Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Books For Children

Christmas is an ideal time for sharing books with children. Here’s a sample of the latest and very best titles (some with a Christmas theme) available for children aged 8 and under from Clare County Library. A very Merry Christmas to all our young readers.

THE SNOWMAN AND THE SNOWDOG by Raymond Briggs
MAISY’S CHRISTMAS DAY by Lucy Cousins
THE SCARECROWS’ WEDDING by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
PRINCESS MIRROR-BELLE AND THE DRAGON POX by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
THE FAIRYTALE HAIRDRESSER AND FATHER CHRISTMAS by Abie Longstaff
YOU MAKE ME SMILE by Layn Marlow
KATIE’S LONDON CHRISTMAS by James Mayhew
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Jane Ray
THE SNOW MERCHANT by Sam Gayton, Illustrated by Chris Riddell
THE POLAR EXPRESS by Chris Van Allsburg
WINTER’S CHILD by AngelaMcallister
A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES by Dylan Thomas
THE WINTER WOLF by Holly Webb
BARRY LOSER AND THE HOLIDAY OF DOOM by Jim Smith
FORTUNATELY, THE MILK… by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell
BUCKLE & SQUASH AND THE MURDEROUS MOAT-DRAGON by Sarah Courtauld
THE SCARECROWS’ WEDDING by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Friday, 12 December 2014

A Little Bit Of Summer - Irish (and French) Traditional Music at the Willie Clancy Summer School

A selection of musical sessions from the Willy Clancy Summer School 2013 - a little bit of summer in this chilly winter. Posted on Youtube on the 10th of December 2014 by kemicass.

Clare author Kim Hood shortlisted for YA Book Award 2015

A debut novel by Kim Hood from Kilshanny, County Clare, has been shortlisted for the YA (Young Adult) Book Award 2015. Growing up in British Columbia, Canada, and later studying psychology, history and education, she wandered through a few countries before making the west coast of Ireland her home. Her debut novel for teenagers, Finding A Voice, has universal appeal covering themes of adventure, bullying, school life, friendships, personal change, relationships and prejudice.

The Bookseller, the publishing industry’s weekly magazine, launched the first ever prize for Young Adult books in the UK and Ireland in September 2014. Any Young Adult title written by an author living in the UK or Ireland, and published between 1st January 2014 and 31st December 2014, is eligible for the 2015 prize. It will be judged by a group of teenage readers alongside leading industry experts, including World Book Day director Kirsten Grant. RTE’s radio presenter Rick O’Shea is also one of the judging panel of ten people from the world of writing, journalism and booksellers. The winning author will receive £2,000. The shortlist has just been announced and reflects the wide breadth of YA literature that is available - from dystopia and fantasy to comedy, drama, horror and real-life stories. The winning title will be announced at a ceremony at Foyles Charing Cross Road Bookstore, Central London, on 19th March 2015.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas Stockings in Scariff Library

On Wednesday the 10th of December, Scariff Public Library welcomed children between the ages of 4 and 7 to a Christmas Arts and Crafts Session where the children got to make festive stockings to place on their Christmas Trees at home. Using cardboard, crepe paper, cotton wool and some sparkly stickers and ribbon, all in seasonal colours, the children set to work eager to create their very own masterpiece. Much fun was had by all and the children returned to their homes with glittering Christmas mementos to place on their trees!

Scariff Youth Arts Exhibition 2014, Animations and 'Black '47'

This video features Animation Workshops in Scariff Public Library on Tackling Bullying and Reflecting On Prejudice, and Bodyke National School's 'Black 47' film, which was a finalist in the FÍS Film Festival. Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of December 2014 by Emma Sams.

Getting ready for Christmas in Ennistymon Library

Staff and eager helpers paint windows in Ennistymon Public Library in preparation for the holiday season.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Children's Book Festival 2014 at Clare County Library

Children’s Book Festival 2014 ended on the 23rd of October with the last event of the month presented by David Lyons of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in deValera Public Library, Ennis. David was just one of the many visitors to our branches over the four-week festival that saw thousands of children join in this year’s celebrations.

Children’s authors who visited included Nicola Pierce, Debbie Thomas, Alan Early and Paula Leyden. All were well received, the children and teachers attending their talks appreciative of the added dimension that each author brought to the exploration of their books in the classroom.

Paula Leyden, whose book The Butterfly Heart endorsed by Amnesty International in 2011 won the Eilis Dillon Award in 2012, talked to classes about her homeland of Africa. She had a particularly engaging group from St. Tola’s National School in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon, where children in her audience came from a variety of countries and could speak a variety of languages including Bangladeshi, Arabic, Spanish, Polish and Afrikaans.

Nicola Pierce brought the story of the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War in pictures and words to eager learners inspiring them to read or re-read her latest book, City of Fate.

Sadie Cramer hosted four amazing workshops on story creation keeping each and every one of her listeners busy from the start to the end of her sessions doing lots of different activities. Drawing, creating and listening to stories and exploring the amazing world that lies between the pages of every book occupied and delighted her audiences from beginning to end.

Wayne O’Connor was the success story of 2013’s Children’s Book Festival and so just had to be part of this year’s line-up also. All six of his story and drawing workshops had children jumping out of their seats with suggestions for his hilarious illustrations or for the zaniest reconstructions of the well-loved Roald Dahl stories that he told, with a difference!

