Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Library Services available during closure for COVID-19 emergency

In the interest of preventing the further spread of COVID-19, all public libraries in County Clare will remain closed until the 16th April 2020. This includes the Local Studies Centre and Library Headquarters. We thank you all for your understanding. The following services are available to members while we are closed.

Overdue books Don’t worry about overdue library books/CDs etc! We have extended the due date for all items until May 4th and will extend further if necessary. There are no fines on overdue library books anyway.

Outdated memberships All memberships that have expired since January or due to expire by April 30th have been renewed until 30th June so this shouldn’t affect people trying to use the online resources. If your membership expired before January 1st 2020 contact your local library to renew.

New members If you are not a library member, you can join up to use the e-resources even though the library is closed. Click on the JOIN NOW button on the library homepage.

E-resources Our e-resources including e-books, audio books, magazines, online language learning and other courses are still available. You need to join up separately for these services using your library card number. Follow the instructions for each service linked to from the library homepage (See about this service under each resource). All e-resources are free of charge and include:

BorrowBox allows you to borrow either e-audio or e-books any time of day from anywhere. It is available online or as an app you can download to your smartphone or mobile device. All you need is an email address, your library barcode and a PIN number.

RBdigital Magazines offers a large collection of popular e-magazines. You can check out an unlimited number of magazines and keep them in your account for as long as you wish. You can use RBdigital Magazines on your computer or on a tablet/smartphone through the RBdigital mobile app.

Transparent Languages helps you learn more than 100 foreign languages online.

PressReader is an online newsstand with thousands of the world's most popular newspapers and magazines, including Irish titles.

Universal Class offers access to over 400 free online e-learning courses from accounting to writing skills.

If you have trouble accessing online resources such as BorrowBox, check the support details for that service on our website If that doesn't help contact your local library (staff are still there) or send an email to

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Clare County Library's Teen Week/Ennis Book Club Festival gets off to a start.

The library’s Teen Week/Ennis Book Club Festival events got off to an inspirational start at deValera Library, Ennis on the 3rd of March.

Everest summiteer John Burke captivated an attentive audience from St. John Bosco Community College, Kildysart with an account of his amazing journey.

He spoke about how the skills, self-awareness, resilience and confidence to be gained in setting and achieving goals is central to developing a healthy mindset.

John left the group of Transition Year students with amazing stories and images from the highest mountain on Earth and more importantly a message to take one step at a time to reach your personal Everest.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Connections: Stories by Syrian Families in County Clare

Ennistymon Library welcomed Syrian families who have become part of the local community to a special celebration on the 25th of February to mark the publication of their own stories. Connections: Stories by Syrian Families in County Clare is the result of a seven week project shared by children of Ennistymon National School and their parents and siblings which demonstrates the power of storytelling and writing in linking two very diverse cultures.

The initiative had its beginning at a Children’s Book Festival event at Ennistymon Library in October 2018 when the library’s guest author Debbie Thomas brought the joy of exploring iBbY Ireland’s Silent Books Collection to the Syrian children of Scoil Mhainchín National School Ennistymon. The passion for telling stories shown by the children on that occasion was appreciated and recognized as a learning and literacy opportunity that was worthy of further development.

Debbie Thomas, author and project facilitator speaking at the launch of Connections at Ennistymon Library

Under the expert guidance of author Debbie Thomas and illustrator Tatyana Feeney both of whom have successfully published and illustrated children’s books with Irish publishers and with assistance from Poetry Ireland, iBbY Ireland and Creative Ireland a seven week project was initiated and managed by Clare County Library.

To quote workshop facilitator and author Debbie Thomas, the workshop experience “was like dropping in on a lively and loving family. The friendship and laughter among the eleven children, mothers and sisters reflected the strong community born three years ago on their arrival in Ennistymon as part of the United Nations Resettlement Scheme.”

Connections is a compilation of written and illustrated stories in which the authors, children and adults, recall real places and experiences and imagine a bright future in Ireland and in particular in County Clare.

Jane O’Hanlon, Education Officer with Poetry Ireland and President of iBbY Ireland speaking at the launch of Connections at Ennistymon Library

The participants’ stories are enhanced by their own pictures co-ordinated by Tatyana Feeney. Like Debbie, Tatyana brought lots of fun to the project matching artwork to story, all the while engaging in a most convivial way with everyone in the group. The objectives of this latest library initiative in the Right to Read programme was to give space for each parent and child to connect and have fun together as a group as well as improving the participants’ oral literacy and writing in English.

Helen Sheridan, School Principal, Ennistymon National School speaking at the launch of Connections at Ennistymon Library

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Take A Closer Look - National Library Open Day, Saturday 29th February 2020.

On Saturday, February 29th, libraries around the country are taking part in the first ever National Library Open Day.

Our libraries are open most days of course, but on Saturday 29th we are issuing a special invitation to everyone in the country to come in and see everything that’s on offer. Libraries are open community spaces with lots going on for every one of all ages and interests. Library staff will be on hand to show how library membership allows you to borrow from 12 million items; choose from

  • box set option
  • get eBooks
  • audiobooks
  • eMagazines
  • eNewspapers
free and straight to your device, or try free online learning and language classes.

