Tuesday 20 April 2021

Clare County Library gives out seeds with the ‘Grow it Forward’ campaign

Anne Haugh, Director of Social Development, Clare County Council, and Cllr Mary Howard, Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, present GIY pack of seeds to Anne Callinan from The Armada Hotel, Spanish Point. The Armada Hotel has bestowed a number of garden allotments to hotel staff.

Libraries Ireland is partnering with Grow it Yourself (GIY) to roll out the ‘Grow It Forward’ campaign under the Government’s Keep Well programme. GIY is a not-for-profit social enterprise, based in Waterford. It helps people to grow some of their own food at home, at work, at school and in the community.

The Grow it Forward campaign launched on Tuesday, 23rd March. Seeds have been dispersed from GIY (www.giy.ie) and from libraries nationwide over the past number of weeks.

Clare County Library has distributed packs of seeds to schools, nursing homes, community gardens and allotments via the library home delivery service. They have also been given to individual gardeners. Each pack contains five packets of seeds, a growing guide, and details on Clare library services and how to join the library.

Clare County Library are now asking recipients to document their growing journeys by sending photos and feedback to Clare County Library social media. They are also asking participants to Grow It Forward by sharing their produce as little seedlings, plants in pots or the produce at harvest time with other people, so that many people can benefit from the impact of growing their own food.

For further information or to avail of the final number of packs contact kilkee@clarelibrary.ie

Monday 1 February 2021

2020 Costa Awards category winners announced

Launched in 1971, the Costa Book Awards celebrate the best books of the year by writers resident in the UK and Ireland. The awards are in five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book – with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the year.

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud, a heart-breaking but life-affirming story of family secrets, won the Costa First Novel Award. The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey, a love story set on an imaginary Caribbean island, won the Costa Novel Award. The Louder I sing by Lee Lawrence about his 30-year battle for justice for his mother killed in a police raid won the Costa Biography Award.

The Historians by Eavan Boland - her final collection – won the Costa Poetry Award. The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant, about two children and their teacher on an epic sea voyage, won the Costa Children’s Book Award. One of these five titles will be chosen as the 2020 Costa Book of the Year. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 26th January 2021.

Monday 21 December 2020

An Post Irish Book of the Year 2020 winner – the Clare connection

The AN POST Irish Book of the Year for 2020 has been awarded to Doireann Ní Ghríofa for her book A Ghost in the Throat. The book was also named as the Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2020 and the Hodges Figgis Irish Book of the Year.

The book, a combination of essay and autobiographical fiction, is the acclaimed bilingual poet’s prose debut. It has received widespread praise for its use of language and original approach as it weaves two stories together: the narrator’s own relationship with pregnancy and motherhood and the life of 18th-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill.

Doireann was born in Galway, grew up in Clare and now lives in Cork. A former Gaelcholáiste an Chláir student, she still has family in Kilnamona and Doolin and says that much of her writing is inspired by and based in Clare. She beat off competition from winners in 13 other categories for the top prize, which was chosen from an online public vote.

The category award winners are:
Old Ireland in Colour by John Breslin and Sarah-Anne Buckley
Break the Mould by Sinéad Burke
Cnámh by Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde
Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals in Minutes by Neven Maguire
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty
The Great Irish Farm Book by Darragh McCullough
Home Stretch by Graham Norton
After the Silence by Louise O’Neill
Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the Science by Luke O’Neill
Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan
A Light That Never Goes Out by Keelin Shanley
Savage Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan
Champagne Football by Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Clare County Library announces December activities

Clare County Library has announced an enhanced range of activities during December to facilitate access to Library services and to celebrate the festive season.

Best Books of 2020
Looking for gift ideas? Or something to read yourself over the Christmas holidays? Library staff have been busy doing the work for you. Staff have read, reviewed and recommended books published in 2020, including Irish-published and international fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. You can now order your library books online and there is also a range of e-books and e-audiobooks to choose from. Check out ‘Best Books of 2020’ on the Clare County Library website. Every Christmas Eve, Icelandic people practise a tradition called ‘Jolabokaflod’, which translates as ‘Christmas book flood’. Jolabokaflod involves the giving of books as presents, so that friends and family can curl up with a good story on cosy nights in. We have exported and imported many Christmas traditions over the years, and this is one that librarians would recommend: the Icelandic Jolabokaflod.

Family time at your library with over 10 online events
Clare County Library is offering a range of family events in December to promote the importance of reading at home. This programme of events is provided by children’s writers, local artists and library staff. Activities include storytime with author Mary Murphy, art workshops for schools with Natasha Mac a Bháird and Audrey Dowling, and crafts with library staff. A popular offering is library staff’s ‘Favourite Childhood Books’, where library staff pick their favourite childhood reads. There is something here for everyone from the very, very young to the young at heart.

