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.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Sara Barnard’s Goodbye Perfect wins the YA Book Prize

The Bookseller’s YA Book Prize, now in its fifth year has been won by Brighton-based author Sara Barnard. She saw off stiff competition from previous winner Louise O’Neill, June Dawson and Laura Dockrill among others to claim the £2,000 award in May at the Hay Festival.

Goodbye Perfect is the story of a teenage girl who is forced to decide whether to betray her best friend’s trust or do the right thing and inform the police and parents about where her friend has gone when she runs away with her teacher before the GCSEs.

Speaking to The Bookseller about the inspiration for her book, Barnard said, “though this story features a student running away with a teacher, that’s not what the story is actually about – it’s about how it affects those closest to her and the people left behind” Hailed by the judges as ‘unflinching in its exploration of important and complex topics’ and ‘an utterly riveting read’ it is well worth including as one of this Summer’s must-reads.

The YA Book Prize 2019 shortlist includes:
Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard (winner)
Clean by Juno Dawson
Big Bones by Laura Dockrill
I am Thunder by Muhammad Khan
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock
Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber
A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

Monday 12 August 2019

Clare County Library History Week 14-20 September

Clare County Library will host a ‘Decade of Centenaries History Week’ from 14th to 20th September. The theme of the week will be ‘1919: The War of Independence’.

Events include a History Ireland hedge school, music performance with Mike Hanrahan, theatre performance with Carnation Theatre, talks by children’s historical fiction author Brian Gallagher and history lectures on various topics. Library branches will also show War of Independence-themed films and documentaries and have book displays of War of Independence titles. All events are free and details of individual events can be found on September Library Events .

Our week will commence with a History Ireland Hedge School where historians Tomás Mac Con Mara, Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, Cécile Gordon and Eve Morrison will participate in a round table discussion chaired by History Ireland editor Tommy Graham. They will discuss ‘The War of Independence in Co Clare: reassessing David Fitzpatrick’s Politics and Irish Life 1913-1921: provincial experience of war and revolution.’ Prof David Fitzpatrick died this year – this work was a ground-breaking local study of Co Clare which became the template for similar local studies of the War of Independence. How does this work measure up to the intervening 42 years of scholarship? This will be held in the Temple Gate Hotel at 2pm on Saturday, 14 September. The event is free but capacity will be limited so come early.

Carnation Theatre will present two performances of ‘Greyhound on Train’. This War of Independence performance tells the stories of four women during the struggle to achieve Irish independence - Elizabeth Bloxham, teacher, pamphleteer, rabble rouser, radicaliser, Peg Flanagan – waitress, gun runner, spy and witness to Bloody Sunday, Josephine Stallard – doctor, dispatcher, whirlwind romancer and Bridget Fitzpatrick – a central figure in the ambushes at Knocklong and Soloheadbeg. A telegram from Bridget that read ‘Greyhound on Train’ was instrumental in securing the escape of Seán Hogan in the famous ambush at Knocklong. Interspersed with songs of the period, this is an accessible, participative performance with light-hearted touches – both entertaining and educational. The shows will be held on Tuesday 17 September in DeValera Library at 1pm and Shannon Library at 6pm. All are welcome to attend, no booking required.

Dr Joe Power will give a lecture on the ‘Guerrilla War in Clare’ in DeValera Library in Ennis on Tuesday 17 September at 6.30pm. Joe is a well-respected local historian who next published work will be based on the War of Independence in Clare.

Dr Paul O’Brien will reprise his lecture on Commandant Joseph Barrett (1888-1971) ‘By heavens, Joe, but there are great men in Ireland still’. This will look at the recently-discovered archive found in Moore St in Kilrush which garnered a lot of national publicity this year. Paul will give his lecture in Kilrush Library on Wed 18 September at 6.30pm. He will bring along some samples of the archive to the talk.

Children are also catered for during History Week. Brian Gallagher, author of historical children’s fiction, will give presentations on his most recent works Pawns and Spies. Those titles were commissioned by The O’Brien Press to mark the centenary of the War of Independence and Brian will discuss how he researches and writes his stories. Brian will talk to primary school children in the library branches in Ennistymon, Miltown Malbay, Shannon and DeValera Library in Ennis on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 September.

Mike Hanrahan of Stockton’s Wing returns with Clare: Songs of Independence: The Beginning. This enjoyable performance is based on the events and stories behind the Clare’s songs during the journey to independence. The Beginning focuses on 1919 – the First Dáil, the early days of the War of Independence, mobilisation and the emerging leaders. Research, writing and performance by Mike Hanrahan. A lunchtime show will be held in Kilrush Library on Friday, 20 September at 1.15pm and keep an eye out for future performances in other Clare library branches.

