers starting a training course when we access local interest in the work.

Volunteer applicants must be fluent English speakers, will be required to fill an application form and supply references. Garda vetting is necessary. For further information contact 065 6899083 or 065 6897645 or email pfitzgerald@clarecoco.ie or mary.flanagan@lcetb.ie Following this meeting a local volunteer co-ordinator will be happy to contact interested adults to arrange workshops to suit all involved.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Children’s Book Festival 2019

The annual Children’s Book Festival takes place in libraries all over Ireland during the month of October. The festival is the biggest event in the children’s library programme and helps spread the joy of books and reading among children and parents, authors and illustrators, teachers and librarians in all counties. Events are taking place in each of the fifteen public libraries in County Clare. Partnering with schools in their catchment areas, staff are looking forward to welcoming children and teachers to visit, enjoy the events, have fun and read lots of books. During the month children will meet some of their favourite authors, take part in poetry workshops, enjoy exciting children’s theatre shows, take part in science workshops and try their hand at creating a pop-up junior radio studio, as well as participating in writing and story workshops. Teachers are invited to check out the programme on the library website and to contact their nearest library branch to book events for their classes.

Junior classes have many events to choose from including a return visit from Derek Mulveen of Eire’s Kids telling stories of Oisín the Brave from Robot Island or presentations by Gary Ward and Audrey Moore based on their picture books for young children.

Booster Cushion Theatre presents Little Red Riding Hood and Friends in a fast and funny show with lots of slapstick humour and child participation in a not so traditional retelling of this well-loved tale.

Sadhbh Devlin and Tarsila Krüse visit library branches for bumper activity workshops based on their picturebook Bí ag Spraoi Liom! Sadhbh will inspire junior classes to design their own inventions based on her book and Tarsila will demonstrate how to bring them to life through illustration. In separate workshops Tarsila will take children on a drawing journey through their home town inspired by images from her latest book My Little Album of Dublin. Children will be encouraged to create new characters, environments and stories to bring home. Tarsila Krüse is an award-winning children’s books illustrator. She has published seven books to date including My Little Album of Dublin (O’Brien Press) and Ná Gabh ar Scoil! and Percy Péacóg both published by Futa Fata.

Senior classes can choose from a variety of author events including readings by Patricia Forde based on her book The Wordsmith in which the heroine Letta is faced with the daunting task of saving the language as well as the entire culture of her people and where she lives. The Wordsmith is an intriguing and exciting read for older children followed by its newly released sequel Mother Tongue with a launch date of October the 3rd. Both titles are available for borrowing in Clare library branches.

Jane Mitchell’s book A Dangerous Crossing has been described as, ‘An important book, a necessary book, but above all, a brilliantly told story,’ by fellow writer and book reviewer Sarah Webb. In it she tells the story of Ghalib Shenu, a 13-year old Kurdish boy who lives in Syria who has no choice but to leave everything behind and try for a new life elsewhere. Jane will bring the experiences of real Syrian families to life for the children she meets in Clare libraries in a story of astonishing bravery and solidarity in the face of despair.

Recently published author Maeve Devoy will inspire the children who come to her workshops to use their own experiences to tell their stories. Working in teams, children will engage their research skills to create towns, characters and stories to make a book. Maeve’s classes include lots of creative thinking, planning, writing, readings and performances, all enhanced by group work and discussion. Artist, storyteller, and all round funny man Wayne O’Connor is back with his unique take on the books of David Walliams. He will introduce you to the World’s Worst Children in an energetic and fun filled show for 3rd and 4th classes and will explore myths and folktales from around the world in his Stories of Magic and Myth for older children.

Senior classes will have a unique opportunity to see how music and poems enhance the greatest stories in literature during Tony Maude’s performances in Shannon, Sixmilebridge, Miltown Malbay and Ennistymon libraries. Tony is a London based composer, poet and singer. His shows will mesmerize classes and teachers as he introduces us to Shakespeare and Yeats through music, featuring guitar and ukelele, not to mention his wonderful voice. With five studio albums and poetry publications to date, Tony has extensive experience in various educational settings worldwide with adults and young people. As part of his Autumn 2019 tour of libraries and theatres, his Children’s Book Festival appearances in Clare will also be interspersed with poetic riddles, to guarantee an entertaining, stimulating and interactive experience for all.