Come along to your local library on National Library Open Day to get a taste of the clubs, classes, exhibitions, activities and more on offer at your library. These are all free events and everyone is welcome. Spread the word!!

Clare County Library's Programme of Events for National Library Day:

DeValera Public Library, Ennis
- Consult the Book Doctor to discover other books you might like!
- Pop-up story time sessions - join in on one of our many pop-up story -times
- E- resources sessions - staff are on hand all day to answer your questions and demonstrate how they operate.

Ennistymon Public Library
- "Leap into the Library" on National Library Open Day. Come along during the day and learn about the full range of services available in your local library.
- E- resources information session from 12pm to 1pm

Sixmilebridge Public Library
- Local History talk with Michael McNamara 11am to 12pm
- Music session 12.00pm to 1.00pm
- Colouring & children's activity sheets available all day

Kilkee Public Library
- Children's Storytime at 10.30am.
- Children's film - Ferdinand - from 11.00am
- Local History Exhibition & meet with Local History Society members - all day

Killaloe Public Library
- Springtime Storytime & Crafts 11 am
- E-resources information session from 10am to 11am

Kilrush Public Library
- Story-time & craft session 11am to 12pm
- Local History Talk on Kilrush 12am to 1pm
- Discover library clubs with its members - members from 2 library book clubs & film clubs will be available throughout the day to discuss their respective groups.

Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Library, Miltown Malbay
- E- resources information session from 10am to 11am
- Story-time with Roisin Meaney from 11.30am.

Scariff Public Library
- Talk on Nutrition with Hilary Gleeson - a Healthy Ireland event 11.00am to 12.00pm
- Waterworks art exhibition by Alison Quaid

Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon
E-resources sessions - staff are on hand all day to demonstrate the e-resources available to library members and to answer any questions any questions you may have about them.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Clare County Library celebrates Science Week 2019

Science Week 2019 is taking place nationwide from November 10th to 17th with numerous events happening across the country. Kilrush and Kilkee libraries will host 4 Science Shows for primary and post-primary schools in West Clare on Friday the 15th of November.
Scientist and workshop facilitator Paul Quinn will be on hand to deliver an interactive hand eye co-ordination and reaction workshop at both libraries. The workshop will engage participants in assessing their reaction and co-ordination performance through a lights stimuli challenge. Participants will look at the factors that influence a person's ability to react such as hereditary factors, vision, movement and age.
Using two of the world famous 'Batak Lights Reaction Board', students will explore how the human body reacts to light stimuli throughout a 30 and 60 second concentration challenge. The use of two Batak board units at the event provides multiple opportunities for each participant to break the world record for this activity currently held by Formula 1 racing driver Jenson Button.>p> Workshops will take place in Kilkee Public Library at 9.30am for Secondary School pupils and at 11am for a Primary School audience. Two afternoon workshops will be hosted by Kilrush Library at 12.55 and 1.55pm for local primary schools.
Science Week 2019 will also focus on climate action, seeking to help people understand climate change, how science and technology can help us create a positive climate future and the impact we as individuals can have on climate change. While one person may feel unable to make a difference on their own, a collective effort to offset our carbon emissions will have a positive impact.
Clare County Library is pleased to be associated with Science Foundation Ireland in promoting the potential that science and discovery offers in today’s world and in the future.

Monday, 21 October 2019

2019 Booker Prize

In a surprise move, Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize. The £50,000 award will be split between Atwood’s The Testaments, and Evaristo’s novel Girl, Woman, Other.

Evaristo becomes the first black woman to win the Booker since it was launched in 1969. Her book, told in the voices of 12 different characters, mostly black British women, is written in a blend of poetry and prose, a hybrid that Evaristo calls “fusion fiction”.

Atwood’s The Testaments is the sequel to her 1985 dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale. She previously won the Booker Prize in 2000 for The Blind Assassin.

Anna Burns’s Milkman, an experimental novel about a woman during Northern Ireland’s civil conflict, has sold over 500,000 copies since winning the prize last year.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Ennistymon One Book One Community

Clare County Library and Ennistymon Vocational School have joined forces to promote reading for pleasure among students. The school is running a project One Book One Community from 18th October to 22nd November whereby they are hoping that as many people as possible can read the book Wonder by R.L. Palacio.

One Book One Community initiatives have been sweeping across Ireland over the last couple of years. They are a celebrations of great books, of reading and of community spirit as libraries, schools, families and communities all work together to inspire children to read books. It is a great opportunity for everyone to work together and this October it comes to Ennistymon, County Clare.

R J Palacio’s Wonder was chosen as the book to be read. Wonder tells the incredibly inspiring and heart-warming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade.

Wonder was published in 2012 and has since being made into a film. It has had widespread critical acclaim. The New York Times wrote that Wonder is "Full of heart, full of truth, Wonder is a book about seeing the beauty that's all around us. I dare you not to fall in love with Auggie Pullman."

There will be a programme of events to complement the book. Events will take place in both Ennistymon Vocational School and in Ennistymon Library. There will also be copies of the book available to borrow from Ennistymon library.

The launch of Ennistymon One Book One Community is on Friday 18th October at 11.30am in Ennistymon Library. The event is free and all are welcome. This event is part funded by Creative Ireland.

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 or 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 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.