Monday 10 June 2019

Summer Stars at Clare County Library

Clare Library Service will run the Summer Stars Reading Adventure for children in all library branches during the summer from the 15th of June to the end of August. Summer Stars is an exciting reading-based programme which is available free of charge to children across the country. We would be delighted to welcome all children to join in. We are very happy to work with teachers and families to encourage children to continue reading and also to participate in our range of storytelling and other fun activities during the summer.

Each child is invited to register for the adventure at their local library and enjoy reading many books as part of the adventure during the summer holidays. All participants will be given a Summer Stars Reading Card to record and track their own progress and a library reward stamp will be added to their reading card at the library after each book read. Children will be encouraged to continue reading throughout the programme and there will be rewards and incentives along the way. At the end of the adventure, all children who participate are invited to attend an award event at which they will be presented with their own Summer Stars certificate.

Children and families will also have access to fun reading activities on the Summer Stars website, The site has lots of online activities as well as a range of animated ebooks. You will find a children’s books discussion board and interviews with well-known people about their favourite books. There are also helpful tips for reading and recommended titles by age group for children to read. The books can then be borrowed from your local library service, and it’s all free.

Events for children will also be held in your library service during the summer. Further information is available from all branch libraries, on or on

Tuesday 4 June 2019

World Refugee day 2019

World Refugee Day is an international observance to raise awareness of the struggles refugees face around the world. Organised by UNHCR, it is observed in more than 100 countries and involves government officials, humanitarian workers, celebrities, civilians and refugees. The UNCHR encourages people to mark the day by attending local World Refugee Day events, watching and sharing videos and by raising awareness on social media.

The UNHCR is partnering with libraries and bookshops across the country in encouraging people to read a book or watch a movie about refugees. The 2019 Refugee Book reading Campaign will run from 10th to 23rd June with libraries all over Ireland participating. 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 Four Feet, Two Sandals, a picture book about two girls in a refugee camp.

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. To tie in with the campaign, libraries in County Clare will have book displays highlighting books that explore refugee related issues. Check June's Library events page on the library website and our facebook page for events film showings and other events to tie in with the campaign.

Thursday 30 May 2019

Young people are encouraged to unleash their creativity at Clare’s Cruinniú na nÓg on Saturday 15th June

Lots of free creative activities for under 18’s will form part of Cruinniú as part of the Creative Ireland Programme initiative supported by Clare County Council and RTÉ. Now in its second year, Cruinniú na nÓg celebrates and encourages participation by children and young people in creative activities in their local areas. It is led by the Creative Clare Culture Team, with huge support from local artists, arts organisations and creative practitioners. With a strong emphasis on participation, activities are specially designed to spark an interest and encourage the inner creative in children to try something new or fulfil a secret ambition! The Creative Ireland Programme is a five-year all-of-government, culture-based initiative, led by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Participating venues include the library branches of Kilkee, Kilrush, Ennistymon, Scariff and Ennis, glór, Cultúrlann Sweeney in Kilkee, Couthouse Gallery and Studios in Ennistymon, Teach Ceoil in Kilrush, Irish Hand Weaves in Ennistymon, Market Building in Ennis, Scattery Island, Kilmaley Hall and Doonbeg N.S.. Outdoor events will take place at Ennistymon River and at the Flaggy Shore with Newquay N.S.

Library events will take place in five branches – Kilkee, Kilrush, Scariff, Ennistymon and DeValera Public Library in Ennis. Please note that some of the library events take place on Friday, 14 June to include primary schools. Friday’s events include poetry workshops with Lucinda Jacob at Kilkee and Kilrush libraries. Also on Friday, Scariff Library will host a Creative Mindfulness event with Grace Burton. On Saturday, 15 June DeValera Library presents ‘Mother Earth Wish Tree’ with Fiona Cartwright where children can make hand-felted offerings for Mother Earth while Ennistymon Library hosts a performance by the Burren Children’s Choir.

glór will host a programme of events including two shows of Peter and the Wolf, a screening of The Breadwinner, a Piano and Harpsichord workshop and an art exhibition of work created by Shona MacGillivray with the children of St Anne’s School in Ennis. Cultúrlann Sweeney presents a poetry event ‘Writing Home: Children’s Poetry from Corca Baiscinn’ and a Digital Photography Workshop with Ruairí Ó Conchúir for older children.