Four Planet Science workshops will see children explore a range of scientific principles. Library spaces will become Slime Labs where they will discover the science behind polymers and how molecules bond. They will make slime monsters and slime bubbles and other exciting creations learning about chemistry, acid base reactions and test tube science as they work through their experiments.

Clare County Library is especially pleased to welcome Fighting Words as part of the Children’s Book Festival 2019 programme. Founded by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love ten years ago, Fighting Words aims to help children, young people and adults to discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills. Fighting Words is also about using the creative practice of writing and storytelling to empower children and teenagers to become resilient, creative and successful shapers of their own lives. Four branch libraries will invite classes to create and craft their own stories under the expert guidance of the Fighting Words team of tutors.

And that’s not all! Audio Drama Workshops facilitated by Ann Dalton, writer/producer, are tailored to suit different primary school classes, with discussion and activities based around writing, drama, sound effects and voice recording. Ann will demonstrate how writing for radio differs to other formats and will explore the many ways of telling stories including illustration, comic books, movies, poetry and song. There will be opportunities for children to produce and record their own sound effects in this pop-up version of an RTE Junior Radio Studio! Ann’s workshops are based on research into the use of audio within the primary school curriculum which found that children were able to respond to radio drama in a very creative way using a mix of literacy skills such as talk and discussion, active and collaborative learning, the use of ICT and role play.

Clare County Library looks forward to welcoming teachers and children from schools all over the county to its network of branches for Children’s Book Festival 2019. Full details of events and participating libraries are available at www.clarelibrary.ie and at all library branches.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

A Celebration of Summer Stars at Clare County Library

Clare Library Service is currently inviting thousands of children who have participated in Summer Stars, the summer reading programme for children, to six regional celebration events to celebrate their continued reading during school summer holidays and to encourage them to visit their local library in the months and years ahead. The reading adventure began in libraries nationwide on the 15th of June and ended on the last day of August.

Summer Stars is an exciting reading-based programme which is available annually and is free of charge to children across the country. Librarians along with teachers and their families encouraged children to continue reading and to participate in a range of other fun activities during the summer at local library branches.

Once registered for the programme the aim is for each participating child to read as many books as they wish during June, July and August. All participants receive a Summer Stars Reading Card to record and track their own progress and there are promotional rewards and incentives at various stages as children continue to borrow books from the library. At the end of the programme, all participants are invited to attend an award event where they receive a Summer Stars certificate.

Children and parents were invited to join in the final 2019 Summer Stars events in Kilrush Library on the 7th of September, in Ennis library on 10th with a further celebration taking place on the 24th of September from 5 to 7.30pm. Shannon Library’s event takes place on the 14th of September from 10.30am to 1pm while Ennistymon Library will celebrate Summer Stars on the 21st of September from 10am to 1pm. The last Summer Stars 2019 event takes place in Scariff Library on the 28th of September from 11am to 1pm.

There will be a return visit from Azal the Artist who is looking forward to meeting everyone who has participated in Summer Stars 2019. Where did he come from and how did he get to your library? Bringing his artbox to life, he invites the audience to suggest ideas and inspiration for his pictures that open up new possibilities for stories to be told. The show by Sarah Fuller of Dog and String Theatre incorporates life size puppetry, live drawing and storytelling and is suitable for children of all ages.

Other entertainment includes fun illustration workshops with local artist and librarian Aidan Courtney. If you’ve enjoyed any good movies this Summer then you’re in for a treat. In his Drawing Blockbusters sessions Aidan will show you how to draw your favourite movie characters in quick, easy, step-by-step demonstrations based on your suggestions. His classes, as always guarantee fun, flexibility, and no pressure for all ages. If you are a Paddington Bear, Spiderman or Transformers fan, a Disney Princess, or if you love My Little Pony or any other great movie heroes, we look forward to seeing you.

