Monday 18 April 2016

Literature, Drama, Science and Media during Library Teen Week 2016

Clare County Library’s annual Teen Week saw a diverse and enjoyable programme of events delivered to teenagers in Ennis, Scariff and Killaloe libraries during the second week in April.

The purpose of setting aside a week specifically for young adults serves to promote the county library service as a place of welcome for young people in the branches’ catchment areas. Events are programmed with the age of the audience attending in mind and the choice of performers this year was commended by the teenagers attending and their teachers.

On Tuesday 12th of April Sarah Blennerhassett from the Zoo Crew Show that goes out weeknights from 18.45 to 20.45 on SPIN South West Regional Radio Station based in Limerick was the library’s opening event of the week. Sarah presented a lively and informative account of her education, experience and progress through her career to date to forty Transition Year students from Rice College and Ennis Community College in Ennis and to a similar sized group from schools in Scariff later in the day.

Sarah gave humorous accounts of her meetings with celebrities and her first days in the industry as well as practical advice on producing demos for job applications and the interview process. Her audiences gave her their full attention. Sarah’s enthusiasm for her chosen profession was evident, making for a lively and interesting multi-media presentation for students from Scariff Community College and Youthreach on the afternoon of April 12th at Scariff Public Library.

Science was the focus of the second Teen Week event when Killaloe and Ennis libraries hosted Science Ireland’s physics show. This hands-on science show had plenty of scope for students to participate in activities and demonstrations. Flight, pressure, density, waves, light, sound and electricity were among the topics covered in the interactive learning experience. The show included a multimedia presentation, experimental demonstrations and group participation and most importantly lots of fun which was provided effortlessly by presenter Declan Holmes.

Award-winning author Sheena Wilkinson was the library’s special guests at no less than four events during the week, giving talks about her book Name Upon Name based on the 1916 rebellion in Scariff, Killaloe and Ennis libraries. She was also the library’s guest of honour at a commemorative event held in deValera Library on the evening of the 14th of April. Five students received prizes in a creative writing competition based on her book, while three students from second level schools also received prizes in the County Final of the National Poem for Ireland competition.

The county winner of the poetry competition was Chris O’Donoghue from Kilrush Community School, with Brooklyn Bond and Noreen Kennedy from St. Anne’s Community College, Killaloe joint runners up.

Áine Rainford, St. Anne’s Community College Killaloe was the winner of the creative writing competition with four highly commended prizes going to Ami Louise Doherty, Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Liam Lenihan, St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point, Kayla Sheridan, Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon and Ciara Sunderland, St Patrick’s Comprehensive School, Shannon.

All prize winners read their poems and prose writing for an audience of fellow students, teachers and parents in what was a most enjoyable event for all present on the evening.

Following on from her very generous mentoring and advice to approximately 150 students who entered the creative writing competition, Sheena Wilkinson spoke to a large teenage audience from Coláiste Muire and Gaelcholáiste an Chláir on Friday morning before departing for her home town of Castlewellan, Co. Down. Students who attended got a clear insight into her extensive research for the book Name Upon Name and a first hand, real account of how the characters came to be, how they developed and how they fitted into one of the best historical novels for young people, set at the time of the Easter Rising 1916.

With media, science and literature covered, young people were invited to participate in the fourth event of this year’s Teen Week programme. This was a dramatic experience based on Brian Merriman’s epic poem Cúirt an Mhean Oíche. Feedback from participants in both Ennis and Scariff libraries was extremely positive on what was deemed to be a hugely successful participatory performance. Ennistymon based artist Maeve Collins’ staging of A Midnight Court Sitting based on Brian Merriman’s epic poem inspired dialogue between males and females in relation to power and gender as expressed in the poem and in the 1916 Proclamation.

The workshop for teenagers was a multi-disciplinary event that combined performative action, laughter, conversation, song, language and lots of audience participation to explore Ireland’s position as taken from Poblacht na hÉireann.

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