In the Flaggy Shore, New Quay National School’s Art Appreciation Class, with Ellie Farrell and Cate King, will hold a Rubbish Art Parade followed by an Art Exhibition launch at Linnalla Ice Cream. Doonbeg National School will hold a public display of their artwork created with artist Ruth Wood through the Artists in Schools Scheme (this will be held on Friday 14 June).

Kilrush hosts two events –Storytelling with Ruth Marshall takes place on Scattery Island and includes arts and crafts. Kilrush Comhaltas will host an evening event in Teach Ceoil where children are encouraged to try different instruments and styles of music. Artist Evelyn Sorohan will hold a workshop in Kilmaley Hall on ‘Creating Art out of Plastic’.

Ennistymon will be a hub of activity for the day with four events: Jean Moran of Irish Hand Weaves will host a spinning and storytelling event at Stacks while Ennistymon Library hosts the Burren Children’s Choir. The Courthouse Gallery and Studios will hold a workshop with Vicky Lennie called ‘Bringing Stories to Life: Making and Movement’. This creative workshop will combine simple prop and costume-making with movement skills to produce a short, filmed performance piece. Ennistymon will also hold a River Walk for Children along the Ballymacraven and Inagh Rivers with Ruairí Ó Conchúir where participants can discover the majesty of nature in the fairy glen.

Finally, Ennis will host an evening CD launch in the Market Building by the young musicians of Music Generation and David O’Rourke and Ana Colomer will host an art installation earlier in the day.

Remember all events are free and full details are available at: #MyCruinniu #CruinniuToCreate

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Celebrating the Arts & Creativity as we age at Clare County Library for the 2019 Bealtaine Festival

Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival takes place annually throughout the month of May right across the country and is Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age. The theme for the 2019 Festival is 'Hospitality – Be Our Guest!' so, we invite you to be our guest as we celebrate with a host of events in our branches throughout the county.

We kick off on Friday, 3rd May at 5pm with an evening of entertainment in Cultúrlann Sweeney, Kilkee as singer-songwriter John Spillane presents his popular show Irish Songs We Learned at School. This is a free, but ticketed, event in association with Clare Arts Office. Bookings can be made at the Cultúrlann Sweeney box office or by phoning 065 9060769.

Other events throughout the month will include movie screenings as part of the Bealtaine Film Tour in association with access>CINEMA and the Irish Film Institute. The chosen films for this year’s tour are Finding Your Feet (2018), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Movie Memories (a 2018 project supported by Creative Ireland, Cork County Council and University College Cork). Branches in Ennis, Ennistymon, Killaloe, Kilrush, Scariff, Shannon and Sixmilebridge will host screenings. Details of location, date and time for all screenings are available on the library website and social media.

Kilrush and Kilkee libraries are hosting a 6 week Creative Writing Workshop with Breda Shannon spanning dates in April and May. Kilkee Library will also hold an intergenerational knitting circle for seniors and children from Kilkee Primary School on Tuesday 14th May.

There will also be craft displays in Miltown Malbay Library from Tuesday 7th to Saturday 18th May inclusive and in Sixmilebridge Library during the month, with items created by the library adult knitting group, while Ennistymon Library will host an art display by the Stella Maris Day Centre throughout the month.

In Shannon Library the Non Nobis Domine Choir with conductor Clem Garvey will entertain an audience with a varied programme of folk songs, church music and more on Friday, 17th May at 7pm. Storytime with Granny and Grandad will take place on Tuesday, 28th May at 4pm when grannies and grandads are invited to bring their grandchildren along to the library to hear some stories featuring grandparents and the special relationship they have with their grandchildren. Suitable for children aged 3-6 years and grandparents of all ages!

Corofin Library will host a tea/coffee morning with readings by local people on Wednesday 15th May from 10.30am-12 noon. All welcome.

In 2019, the Bealtaine Book Club author is Éilís Ní Dhuibhne and the chosen Bealtaine Book is her memoir Twelve Thousand Days (2018) published by Blackstaff Press. We will run special events based on the book throughout the month, including a competition in branches and on the Library’s Facebook page for three lucky book clubs to win copies of the book, culminating with a review of the book during the monthly book club slot on Clare FM’s Morning Focus programme with Gavin Grace at the end of the month.

Details of all events will be published on the Library Events section of the Clare County Library website at and on their social media platforms. All events are free of charge but booking may be required. Details of Bealtaine events nationwide can be viewed on

Monday 29 April 2019

Clare County Library Springs Into Storytime

The national Spring into Story-time Initiative is now in its second year with a celebration of reading and stories taking place in all libraries in Ireland during the month of April. Clare County Library branches are busy hosting a range of story-time events for young children with art and crafts and other reading-based play activities featuring in these fun family gatherings.

