Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Readers Day at the Library with a Night of Crime

As part of the Creative Ireland Programme, Clare County Library will set aside Friday 9th November as Readers Day at the Library. On this day the library will celebrate its readers current, past and future and express their gratitude to the public for its support. Throughout the day you are invited to call in to your local library and discover the huge amount of services that are on offer.

Our very special event to mark the day, Crime Night at the Library, will take place at the De Valera Library, Ennis at 6.30pm when Irish authors Andrea Carter, Karen Perry and Louise Phillips will visit the library to read from their latest works and answer your questions. This is a unique opportunity to get an insight into the workings of a crime novel and the psyche of the author behind it. Refreshments, including some bespoke crime-themed cupcakes, will be provided by the Tea Rooms Quin on the night. This is a free event but will be ticketed so please contact the De Valera Library to book your ticket at 065-6846353

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Ageing Positively at Clare County Library

Age Action's Positive Ageing Week 2018, in association with Bank of Ireland, takes place from Monday 1st to Sunday 7th October 2018. The vision of Age Action is that Ireland becomes the best country in the world in which to grow older. Clare County Library is delighted to once again count itself among the many organisations that embrace Positive Ageing Week and will celebrate it with a variety of activities this year.

Throughout the week library branches around the county will have book displays featuring positive ageing related titles. Also to celebrate the week, Rose Molloy will give a free Mindfulness Decoupage workshop in Kilrush Library on Tuesday, 2nd October from 11am-1pm and in the De Valera Library, Ennis on Wednesday, 3rd October from 11am-1pm. (Free events but booking required)

For full details of all events check with your local branch or visit the Library Events section of the library website at

Details of national events are available at

Remember too that library membership is free to everyone. So, during Positive Ageing Week, or at any time of the year, why not join your local branch? You’ll discover a whole world of books, CDs, DVDs, online resources such as e-books, e-audio books, e-magazines and more. You may even join one of our many clubs including book clubs, scrabble clubs, film clubs and crafts clubs. A whole new experience awaits you!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Man Booker Shortlist 2018

The shortlist for the 2018 Man Booker prize has been announced. The books cover a wide range of subjects, from an 11 year-old slave escaping a Barbados sugar plantation, to a D-Day veteran living with post-traumatic stress disorder. Milkman by Belfast born author Anna Burns is set in an unnamed Belfast and features a young woman coming of age during the Troubles.

The shortlisted titles are
Milkman by Anna Burns
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
The Overstory by Richard Powers
The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The chair of the judges said “From Ireland to California, in Barbados and the Arctic, they inhabit worlds that not everyone will have been to, but which we can all be enriched by getting to know. Each one explores the anatomy of pain — among the incarcerated and on a slave plantation, in a society fractured by sectarian violence, and even in the natural world. But there are also in each of them moments of hope. These books speak very much to our moment, but we believe that they will endure."

The Man Booker Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and published in the UK and Ireland. The winner of the £50,000 prize will be announced on Tuesday 16th October. Donal Ryan’s From a Low and Quiet Sea and Sally Rooney’s Normal People, which had both been longlisted, did not make it through to the shortlist stage.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Three Irish authors named on longlist for the Man Booker prize

Irish authors Sally Rooney, Donal Ryan and Anna Burns have been named among the 13 person longlist for this years Man Booker prize.

The Man Booker prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the UK and Ireland. This is the first year that novels published in Ireland are eligible for the prize, following a change in rules announced at the start of 2018. The winner receives a £50,000 prize but, more importantly, it can lead to global acclaim and recognition, as well as bumper book sales.

Mayo native, Sally Rooney, has been longlisted for her second novel Normal People, which will be published next month. It has been described as a moving portrait of a relationship which casts a cool eye on Irish society.

Tipperary author Donal Ryan’s From a Low and Quiet Sea has also been longlisted. It's his fourth novel and recounts the lives of three men as the story moves from war-torn Syria to a small town in Ireland. He previously made the longlist in 2013.

Anna Burns, a Belfast native, has been included for her fourth novel Milkman, the story of a young woman forced into a relationship with an older man.