Aidan also invites you to join in his “Drawing on History” workshops if you prefer to create your favourite fearsome characters. Roman Soldiers, Pirate Queens and many other Awesome Adventurers from your preferred period in history are all on offer. You can sit back and enjoy or copy his step-by-step instructions to create Summer Stars drawings to display at the library or to take home. All Summer Stars participants will be contacted in advance by local branch library staff.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Sara Barnard’s Goodbye Perfect wins the YA Book Prize

The Bookseller’s YA Book Prize, now in its fifth year has been won by Brighton-based author Sara Barnard. She saw off stiff competition from previous winner Louise O’Neill, June Dawson and Laura Dockrill among others to claim the £2,000 award in May at the Hay Festival.

Goodbye Perfect is the story of a teenage girl who is forced to decide whether to betray her best friend’s trust or do the right thing and inform the police and parents about where her friend has gone when she runs away with her teacher before the GCSEs.

Speaking to The Bookseller about the inspiration for her book, Barnard said, “though this story features a student running away with a teacher, that’s not what the story is actually about – it’s about how it affects those closest to her and the people left behind” Hailed by the judges as ‘unflinching in its exploration of important and complex topics’ and ‘an utterly riveting read’ it is well worth including as one of this Summer’s must-reads.

The YA Book Prize 2019 shortlist includes:
Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard (winner)
Clean by Juno Dawson
Big Bones by Laura Dockrill
I am Thunder by Muhammad Khan
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock
Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

Monday, 12 August 2019

Clare County Library History Week 14-20 September

Clare County Library will host a ‘Decade of Centenaries History Week’ from 14th to 20th September. The theme of the week will be ‘1919: The War of Independence’.

Events include a History Ireland hedge school, music performance with Mike Hanrahan, theatre performance with Carnation Theatre, talks by children’s historical fiction author Brian Gallagher and history lectures on various topics. Library branches will also show War of Independence-themed films and documentaries and have book displays of War of Independence titles. All events are free and details of individual events can be found on September Library Events .

Our week will commence with a History Ireland Hedge School where historians Tomás Mac Con Mara, Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, Cécile Gordon and Eve Morrison will participate in a round table discussion chaired by History Ireland editor Tommy Graham. They will discuss ‘The War of Independence in Co Clare: reassessing David Fitzpatrick’s Politics and Irish Life 1913-1921: provincial experience of war and revolution.’ Prof David Fitzpatrick died this year – this work was a ground-breaking local study of Co Clare which became the template for similar local studies of the War of Independence. How does this work measure up to the intervening 42 years of scholarship? This will be held in the Temple Gate Hotel at 2pm on Saturday, 14 September. The event is free but capacity will be limited so come early.

Carnation Theatre will present two performances of ‘Greyhound on Train’. This War of Independence performance tells the stories of four women during the struggle to achieve Irish independence - Elizabeth Bloxham, teacher, pamphleteer, rabble rouser, radicaliser, Peg Flanagan – waitress, gun runner, spy and witness to Bloody Sunday, Josephine Stallard – doctor, dispatcher, whirlwind romancer and Bridget Fitzpatrick – a central figure in the ambushes at Knocklong and Soloheadbeg. A telegram from Bridget that read ‘Greyhound on Train’ was instrumental in securing the escape of Seán Hogan in the famous ambush at Knocklong. Interspersed with songs of the period, this is an accessible, participative performance with light-hearted touches – both entertaining and educational. The shows will be held on Tuesday 17 September in DeValera Library at 1pm and Shannon Library at 6pm. All are welcome to attend, no booking required.

Dr Joe Power will give a lecture on the ‘Guerrilla War in Clare’ in DeValera Library in Ennis on Tuesday 17 September at 6.30pm. Joe is a well-respected local historian who next published work will be based on the War of Independence in Clare.