Storytelling events came courtesy of Simone Schuemmelfeder and Michael Phelan of Storygate, and Pat Ryan.

Terence Finnegan of Learn Differently brought hands-on science experiments into libraries. He demonstrated force, gravity, energy, flight etc. using everyday objects to the fascination of his young audiences many of whom got a chance to assist. Hovercrafts, rocket and explosions were all part of the show which was simply but very effectively presented.

Senior classes from four schools explored poetry creation under the stewardship of award-winning poet Stephen Murray. The hour-long sessions produced some memorable creations that were performed and shared with everyone present at the end of each workshop.

The signature event for this year’s festival was Niall de Burca’s one-man World War 1 show at Glór Theatre in Ennis on the 9th of October. In his hour-long presentation called “Where the Poppies Grow” he held over five hundred adults and children mesmerized from beginning to end.

Close on sixty events took place celebrating books and reading for children in Clare during the month of October. Library staff members look forward to welcoming the audiences that attended these events back to our branches in the months and hopefully, years ahead.

The Library gratefully acknowledges assistance with funding Children’s Book Festival from local organizations and businesses from within the community. A list of this year’s contributors is on the library website.

Burren Geopark LIFE conservation project at Black Head

"Burren Eco Tourism, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Burrenbeo Conservation Volunteers combine to do a conservation project high on the Burren above Black Head." Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of December 2014 by Fergus Tighe.

Most Borrowed Authors and Titles in Irish Public Libraries

The popularity of libraries among children and their families continues to escalate, as highlighted by figures for 2013 released by Libraries Development, Local Government Management Agency. In the top 100 ‘most borrowed from the library’, children’s authors dominated this list in Ireland’s 336 public libraries in 2013. Nine children’s authors made it into the top ten, with Roderick Hunt, creator of over 400 titles in the Oxford Reading Tree series, the most popular author for the fifth successive year with almost 160,000 library loans.

Classic stories remain among children’s favourites with renowned authors such as Enid Blyton, Roger Hargreaves and Roald Dahl in the top ten list of children’s authors, alongside Daisy Meadows, Francesca Simon, and Jacqueline Wilson. Another world classic, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, continues to engage young readers sixty-seven years after the first publication of the diary, through poignant account of life during the Holocaust.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by American author Jeff Kinney is overwhelmingly popular and takes the top six places on the most borrowed titles list. This series of books which highlights the adventures of school boy Greg Heffley, has become even more popular following the series of films based on the books. A new entry to the top ten of children’s author’s in 2013 was Michael Morpurgo, a multi-prize winning author and former Children’s Laureate who has published over 100 books.

The figures for adult loans show that crime thrillers remain in high demand among library users. For the fourth successive year, prolific US writer James Patterson is the most popular adult fiction author with over 68,000 library loans. In total, six authors writing in the crime and thriller genres appear in the list of top 10 most borrowed adult fiction authors. Another American favourite, Nora Roberts, who also writes as J.D. Robb, is the second most-borrowed general fiction author with over 61,000 loans. The much acclaimed Norwegian crime writer, Jo Nesbø, also featured in the top ten. Nesbø’s popularity among Irish readers was also reflected during his visit to the Mountains To Sea Book Festival in Dun Laoghaire last year when many fans turned out to chat with the writer about his main protagonist, Inspector Harry Hole.

Irish writers and illustrators, both children’s and adult, are also attracting a steady following, with 14 featuring in the top 100. Irish children’s author Judi Curtin, creator of the Alice and Megan and Evaseries, was the most borrowed Irish author for the second year running. Irish fiction remains dominant in the lists for Irish writers; with 22 Irish fiction titles making it into the top 100.

The influence of the Dublin City Library’s initiative, Dublin: One City, One Book, is reflected in James Plunkett’s Strumpet City making first place as the most borrowed adult fiction title by an Irish author. The second most borrowed adult fiction title by an Irish writer was A Week in Winter, the last novel written by the much loved author, Maeve Binchy. The winner of the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2013 also attracted the attention of many readers, with Kevin Barry’s winning debut novel, City of Bohane, the fourth most borrowed adult fiction title last year.

The most borrowed non-fiction book was based on a more pragmatic choice by Irish readers; the Official Driver Theory Test was the most popular in this category.

There are over 17.04 million visits to Irish public libraries each year, resulting in over 19 million loans of books and non-book materials. Under the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) scheme, payment is made to authors, illustrators, etc. whose books are borrowed from the country’s 336 public libraries. The loan lists are compiled by Libraries Development, Local Government Management Agency, from information supplied to the Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) Scheme by all public libraries in Ireland. 16,334 authors resident in 43 countries were registered for Irish PLR in 2013. €240,000 was paid out to 5,483 authors in respect of their total library loans. 17 authors received the maximum payment of €1,000, and the rate-per-loan was 5.06 cent. PLR is funded by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Snowmen, Rudolphs and Santas at Ennistymon & Lisdoonvarna Libraries

This months Arts and Crafts sessions in Ennistymon and Lisdoonvarna Public Libraries featured Santas, Rudolphs and Snowmen. Children created their own Christmas figures using toilet roll holders, newspaper, scrap fabric, coloured paper and cotton wool.