The full longlist is:
Belinda Bauer (UK) – Snap
Anna Burns (Ireland/UK) – Milkman
Nick Drnaso (USA) -Sabrina
Esi Edugyan (Canada) – Washington Black
Guy Gunaratne (UK) – In Our Mad and Furious City
Daisy Johnson (UK) – Everything Under
Rachel Kushner (USA) – The Mars Room
Sophie Mackintosh (UK) – The Water Cure
Michael Ondaatje (Canada) – Warlight
Richard Powers (USA) – The Overstory
Robin Robertson (UK) – The Long Take
Sally Rooney (Ireland) – Normal People
Donal Ryan (Ireland) – From a Low and Quiet Sea

The shortlist of books will be announced on 20 September 2018 and the winner will be announced on 16 October 2018.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Young readers rule when it comes to library lending

Almost 20 million items are borrowed from Ireland’s 333 public libraries annually. Children’s books account for 75% of the titles on the recently released list of the 100 most borrowed books in Irish public libraries in 2017. Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid books claimed the top 6 spots on the list with 6 of David Walliams’ books in the top 20 list. Jeff Kinney has proved extremely popular with younger readers having dominated the top 10 list since 2011.

Most borrowed books in Irish public libraries in 2017
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Demon Dentist by David Walliams
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Awful Auntie by David Walliams

For the third year in a row, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins was the most borrowed adult book in Irish public libraries and the only adult book to make the top 10 list. Irish authors continue to be popular with Irish readers with 7 of the top 10 adult books being by Irish authors.

Most borrowed adult books 2017
Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Holding by Graham Norton
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
Night School by Lee Child
Echoland by Joe Joyce
The Reunion by Rosin Meaney
The Missing Wife by Sheila O’Flanagan
The Husband by Deirdre Purcell
The Whistler by John Grisham
Secrets of a Happy Marriage by Cathy Kelly

Monday, 11 June 2018

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018

Kamila Shamsie has won the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction with her seventh novel Home Fire.

Home Fire follows three orphaned Muslim siblings, elder sister Isma and twins Aneeka and Parvaiz. Parvaiz decides to join ISIS after discovering that his absent father died en route to Guantánamo. When Aneeka meets Eamonn, son of the British Muslim home secretary, the lives of the two families become inextricably, devastatingly entwined.

The judges said “This was a dazzling shortlist, it had depth and richness and variety. We were forcibly struck by the quality of the prose. Each book had its champions. In the end we chose the book which we felt spoke for our times. Home Fire is about identity, conflicting loyalties, love and politics. And it sustains mastery of its themes and its form. It is a remarkable book which we passionately recommend.”

Previously known as The Orange prize and The Baileys prize, the winner receives £30,000 and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine.

Refugee book reading campaign

To mark World Refugee Day, UNHCR is partnering with libraries and bookshops across the country for a reading campaign to encourage people to read a book about refugees. The initiative allows children and adults to explore the devastating impact of war on families by reading books that highlight refugee issues. The 2018 campaign will run from 18 June to 30 June.

Libraries throughout Clare are participating in this reading campaign. 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 ‘The Go-Away Bird‘, a first-hand account of the Rwandan Genocide by a 12 year old refugee.

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.

Cruinniú na nÓg

Cruinniú na nÓg will take place on Saturday, 23 June - a national Day of Youthful Creativity. It celebrates and encourages children and young people’s participation in culture and creativity through a variety of events. All events are free and local. It’s a day for ‘doing’, ‘making’ and ‘creating’!

While the focus will by on Saturday 23 June, events can also happen on the day before to accommodate schools who may wish to participate. This is a Creative Ireland initiative supported by the Culture Team of Clare County Council. Events begin on Friday, 22 June in Scariff and Killaloe Public Libraries with Irish History Live shows by Michael Moylan. An art exhibition will take place at Newquay National School on Friday also. Students have been participating in art appreciation classes between January and June of this year and their own creations will be exhibited at the school.

On Saturday, a wide variety of events will take place in various venues around the county including Cultúrlann Sweeney in Kilkee, glór in Ennis, Ennistymon and the Burren College of Art. Events at Cultúrlann Sweeney include a rap workshop for teens, two mask making workshops and two Under the Sea art workshops plus a magic show; Burren College of Art will host Midsummer Crafts at their Midsummer Eve's Bonfire Festival; a Fairy Glen River Walk will take place on the Ballymacraven/Inagh Rivers in Ennistymon and glór will host two Willow Wood Musical Storytelling events, a Piano Music Marathon, African Dancing Workshop and a Film Screening.