Dr Paul O’Brien will reprise his lecture on Commandant Joseph Barrett (1888-1971) ‘By heavens, Joe, but there are great men in Ireland still’. This will look at the recently-discovered archive found in Moore St in Kilrush which garnered a lot of national publicity this year. Paul will give his lecture in Kilrush Library on Wed 18 September at 6.30pm. He will bring along some samples of the archive to the talk.

Children are also catered for during History Week. Brian Gallagher, author of historical children’s fiction, will give presentations on his most recent works Pawns and Spies. Those titles were commissioned by The O’Brien Press to mark the centenary of the War of Independence and Brian will discuss how he researches and writes his stories. Brian will talk to primary school children in the library branches in Ennistymon, Miltown Malbay, Shannon and DeValera Library in Ennis on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 September.

Mike Hanrahan of Stockton’s Wing returns with Clare: Songs of Independence: The Beginning. This enjoyable performance is based on the events and stories behind the Clare’s songs during the journey to independence. The Beginning focuses on 1919 – the First Dáil, the early days of the War of Independence, mobilisation and the emerging leaders. Research, writing and performance by Mike Hanrahan. A lunchtime show will be held in Kilrush Library on Friday, 20 September at 1.15pm and keep an eye out for future performances in other Clare library branches.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Summer Stars at Clare County Library

Clare Library Service will run the Summer Stars Reading Adventure for children in all library branches during the summer from the 15th of June to the end of August. Summer Stars is an exciting reading-based programme which is available free of charge to children across the country. We would be delighted to welcome all children to join in. We are very happy to work with teachers and families to encourage children to continue reading and also to participate in our range of storytelling and other fun activities during the summer.

Each child is invited to register for the adventure at their local library and enjoy reading many books as part of the adventure during the summer holidays. All participants will be given a Summer Stars Reading Card to record and track their own progress and a library reward stamp will be added to their reading card at the library after each book read. Children will be encouraged to continue reading throughout the programme and there will be rewards and incentives along the way. At the end of the adventure, all children who participate are invited to attend an award event at which they will be presented with their own Summer Stars certificate.

Children and families will also have access to fun reading activities on the Summer Stars website, www.summerstars.ie. The site has lots of online activities as well as a range of animated ebooks. You will find a children’s books discussion board and interviews with well-known people about their favourite books. There are also helpful tips for reading and recommended titles by age group for children to read. The books can then be borrowed from your local library service, and it’s all free.

Events for children will also be held in your library service during the summer. Further information is available from all branch libraries, on www.clarelibrary.ie or on www.librariesireland.ie.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

World Refugee day 2019

World Refugee Day is an international observance to raise awareness of the struggles refugees face around the world. Organised by UNHCR, it is observed in more than 100 countries and involves government officials, humanitarian workers, celebrities, civilians and refugees. The UNCHR encourages people to mark the day by attending local World Refugee Day events, watching and sharing videos and by raising awareness on social media.

The UNHCR is partnering with libraries and bookshops across the country in encouraging people to read a book or watch a movie about refugees. The 2019 Refugee Book reading Campaign will run from 10th to 23rd June with libraries all over Ireland participating. Using UNHCR’s specially selected book lists for children and adults, readers will have a wide selection of stories from around the world to choose from in the form of fact, fiction, autobiography and photography. Popular titles include The Kite Runner, which documents the boyhood friendship of two friends in Afghanistan and Four Feet, Two Sandals, a picture book about two girls in a refugee camp.

World Refugee Day is an opportunity to salute the strength and courage of refugees; the solidarity of those countries, including Ireland, who assist refugees; and the contribution refugees make to countries around the world. To tie in with the campaign, libraries in County Clare will have book displays highlighting books that explore refugee related issues. Check June's Library events page on the library website and our facebook page for events film showings and other events to tie in with the campaign.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Young people are encouraged to unleash their creativity at Clare’s Cruinniú na nÓg on Saturday 15th June