Another project focusing on family reading came to a close at deValera Library Ennis on the morning of the 11th of April when a special reception for children of 1st class from Holy Family Junior School, Ennis took place. Partnering with the Clare Family Learning Coordinator, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (lcetb), and teachers from the school, the library service provided books and library activities to support the workshops. This all-inclusive initiative brought parents, children, teachers, storytellers and librarians together to improve oral language and communication skills through sharing books and stories.

Over the past six weeks a collection of tried and trusted picture books was made available by Clare County Library to children and their parents. The stories were specifically chosen with the underlying aim of improving children’s communication, social and language skills. The story sessions were facilitated to the delight of the children, by professional storyteller Ruth Marshall who has extensive experience in storytelling in schools and community groups for many years. At each class there was a special emphasis on how parents can use books to help develop oral language.

The final celebratory event at deValera Library Ennis offered all adults involved an opportunity to evaluate and provide feedback on the project with a view to extending it to other schools in the future.

The collaboration between Clare County Library, Clare Family Learning Project, and the Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Scheme at Holy Family Junior School Ennis is in keeping with the Government’s Right to Read policy, the primary aim of which is to create an integrated and sustained approach to developing literacy in the local community.

Monday 8 April 2019

Clare County Library joining forces with Dublin One City One Book to honour Edna O’Brien

Clare County Library is proud to participate in this year’s Dublin One City One Book Festival to honour renowned Clare-born author Edna O’Brien and celebrate her work, The Country Girls Trilogy. The Country Girls Trilogy joins a long list of illustrious titles as this year’s featured book in the Dublin One City One Book Festival, which is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Public Libraries, which encourages everyone to read a book connected with the capital city during the month of April each year.

Published by Faber & Faber, this volume is introduced by Eimear McBride and includes The Country Girls and its sequels The Lonely Girl and Girls in Their Married Bliss, which changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s and inspired generations of readers and writers. The passion, artistry and courage of Edna O’Brien’s vision in these novels continue to resonate into the 21st century.

At the launch of this year’s Festival, Edna O’Brien said: “I worked in Dublin as an apprentice pharmacist from 1948 to 1952, so it’s where I first encountered literature and set out on the very secret and profane matter of writing The Country Girls Trilogy. I never dreamed the Trilogy would last so long or make it to this winning post. I am delighted and hope for new readers who won’t have to hide it under the bed covers as they did in the sixties and onwards….Dublin has given me longevity.”

Clare County Library invites library book clubs, library members, and anyone who is interested, to read The Country Girls Trilogy. The book is available to borrow from libraries and can be downloaded as an eBook from the library’s free Borrowbox app or it can be bought in bookshops. It is available in audio book format and has been produced in Braille by the National Council for the Blind of Ireland.

Clare County Library will present a special book club event in Scariff Public Library on Thursday, 18th April 2019 at 6.30pm, celebrating Edna O'Brien and The Country Girls Trilogy. This free event will be hosted by Dr. Tina O'Toole, a senior lecturer in English and programme director of the MA English at the University of Limerick, who will give a talk with a Q&A afterwards. Everyone is welcome to this event but booking is required as numbers are limited. Phone Scariff Library on 061 922893 for bookings and more information.

In mid-April a number of “Country Girls “ from Clare County Library’s staff will take a day trip to Dublin as special invitees at a Dublin One City One Book event hosted by Rick O’Shea & Rachel English in Pearse Street Library. This is one of a host of events happening across the capital as part of the Festival throughout April. Details of all events can be found at

The Country Girls Trilogy is also the April choice for the monthly library book club slot on Clare FM’s Morning Focus programme and will be discussed with Gavin Grace towards the end of the month.

Monday 1 April 2019

Creative Ireland Project Awards

Creative Ireland Project Awards were recently allocated by Creative Ireland Clare. The Creative Ireland Clare vision is ‘to ensure the people of Clare discover and have access to cultural expression through creative activity’. Nine projects were granted Project Awards in 2019. These include a coming-of-age drama ‘Radha’ which will be made in Clare with actor/writer/director Sonya O’Donoghue. Other innovative pieces include the “Creating Local Solutions to Climate Change” project with Mary Immaculate Secondary School and the local North Clare community and a folklore and well-being project working with Burren schools and older community members with Eilís Haden-Storrie.

