Debut author Siobhán Mungovan shared stories of the twists and turns of her teenage life with Spina Bifida with close on fifty students in both venues as recounted in her book, Me and My Backbone. Co-written with Carol Byrne, a journalist with the Clare Champion newspaper, the book is a coming-of-age memoir of Siobhán’s life to date. Teenagers in both libraries were inspired by Siobhan’s zest for life and her constant determination that nothing will hold her back. They were particularly interested in hearing about her experiences during the life stage they themselves are at and how she coped with life as a teenager both physically and emotionally. The many questions at each presentation were testament to their interest in Siobhán’s talk from start to finish.
Kilshanny-based author Kim Hood’s Finding A Voice was shortlisted for the inaugural Young Adult Book Prize. A story with characters close to the student’s hearts, challenges that could be faced by any members of her audience and an exciting storyline had both genders hooked from the start at both presentations at Ennis and Kilrush libraries. Kim’s sessions touched on various themes including not fitting in, mental health, disability and diverse families.
A Video Production Workshop was included by popular demand in the week-long programme, for the second year running. Neil Hynes is a film maker and video artist based in the West of Ireland and has had his work exhibited all over Ireland. He has won an award for his portrayal on film of the Famine, in his native West Clare. His two one-hour classes at the library in Ennis covered everything from technical jargon to focusing on the everyday practicalities of DVD production, providing students with hands-on experience of quality broadcast equipment and an all-round understanding and appreciation for video production.
For the past 25 years John Bowker’s Tribal Spirit Drumming has captured the hearts of thousands of people across Ireland, the UK and beyond, engaging and delighting audiences wherever he performs. In Ennis and Kilrush libraries, teenagers were treated to an unforgettable beginner’s drumming workshop featuring rhythm and bass. Students in both venues were so engrossed that they were reluctant to leave the library and made suggestions to expand the week to a month-long festival!
The final event at Kilrush Library was an art and craft workshop facilitated by Astrid Adler. Astrid works mainly as a visual artist, musician and mime artist and has worked with all ages and abilities in her community in numerous projects. Astrid introduced the students at Kilrush Library to the Surrealist’s technique of rubbing where they created individual images using oil pastels.
Clare County Library would like to thank the teachers and pupils from post-primary schools in Ennis and Kilrush for their support for Teen week 2015, along with the authors, artists and musicians who made this year’s celebration rewarding and worthwhile for all involved.
Photo above shows Siobhán Mungovan at Kilrush Library.