The final events will take place on Monday, 25 June in Shannon Public Library and DeValera Public Library in Ennis where Niall de Búrca will host storytelling sessions. Further information can be found on and the Cruinniú website at

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Children’s Book of the Year Awards 2018

The Children’s Books Ireland shortlist for the Book of the Year 2018 has been announced. These ten titles will compete for the most prestigious award for children’s books in Ireland.
A Dangerous Crossing by Jane Mitchell
A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea written by Sarah Webb and illustrated by Steve McCarthy
Chocolate Cake written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Kevin Waldron
Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers
Illegal written by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin and illustrated by Giovanni Rigano
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan
Rabbit and Bear: The Pest in the Nest written by Julian Gough and illustrated by Jim Field
Star by Star by Sheena Wilkinson
Tangleweed and Brine written by Deirdre Sullivan and illustrated by Karen Vaughan
The Space Between by Meg Grehan

The shortlisted books appeal to a range of ages and are written in English or Irish by authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland and published between 1st January and 31st December each year.

Dr Patricia Kennon, chair of the judging panel that read over eighty titles, said: ‘It is a pleasure to present the ten shortlisted books which all exemplify excellence in their aesthetic distinction and immersive story worlds. The 2018 shortlist spans a rich variety of genres and formats including rhymes, chapter books, poetry, non-fiction, retellings of fairy tales, verse novels, graphic novels, fiction and picture books. The groups participating in the CBI Shadowing Scheme and readers, young and old, have many rich, imaginative adventures to look forward to!’

Jenny Murray, Acting Director at CBI said ‘Children’s Books Ireland’s goal is to make readers of every child by making books a part of their day-to-day lives. This year’s shortlist encompasses everything from the value of friendship, feminist fairytale retellings, the plight of refugees, the march of the suffragettes, the awe-inspiring universe, through to the never-to-be-underestimated lure of chocolate cake … All of the titles on this year’s shortlist highlight the very best of Irish writing, illustrating and publishing for children and young readers.’

Former winners of the CBI Book of the Year Award – Sheena Wilkinson, Oliver Jeffers and Sarah Crossan return to the shortlist with Star by Star, Here We Are and Moonrise, respectively. Little Island Publishers have a total of four titles shortlisted; Tangleweed and Brine, Star by Star, A Dangerous Crossing and The Space Between. Also on the list is former Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer with Illegal. Jane Mitchell, who won the inaugural Children’s Choice Award in 2010, also features on the shortlist with A Dangerous Crossing.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Two novels by Irish authors on 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award shortlist

10 novels have been shortlisted for the 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award. The list includes two novels by Irish authors, The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride and Solar Bones by Mike McCormack; six novels in translation from France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Mexico and South Korea; and novels from South Africa and the USA.

Sponsored by Dublin City Council, books are nominated for the award by invited public libraries in cities throughout the world. Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian said ‘Issues of violence and crime, isolation and reconciliation, identity and family are set in contrasting urban and rural landscapes. For readers, these stories reveal unfamiliar cultures and countries through memorable characters and their literary narratives.’

The winner of the award, worth €100,000, will be announced on Wednesday 13th June. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator received €25,000.

Images from Clare County Library's Foto archive to feature on RTE's "At Your Service"

Images from Clare County Library's photographic archive will feature on RTE One's "At Your Service" programme on Sunday 13th May at 8.30pm. Presented by expert hotelier brothers Francis and John Brennan of the five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare, County Kerry, the premise of the show is that business makeovers are given by the duo to B&Bs, guesthouses and small hotels across Ireland.

The episode will focus on the Spa Wells in Lisdoonvarna and the photographs featured are taken from our Michael John Glynne Collection. Michael John Glynne was the best-known freelance photographer in the North Clare area for over forty years. Born in Ennistymon in 1919 - where he lived all his life - he began his photographic career in the 1950s and worked both as a commercial photographer and as a photographer for the ‘Clare Champion’ newspaper.