Awards were also given to the Musicale Festival in Cultúrlann Sweeney, Kilkee organised by Music Generation Clare, Cumann Merriman Winter School and Éigse Thomáis Uí Aodha with Oidhreacht an Chláir. An Art Studio project for people with disabilities with courses in painting, ceramics and drama working with Sophie Delaney, Will O’Kane and Pat Looney received funding while Sparks Youth Film Festival in Scariff plan to run secondary school film workshops and primary school animation workshops in the lead-up to the Festival. Finally, a ‘Ploughing Ahead’ project in Mountshannon with Mark Wilson aims to produce a sculptured seating area designed, developed and produced by and with the local community.

Monday 4 March 2019

World Book Day Events at Clare County Library

Clare County Library branches celebrate Ireland’s World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019. Over the last 22 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading among children.

Clare County Library promotes the importance of developing a love of reading by organizing a variety of events each year to bring children closer to books and their authors and illustrators.

On the 6th and 7th of March Maeve Devoy will facilitate creative writing workshops for children in Kilrush, Kilkee, Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay libraries. Maeve published her first collection of short stories, The Tell Tale Collection at the age of just 23 and says that in her teenage years, writing helped her find her way in life. As well as writing a second book and completing a Research Masters in Literary Journalism, Maeve regularly hosts creative writing workshops for children and teenagers in Fingal libraries.

Her workshops for World Book Day in Clare libraries will focus on children thinking about reaching their dreams and telling their own stories that they will take away in a special notebook to work on at school and at home.

Dublin author Brian Gallagher’s most recent novels for young people, Pawns and Spies were specially commissioned by The O’Brien Press to mark the centenary of the War of Independence this year. Brian will visit Scariff, Killaloe, Shannon and deValera Library, Ennis on the 6th and 7th of March where he will discuss the importance of our shared past with senior classes in local primary schools, as well as revealing the nuts and bolts of how a historical story for children is created including inspiration, research, plotting and characterization.

In recent times Brian has concentrated on historical fiction for older children, writing the novels Across the Divide, Taking Sides, Secrets and Shadows, Stormclouds, Friend or Foe, Arrivals, Pawns and Spies, and One Good Turn, the Irish entry for World Book Day 2016. His books have been hugely popular with schools.

His recent novel Spies was very favourably reviewed by In Touch Magazine as "a historical fiction that immerses the reader into an Ireland full of Black and Tans, soldiers, rebels, and police informers. In the novel, Ireland’s War of Independence is portrayed from both sides and this book is be a fantastic resource to discuss and debate the dilemmas faced in the throes of war. With its rich vocabulary, unravelling plot and teen friendships it makes a fine class novel for 11-12 year olds of fifth and sixth classes".

Contact participating libraries for further details.

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019 i Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir

Ré Ó Laighléis chun Labhairt le Daltaí an Dara Leibhéil

Is mór is cúis áthais ag Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir í a fhógairt arís i mbliana go mbeidh an t-údar aitheanta, Ré Ó Laighléis ag tabhairt cuairte ar leabharlanna éagsúla de Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir i rith Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019.

Scríobhann an Laighléiseach idir Ghaeilge agus Bhéarla agus tá ábhar leis ainmnithe ar An Teastas Sóisearach Nua (T1 & T2) do na scoileanna Dara Leibhéal. Ar an ábhar sin do Scoileanna T2 tá na gearrscéalta ‘Punk’ agus ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’, chomh maith leis an dráma ‘Gan Choinne’ (leagan stáitse den scéal ‘Punk’). Táid sin uile ar fáil faoi aon chlúdach amháin sa saothar sainiúil COMHTHÁTHÚ ABÚ! atá foilsithe ag MÓINÍN, agus a bhfuil Nótaí Anailíse ar an ábhar ann atá scríofa ag an údar féin. Anuas air sin, tá a úrscéal móréilimh, ‘Trumptaí Dumptaí agus An Falla Mór’, ainmnithe ar liosta na n-úrscéalta do T2.

Maidir le T1, tá na gearrscéalta ‘Claonfhéachaint’ agus ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’ ainmnithe, chomh maith lena dhráma ‘Coimhlint’ agus an t-úrscéal ‘An Taistealaí’.

Ar ndóigh, tá an t-úrscéal ardaitheanta leis, ‘Gafa’ ar chúrsa Ardleibhéal na hArdteiste i gcónaí.

Is deis iontach í seo ag daltaí agus múinteoirí araon éisteacht le duine de mhórscríbhneoirí na linne ag tabhairt léargais ar a scríbhinní féin agus ceisteanna a chur air ina dtaobh.

Beidh Ré Ó Laighléis i Leabharlann Chill Rois: Dé Máirt 12ú Márta 10.30r.n. go mean lae agus i Leabharlann na Sionna: 1.45 go 3.15i.n. Ar an Aoine 15ú Márta beidh sé i Leabharlann na hInse: 9.30am to 11r.n. agus i Leabharlann Inis Díomáin: 11.50r.n. go 1.10i.n.