Lots of free creative activities for under 18’s will form part of Cruinniú as part of the Creative Ireland Programme initiative supported by Clare County Council and RTÉ. Now in its second year, Cruinniú na nÓg celebrates and encourages participation by children and young people in creative activities in their local areas. It is led by the Creative Clare Culture Team, with huge support from local artists, arts organisations and creative practitioners. With a strong emphasis on participation, activities are specially designed to spark an interest and encourage the inner creative in children to try something new or fulfil a secret ambition! The Creative Ireland Programme is a five-year all-of-government, culture-based initiative, led by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Participating venues include the library branches of Kilkee, Kilrush, Ennistymon, Scariff and Ennis, glór, Cultúrlann Sweeney in Kilkee, Couthouse Gallery and Studios in Ennistymon, Teach Ceoil in Kilrush, Irish Hand Weaves in Ennistymon, Market Building in Ennis, Scattery Island, Kilmaley Hall and Doonbeg N.S.. Outdoor events will take place at Ennistymon River and at the Flaggy Shore with Newquay N.S.

Library events will take place in five branches – Kilkee, Kilrush, Scariff, Ennistymon and DeValera Public Library in Ennis. Please note that some of the library events take place on Friday, 14 June to include primary schools. Friday’s events include poetry workshops with Lucinda Jacob at Kilkee and Kilrush libraries. Also on Friday, Scariff Library will host a Creative Mindfulness event with Grace Burton. On Saturday, 15 June DeValera Library presents ‘Mother Earth Wish Tree’ with Fiona Cartwright where children can make hand-felted offerings for Mother Earth while Ennistymon Library hosts a performance by the Burren Children’s Choir.

glór will host a programme of events including two shows of Peter and the Wolf, a screening of The Breadwinner, a Piano and Harpsichord workshop and an art exhibition of work created by Shona MacGillivray with the children of St Anne’s School in Ennis. Cultúrlann Sweeney presents a poetry event ‘Writing Home: Children’s Poetry from Corca Baiscinn’ and a Digital Photography Workshop with Ruairí Ó Conchúir for older children.

In the Flaggy Shore, New Quay National School’s Art Appreciation Class, with Ellie Farrell and Cate King, will hold a Rubbish Art Parade followed by an Art Exhibition launch at Linnalla Ice Cream. Doonbeg National School will hold a public display of their artwork created with artist Ruth Wood through the Artists in Schools Scheme (this will be held on Friday 14 June).

Kilrush hosts two events –Storytelling with Ruth Marshall takes place on Scattery Island and includes arts and crafts. Kilrush Comhaltas will host an evening event in Teach Ceoil where children are encouraged to try different instruments and styles of music. Artist Evelyn Sorohan will hold a workshop in Kilmaley Hall on ‘Creating Art out of Plastic’.

Ennistymon will be a hub of activity for the day with four events: Jean Moran of Irish Hand Weaves will host a spinning and storytelling event at Stacks while Ennistymon Library hosts the Burren Children’s Choir. The Courthouse Gallery and Studios will hold a workshop with Vicky Lennie called ‘Bringing Stories to Life: Making and Movement’. This creative workshop will combine simple prop and costume-making with movement skills to produce a short, filmed performance piece. Ennistymon will also hold a River Walk for Children along the Ballymacraven and Inagh Rivers with Ruairí Ó Conchúir where participants can discover the majesty of nature in the fairy glen.

Finally, Ennis will host an evening CD launch in the Market Building by the young musicians of Music Generation and David O’Rourke and Ana Colomer will host an art installation earlier in the day.

Remember all events are free and full details are available at: https://cruinniu.creativeireland.gov.ie/ #MyCruinniu #CruinniuToCreate

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Celebrating the Arts & Creativity as we age at Clare County Library for the 2019 Bealtaine Festival

Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival takes place annually throughout the month of May right across the country and is Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age. The theme for the 2019 Festival is 'Hospitality – Be Our Guest!' so, we invite you to be our guest as we celebrate with a host of events in our branches throughout the county.