New Library software available
Clare County Library is delighted to announce the roll-out of two pieces of software for library patrons.
The Library has developed an app to enhance your visit to the library. You will soon be able to check in and check out your own books in our Wi-Fi-enabled libraries (De Valera Library, Ennis, Shannon, Kilrush, Scariff, Sixmilebridge, Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay). You will also be able to check your own account, update your loans, search the catalogue, reserve books and e-resources. The Clare County Library app is free and available on the App Store and the Google Store. Why not download the new Clare County Library app before your next visit to the library?
Clare County Library has received Dormant Account Funding grant aid to provide literacy software to Clare schools. Library staff have contacted over 100 primary schools in the county in the past number of weeks to offer Touch-type, Read and Spell (TTRS) licences to students. So far, Clare schools have requested 365 licences for their students. Library staff have also contacted adult education providers and a number of licences will be issued for adults engaged in learning this month. Library staff are also providing training for teachers and administrators on how to use the software.

Online book clubs
Clare County Library has supported a number of book clubs in many of the libraries. The Library has also provided book club sets to book clubs. Over the past number of months, a number of branches have been offering online book clubs. Again, it gives the opportunity for people to ‘meet’ and link up with other book lovers.
One exciting upcoming book club event is with Scariff Library. The group there will be reading Charlotte by Helen Moffett in a new online book club on Tuesday, 15th December, at 11:00am. Helen Moffett, the author, will also be making an appearance on the day. Check out https://www.helenmoffett.com/about for further information on the author. It is a real treat of a book, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. It is also available on Borrowbox as an e-book or e-audiobook. Scariff Library, similar to our other branches, is now open for those preferring a library visit in order to browse and select for yourself, if you prefer.
For further information or to book the event, contact Scariff Library on 061-922893 or email scariff_library@clarecoco.ie

For more information on all Clare County Library services, visit www.clarelibrary.ie

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Irish Book Awards 2020

The winners of the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards will be announced in a virtual ceremony on November 25th at 7.30pm hosted by Evelyn O’Rourke on rte.ie/culture. The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible.

Winners will be chosen across 16 different categories. The shortlist features a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers; 2020 nominees include Keelin Shanley, Graham Norton, Marian Keyes, Steve Cavanagh, Roz Purcell, Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Rob Kearney, Mary McAleese, Bernard Brogan, Catherine Ryan Howard, Seán O’Brien, Liz Nugent, Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan, Louise O’Neill, Ray D’Arcy, Maggie O’Farrell, Naoise Dolan, Neven Maguire, Emily Hourican, Roddy Doyle, Niamh Campbell, Luke O’Neill, Dara Ó Briain and many more.

The Awards Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 25th November and a TV special will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Thursday, 10th December. This TV show will focus on the top overall category winners, and culminate in one of these titles being announced as the An Post Irish Book of the Year for 2020. See https://www.irishbookawards.irish/2020/10/20/shortlist-unveiled-for-the-an-post-irish-national-book-awards-2020/ for the shortlist.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Decade of Centenaries History Week 2020

Clare County Library will host a Decade of Centenaries History Week from the 19th to the 23rd of October based on the War of Independence in Clare. All events will be online due to Covid restrictions. The programme includes lectures from historians such as Dr Joe Power and Joe Ó Muircheartaigh, a talk by Pat Shannon on Peadar Clancy and Rita McCarthy has contributed a podcast about social life in Clare in 1920. Mike Hanrahan continues his Clare: Songs of Independence project with three online performances of songs connected to the period. John Rattigan, Curator of Clare Museum, will describe some of War of Independence artefacts held in Clare Museum.

An online exhibition on The Banner in Turmoil: County Clare and the War of Independence will be launched, a physical version of this exhibition will tour library branches when Covid restrictions allow. Participants are invited to partake in an online guided Zoom tour of a National Library photographic exhibition From Turmoil to Truce: Photographs of the War of Independence. A reading from Dermott Petty’s new Clare play Two Days in September based on the events around Rineen will also be available.

All online content is available through www.clarelibrary.ie, our social media and YouTube channels. The initiative is supported by the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023 of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Shortlist announced for the 2020 International DUBLIN Literary Award

Milkman by Irish author Anna Burns is among the 10 novels shortlisted for the 2020 International DUBLIN Literary Award.

The award of €100,000 is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The 10 novels on the shortlist were chosen from 156 books nominated by libraries around the world. The winner will be announced on Thursday 22nd October during the International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin) reimagined 2020 festival.

The shortlisted titles are:
1. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker (British)
2. Milkman by Anna Burns (Irish)
3. Disoriental by Négar Djavadi (Iranian-French). Translated from the French by Tina Kover.
4. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Canadian)
5. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (American)
6. History of Violence by Édouard Louis (French). Translated from the French by Lorin Stein.
7. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez (American)
8. There There by Tommy Orange (Native American)
9. All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy (Indian)
10. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (Polish). Translated by from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

Belfast-born author Burns won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for this novel of a teenage girl growing up in a politically divided and unnamed city, which we can assume is the author’s hometown. In a city where to be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous, she attracts the attention of a senior paramilitary figure, the milkman. Burns explores the experience of a young woman trying to negotiate her way in a society beset by political and patriarchal oppression.