Agus do na páistí bunscoile

Tabharfaidh Aidan Courtney Maisitheoir, ceardlann líníochta spraíúil trí Ghaeilge do pháistí ó rang 3, 4, 5 agus 6 ó na scoileanna náisiúnta i leabharlanna éagsúla. I mbliana tabharfaidh Aidan nodanna i bhfoirm léiraidí faoi leabhar ag tabhairt a dteideal i nGaeilge. Beidh neart spraoi ag páistí ag tomhas teideal na leabhar atá roghnaithe ag Aidan a d’fhéadfadh nó nach bhféadfadh a bheith léite ag na páistí. Beidh neart idirghníomhaíocht, caint agus comhrá agus spraoi sa cheardlann dátheangach seo.

Tabharfaidh Séamus Ryan cuairt ar bhrainsí áirithhe ar fud an chontae ag léamh scéalta do pháistí ó ranganna shóisreacha i mbunscoileanna freisin. Beidh neart cúnamh ag teastáil ó Shéamuis óna lucht éisteachta óg sna seisiúin spraíúla, idirghníomhacha seo. Bígí linn i rith na seachtainne.

Seachtain na Gaeilge Celebrations at Clare County Library

It is with great pleasure that Clare County Library again welcomes acclaimed author Ré Ó Laighléis to a number of its branch libraries as part of its Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019 programme.

Ré Ó Laighléis writes in both Irish and English and his material has enjoyed translation into many languages. Several of his works currently feature prominently on the New Junior Cert Irish T1 & T2 programmes for Second Level schools. His stories ‘Punk’ and ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’ feature on the T2 curriculum, as does his play ‘Gan Choinne’, which is the stage version of the story ‘Punk’. Recently, MÓINÍN has published all three of these, along with analytical treatment of the material by the author himself, under the groundbreaking title COMHTHÁTHÚ ABÚ! which is geared at second level students and teachers alike. Ó Laighléis’s hugely successful and increasingly ever-topical novel ‘Trumptaí Dumptaí agus An Falla Mór’ is also listed reading for Junior Cert T2.

His stories ‘Claonfhéachaint’ and ‘Na Bradmharcaigh’, along with his play ‘Coimhlint’ and his novel ‘An Taistealaí’ are listed readings on T1. Of course, his critically acclaimed novel ‘Gafa’ remains as listed reading on Leaving Cert Higher Level. This is a fantastic opportunity for Second Level students and teachers alike not only to hear one of the major writers of our time speak on his works, but also to pose questions they may have.

On Tuesday the 12th of March Ré Ó Laighléis will be in Kilrush Library at 10.30am and in Shannon Library at 1.45pm. On Friday the 15th of March Ré will meet with Secondary School students in deValera Library Ennis at 9.30am and in Ennistymon Library 11.50am. All four interactive sessions will run for an hour and a half.

Primary School children will also have an opportunity to join in the Seachtain na Gaeilge fun at their local libraries. Throughout the festival cartoonist Aidan Courtney will provide illustrated clues to children’s books giving their names in Irish. Children will have lots of fun guessing Aidan’s choice of books that they may or may not have already read. Lots of interaction, caint, comhrá and fun is guaranteed in this bi-lingual workshop.

Seamus Ryan of deValera Library Ennis will also visit branches throughout the county telling stories in Irish to children from junior classes in primary schools. Seamus will be calling on his young audiences for lots of help and ideas to enhance his chosen tales in these fun interactive storytime sessions.

Further details will be available on the library events section of the library website or from your local library branch.

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Scéal: An Intergenerational Project at Corofin Public Library

Clare County Library along with Limerick/Clare Education and Training Board (lcetb) are set to embark on an exciting intergenerational literacy project involving grandparents and their grandchildren.

The Scéal project begins at Corofin Public Library on March the 8th 2019. Children and grandparents will share memories, stories, current and old photographs, poems and songs led by facilitator and storyteller Ruth Marshall. The objectives and aspirations of the cross-generational learning experience are many including writing, storytelling, poetry recitation and music performances in a casual setting in a community space where older adults and children will come together to share insights into their lives. The programme will also focus on offering all participants an opportunity to develop new interests and increase awareness of the lives and experiences of one another.

The six week project will run on Friday evenings from 4 to 5pm with a family celebratory event and exhibition at Clare Museum, Ennis at the end.