We kick off on Friday, 3rd May at 5pm with an evening of entertainment in Cultúrlann Sweeney, Kilkee as singer-songwriter John Spillane presents his popular show Irish Songs We Learned at School. This is a free, but ticketed, event in association with Clare Arts Office. Bookings can be made at the Cultúrlann Sweeney box office or by phoning 065 9060769.

Other events throughout the month will include movie screenings as part of the Bealtaine Film Tour in association with access>CINEMA and the Irish Film Institute. The chosen films for this year’s tour are Finding Your Feet (2018), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Movie Memories (a 2018 project supported by Creative Ireland, Cork County Council and University College Cork). Branches in Ennis, Ennistymon, Killaloe, Kilrush, Scariff, Shannon and Sixmilebridge will host screenings. Details of location, date and time for all screenings are available on the library website and social media.

Kilrush and Kilkee libraries are hosting a 6 week Creative Writing Workshop with Breda Shannon spanning dates in April and May. Kilkee Library will also hold an intergenerational knitting circle for seniors and children from Kilkee Primary School on Tuesday 14th May.

There will also be craft displays in Miltown Malbay Library from Tuesday 7th to Saturday 18th May inclusive and in Sixmilebridge Library during the month, with items created by the library adult knitting group, while Ennistymon Library will host an art display by the Stella Maris Day Centre throughout the month.

In Shannon Library the Non Nobis Domine Choir with conductor Clem Garvey will entertain an audience with a varied programme of folk songs, church music and more on Friday, 17th May at 7pm. Storytime with Granny and Grandad will take place on Tuesday, 28th May at 4pm when grannies and grandads are invited to bring their grandchildren along to the library to hear some stories featuring grandparents and the special relationship they have with their grandchildren. Suitable for children aged 3-6 years and grandparents of all ages!

Corofin Library will host a tea/coffee morning with readings by local people on Wednesday 15th May from 10.30am-12 noon. All welcome.

In 2019, the Bealtaine Book Club author is Éilís Ní Dhuibhne and the chosen Bealtaine Book is her memoir Twelve Thousand Days (2018) published by Blackstaff Press. We will run special events based on the book throughout the month, including a competition in branches and on the Library’s Facebook page for three lucky book clubs to win copies of the book, culminating with a review of the book during the monthly book club slot on Clare FM’s Morning Focus programme with Gavin Grace at the end of the month.

Details of all events will be published on the Library Events section of the Clare County Library website at www.clarelibrary.ie and on their social media platforms. All events are free of charge but booking may be required. Details of Bealtaine events nationwide can be viewed on www.bealtaine.com.

Monday, 29 April 2019

Clare County Library Springs Into Storytime

The national Spring into Story-time Initiative is now in its second year with a celebration of reading and stories taking place in all libraries in Ireland during the month of April. Clare County Library branches are busy hosting a range of story-time events for young children with art and crafts and other reading-based play activities featuring in these fun family gatherings.

Another project focusing on family reading came to a close at deValera Library Ennis on the morning of the 11th of April when a special reception for children of 1st class from Holy Family Junior School, Ennis took place. Partnering with the Clare Family Learning Coordinator, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (lcetb), and teachers from the school, the library service provided books and library activities to support the workshops. This all-inclusive initiative brought parents, children, teachers, storytellers and librarians together to improve oral language and communication skills through sharing books and stories.

Over the past six weeks a collection of tried and trusted picture books was made available by Clare County Library to children and their parents. The stories were specifically chosen with the underlying aim of improving children’s communication, social and language skills. The story sessions were facilitated to the delight of the children, by professional storyteller Ruth Marshall who has extensive experience in storytelling in schools and community groups for many years. At each class there was a special emphasis on how parents can use books to help develop oral language.

The final celebratory event at deValera Library Ennis offered all adults involved an opportunity to evaluate and provide feedback on the project with a view to extending it to other schools in the future.

The collaboration between Clare County Library, Clare Family Learning Project, and the Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Scheme at Holy Family Junior School Ennis is in keeping with the Government’s Right to Read policy, the primary aim of which is to create an integrated and sustained approach to developing literacy in the local community.