Thursday 27 August 2020

Kildysart Library Covid-19 update: contact and collect service to commence in September

Clare County Library Service has overseen the planned re-opening of most library service points since June and had planned to re-open the part-time library in Kildysart in September. However, as part of the Government’s Covid-19 response plan for the safe re-opening of schools and The Roadmap for the Full Return to School, Clare County Library Service was approached by St John Bosco Community School with a request to cede the library space in Kildysart to the school as a classroom for the coming year. A number of options were looked at in an effort to support a library service from the classroom, but due to the highly infectious nature of Covid-19 transmission, it is not possible to use the space in a dual-function capacity.

Clare County Library Service will instead provide a contact and collect service from outside Kildysart Library, commencing at 2:00pm on Friday, 11th September, 2020. Members of the public can contact Kilkee Library on 065-9056034 or email kilkee@clarelibrary.ie to order library items and will then be able to collect them from the library van, which will be situated outside Kildysart Library between 2:00pm and 4:00pm each Friday. Members of the public also have the option of the cocooning book delivery service for those who are unable to leave home, which similarly can be booked through Kilkee Library. This service is available for all library members, including teens and children. Members of the public can also return library items to the library van.

Other library services continue to be available such as online e-resources including books, newspapers, magazines, language and other training courses, as well as children’s resources including story time and craft sessions online.

Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, said: “It is unfortunate that we are unable to re-open Kildysart Library in September. This is another example of how new requirements due to Covid-19 are impacting on our ability to deliver services. We have had to react in innovative ways and we will provide a contact and collect service to the community in the interim while also exploring other options of library provision in Kildysart in the longer term. We appreciate how valued the library service is to the community.”

Non-members can join the library online at www.clarelibrary.ie.

Monday 22 June 2020

Some recent books & films about racism


The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colourblindness by Michelle Alexander
Why I'm no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
When they call you a terrorist : a Black Lives Matter memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele
Stamped from the beginning : the definitive history of racist ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
Don't touch my hair by Emma Dabiri
How to argue with a racist : history, science, race and reality by Adam Rutherford
It's Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race
by Mariam Khan


Girl, woman, other by Bernardine Evaristo
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Such a fun age by Kiley Reid


This book is anti-racist : 20 lessons on how to wake up, take action, and do the work by Tiffany Jewell
The hate u give by Angie Thomas
Monday's not coming by Tiffany D. Jackson


The undefeated by Kwame Alexander (Picture book)
Colour of people by Mauricio Negro (Picture book)
Islandborn by Junot Díaz (Picture book)
Ghost boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (9-12 year olds)
How high the moon by Karyn Parson (9 – 12 year olds)
Why are people different colours? : big issues for little people around identity and diversity by Emma Waddington


If Beale Street could talk
Green Book
Get Out

Thursday 11 June 2020

Summer Stars is coming!

Enjoy choosing books that you might like and read as many as you wish during school summer holidays at your own pace. Summer Stars is all about Reading for Pleasure. That’s the message from Clare County Library as it announces the annual Summer Reading Programme. Summer Stars gets under way for children on June 15th, with additional online activities for all who sign up.

As we are currently operating a Contact and Collect Service through many of our public library branches, Summer Stars will be managed in the same way. Ask your parent/guardian to phone or email your local library to order your summer reads and you can pick up your collection of 6 books at a designated time at the library door. You will receive a Summer Stars log card to track your reading. We will need to know your age so that we can choose the most suitable books for you. If you would like library staff to include an Irish book or a non-fiction book in your selection we will be happy to include some of our most popular titles.

We are delighted to offer you the option to include e-books and e-audio books downloadable for free from the library website to add to your Summer Stars reading experience. Simply choose Borrowbox from the library’s list of e-Resources on the library website homepage and log in with your library ID/barcode and password/PIN. With the help of your parent/guardian you can download the app. From the 15th of June, there will be a Summer Stars section on Borrowbox which will have a range of children’s e-books and e-audio books with individual collections for children aged 0-4, 5-8, 9-12 and 13+.

Remember to keep a lookout for the latest posts on Clare Library’s social media channels as there will be fun learning activities in the coming weeks for you to join as part of Summer Stars 2020. There will be words of encouragement from some of your favourite authors, readings by Clare library staff and a Story Competition – An Unexpected Adventure that will be open to children all over Ireland. Entry details are not available yet but feel free to begin imagining your story right now! There will be great prizes for all the winners and runners up.

So in summary remember to:

  • Borrow your books from branches of Clare County Library and electronically from the Borrowbox App after June 15th.
  • Enjoy reading every single book
  • Log onto our website www.clarelibrary.ie for Summer Stars updates
  • Full details of the Summer Stars programme are also available at www.summerstars.ie
  • Remember to visit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels for regular Summer Stars postings throughout the summer.
  • List the books you have read on your Summer Stars reading log and remember to return it to your library to receive your Summer Stars Certificate in September.
The Summer Stars Reading Adventure is an element of the Right to Read initiative, which is co-ordinated at national level by the Right to Read Steering Group, chaired by the Department of Rural and Community Development. Right to Read is an annual programme to support literacy and reading development across local authorities and is led locally by the public library service. Key elements of the Right to Read service currently include a network of local partners supporting and co-operating in literacy and reading development activities and a series of annual reading activities including Spring into Storytime, Summer Stars, Children’s Book Festival and Family Time at Your Library.