For further information and bookings contact Corofin Library 065 6837219 or 065 6899083

Monday 18 February 2019

Clare County Library’s Teen Week 2019

Clare County Library partners once again with Ennis Book Club Festival to provide a diverse and stimulating programme of cultural and art events for secondary school students in Ennis and Kilrush libraries during the month of February.This year’s Library Teen Week programme includes travel, mythology, history, and music delivered by authors and presenters with a special interest in and focus on creativity for young adult audiences.

On Monday the 25th of February writer and independent producer Ann Dalton presents Pakistan – A Peep into the Melting Pot in Kilrush Library at 10am and in deValera Library Ennis at 2pm. Ann has travelled regularly with her family to Pakistan over the last 15 years. She travels throughout the country during her visits, from Islamabad the capital city, to Lahore, Faisalabad and to Karachi, a bustling city of approximately 15 million situated on the Arabian Sea. In 2013, she researched and produced a radio documentary ‘From the Punjab to Pana’ in which the Pakistani women of Cork shared their stories of life in Cork at that time. In this audio/visual presentation, Ann will look at the themes of hospitality and tolerance and she will share her experience as an Irish woman travelling in Pakistan. This will be a lively, evocative and informative presentation on Pakistan, the country and its people. Audiences can expect humour, honesty and a lot of bright colours!

Peadar Ó Guilín author of the YA novel, The Call, visits deValera Library, Ennis on the morning of Tuesday the 26th of February and Kilrush Library in the afternoon. His writing workshop based on Irish mythology and inspired by the beautiful northwest of Ireland where he grew up is certain to engage teenage audiences.

A joint event by authors Nessa O’Mahony and Sheena Wilkinson takes place in deValera Library Ennis from 10am to 11.30 on Thursday 28th of February and in Kilrush Library later that afternoon at 2pm. In their talk Every Family has its Own History both writers will discuss exploring family histories and their passion for history as demonstrated in their writing. Nessa O’Mahony was introduced to history at a young age with the stories that her mother told her in the kitchen of their family home in Dublin including accounts of her childhood in Ballinasloe. As she became older the stories her mother now told were about her grandfather and grandmother’s experiences during the War of Independence and the Civil War. Her first novel, The Branchman, is based on her grandfather's real-life experiences in the period of most political and historical change in Ireland’s history. In this workshop she will examine how every family’s history can be used as the trigger for a piece of creative writing. Students are encouraged to find out about their own family histories in advance of the workshop.

Sheena Wilkinson has established herself as one of the most acclaimed Irish writers for young people. At her presentations in Ennis and Kilrush Library she will concentrate on both her first and most recent, widely acclaimed historical novels, Name Upon Name and Star by Star. Growing up in Belfast during the Troubles, with family on both ‘sides’, Sheena was confused about Irish history prompting her to seek out untold stories. Her books Name Upon Name and Star By Star, look at the events of World War One, The Easter Rising, The Spanish Flu and women’s fight for the vote. Name Upon Name was Waterford’s One Community, One Book choice in 2016. Star by Star won the Honour Award for Fiction at the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2018 and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2017 Children’s Book of the Year. Both authors will demonstrate how our places of birth shape and influence our lives and in this case create a background for some of the best historical fiction available to readers in Ireland today.

John Bowker’s African Drumming Workshop is on offer once again to students at deValera Library Ennis on the 27th of February at 11.15am and in Kilrush Library on Friday the 1st of March at 11am. For the past 25 years Tribal Spirit Drumming has captured the hearts of thousands of people across Ireland, the UK and beyond. John invites teenagers and their teachers from post-primary schools to join him for an unforgettable musical experience. In the library workshops you will be encouraged to learn the basic techniques of playing the hand drum and to contribute to an arrangement that may be typically based on a traditional piece of music from a village in Ghana or the Congo!

The Ireland Professor of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin will read from her acclaimed work to teenagers in Clare at her visit to glór at 11.30am on the 1st of March during the Ennis Book Club Festival 2019. Eiléan is the author of many collections including The Girl Who Married a Reindeer (2001), to The Sun-fish (2010). Senior Cycle Students are invited to experience the wonderful poetry of Eiléan first hand and to acknowledge the power of poetry in appreciating the world around us.

All events are free of charge but participating venues must be contacted for advance booking.

Women in Politics and Public Life, from 1918 to 2018

'Women in Politics and Public Life, from 1918 to 2018' – a Pop-Up Museum, exploring 100 years of women's participation in politics and public life.