The photographs in this collection date mainly from the 1950s through to the 1980s and reflect his many interests. He visited Lisdoonvarna each year for the September festival and recorded many interesting images. This collection is an extraordinary record of the life and times of the people and communities of North Clare. A colourful, gifted, and well-read man, Michael John Glynne died in 1998. This large collection of negatives was donated to the Clare Local Studies Project by Michael John, and is being made available through the Library’s website, a project which will take many years. All photographs in the Michael John Glynne Collection can be viewed here:

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Dream Big for Engineers Week at Clare County Library

Engineers Week is a week-long festival of nationwide events running from the 24th February to the 2nd March 2018 celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. The annual event is coordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme and funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The aims of the week include encouraging young people, their teachers and parents to explore the fun world of engineering, generating interest and enthusiasm for engineering in their everyday lives and inspiring young people to explore engineering career paths. The week also serves to highlight the diverse opportunities engineering offers.

To celebrate Engineers Week in Clare County Library the movie Dream Big: Engineering Our World is showing in three branches; at Ennistymon Library on Tuesday the 27th of February at 11.30am, at Scariff Library on the 28th of February at 11.30am and a third screening will take place at Kilkee Library on Thursday March 1st at 2pm. Invited audiences include Junior Cycle students from Post Primary Schools.

Narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, Dream Big: Engineering Our World is a film that will transform how we think about engineering. From the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities, Dream Big celebrates the human ingenuity behind engineering marvels big and small, and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. Produced for all ages, Dream Big showcases engineering’s impressive impact on our world and our lives. Through the film’s inspiring stories of human grit and aspiration, Dream Big will inspire its Junior Cycle student viewers at the screenings planned by Clare County Library to think about what drives engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Eir Sport Sports Book of the Year

The Choice by Dublin footballer Philly McMahon was chosen as the 2017 Eir Sport Sports Book of the Year. The book focuses on Philly’s relationship with his brother John, who died at the age of 31 after a long struggle with heroin addiction. Philly recounts how the opportunities and choices sport afforded him sent his life in a very different direction to that of his brother.

The award aims to recognise the best in Irish sports writing in books published by an Irish author, or sports book with an Irish subject matter. The 2 other shortlisted books were The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the rise of Irish cycling’s golden generation by Barry Ryan and The Warrior’s Code by Kilkenny hurler Jackie Tyrell with Christy O’Connor.

2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award

Seven Irish novels are among the 150 titles nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International DUBLIN Literary award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations include 48 novels in translation with works by authors from 40 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, the USA & Canada, South America and Australia & New Zealand.

The Irish titles nominated for the 2018 award are:
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
The Years That Followed by Catherine Dunne
The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear MacBride
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

glór welcomes Film Shorts Submissions for Spring 2018

glór is looking for some great shorts to screen as curtain raisers before their film programme.

Each season glór curates a fortnightly programme of critically acclaimed Irish and international films. With films ranging from superb dramas and docu-dramas to laugh out loud comedies, glór’s film season offers something to suit every taste.

Submissions must be no longer than 10 minutes and on Blu Ray or DVD and received on or before Monday 12th February. These can be made by email to or Film Submissions, glór, Causeway Link, Ennis, Co. Clare, V95 VHP0. See for more information.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

New Year – New You

Whatever you New Year’s resolutions – weight loss, stress management, quitting smoking, managing your personal finances – there are over 500 free online courses available through Clare County Library’s website Follow the Universal Class link from the library homepage and use your library card number to learn at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to learn a new language check out the range of over 70 languages through the library website. Follow the Mango Languages link on the library homepage and learn conversational skills in your chosen language by recording your speech and comparing it directly to audio from a native speaker to hear exactly how to tune in your accent in preparation for that holiday.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Costa Book Awards - Children’s Fiction Winner

Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer has been announced the 2017 Costa Children’s Fiction Award winner.

Hailed by the judges as ‘a masterful, delicious read from start to finish’ it tells the story of Fred, Con, Lila and Max who are stranded and in mortal danger after their plane crashed over the Amazonian Rainforest. They have no food, no water and no chance of being rescued. But they are alive and they have hope. With hope and determination could there possibly be a way out after all.

The other shortlisted titles Moonrise by Sarah Crossan, Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans and The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave are equally good reads and are all in stock in the teenage book collections of Clare County Library branches.