This exciting exhibition shines a spotlight on the stories of very familiar and less well known women, who have contributed significantly to Irish political and public life over the past century – on the challenges they faced and the obstacles they overcame. It is a feminization of the historical narrative containing unseen family photographs, films, interviews, objects, clothes and even music that evokes each era of women in public life - it features all the female TDs, Senators and MEPs. It is laid out in a chronology from 1920s to 2000s. Key elements include clothing of women in politics and public life, objects showing the working life of women from election literature, to items belonging to them, an early apple Mac to a briefcase as well as films and inter-actives including one where you can review the lives of the 19 women elected 1918-2018.

In opening the exhibition, Minister Madigan said: “One of the great legacies of the Decade of Centenaries is a greater understanding and appreciation for the important role of women in shaping Ireland's history. Throughout the Decade, the State has shone a light, often for the first time, on women's experiences and influence in the significant historical events that shaped our journey towards independence and self-determination. These remarkable and capable women were defiant, strong and united in their belief for a better Ireland that would accept male and female as equal. They continued the journey towards equality and empowerment, paving the way for all future generations of women to take on the world as equal partners.”

The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to encourage people of all ages to reflect upon the journey that this country has taken, particularly over the past 100 years. The exhibition, reflecting upon and celebrating all that has been achieved over the past 100 years but with an awareness of the considerable work remaining to be done, will encourage discussion, debate and analysis in ongoing exploration of our history. The exhibition is on display in Istabraq Hall, Merchant's Quay, Limerick from 18th February to 1st April 2019, Monday to Friday 10am-5pm.

Curated by the historian, Sinéad McCoole, and supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Decade of Centenaries programme.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Blind Date with a difference at the Library

This Valentine’s Day Clare County Library would like to play matchmaker for you and set you up on a blind date…with a book! Following on from the success of previous years we are excited to once again present Blind Date with a Book, where you take a chance and check out a book that we have selected, without knowing exactly what that book is until you get it home. We’re hoping we can introduce you to a book you’ll love, but may not have chosen for yourself otherwise. It could be the book you’ve been searching for all your life!

From February 13th-16th, during library opening hours, you are invited to visit any of the participating library branches in Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilkee, Killaloe, Kilrush, Lisdoonvarna, Scariff, Sixmilebridge and Shannon where there will be a display of books wrapped in plain paper. Make your selection and bring it to the checkout desk, where you will also receive a sweet treat to take home along with your newfound book love. The selected books will include a range of genres and themes but you won’t be able to judge any of them by their cover before you get to know them. Here’s hoping it will be love at first page, but there is no need to worry about any hard feelings or awkwardness if it’s not! If you don’t make that special connection you can simply return it and move on to the next book. After all, there are plenty more books on the shelves!

We’re also giving you the opportunity to show yourself some love with a host of Healthy Ireland at Your Library events planned for Valentine’s Day. You can join Kevin Kinsella for a taster session of Tai Chi in Sixmilebridge Library at 6.30pm, start your journey into Mindfulness with experienced, accredited therapist Pauline Bradley in Tulla Public Library at 6.30pm, learn how to offset life’s wear and tear on your body with a ‘Fit for Life’ talk by Physiotherapist Fintan O’Donnell in Corofin Public Library at 7pm or get expert tips on how to improve your nutrition from registered dietitian Dr. Anne Griffin in Lisdoonvarna Public Library at 7pm. Dr. Griffin will also give her talk on expert tips to improve your nutrition in Kildysart Public Library on Tuesday, 12th February at 7pm.

All events are free of charge and more information is available by contacting each branch library. To view opening hours and contact details for Clare County Library’s branches visit or phone 065-6821616/6846350.

Tuesday 5 February 2019

BUMBLEance makes a return visit to Newmarket on Fergus

The children of Scoil Na Maighdine Mhuire visited Newmarket on Fergus Public Library on the morning of the 5th of February for a very special reason. It was the second time in five months that they met with Mary Heffernan founder of the Saoirse Foundation and the driver of the BUMBLEance Mr. Jim Burke.

As part of the annual children’s book festival Clare County Library programmed a Books and BUMBLEance tour in October 2018. Over three consecutive days the BUMBLEance visited Scariff, Newmarket on Fergus, Miltown Malbay and Shannon libraries with children’s writers on board. The children had a unique opportunity to see the equipment the BUMBLEance contains, hear about the services they provide and why the charity was set up, as well as focusing on the comfort of reading and how books can make a difference to children’s health.

Having experienced the stress and challenges that parents of sick children face, Mary and her husband established the Saoirse Foundation after their two children sadly succumbed to the fatal Batten’s Disease and the BUMBLEance was launched.

The children’s national ambulance service reaches into every town, city and county in Ireland, delivering safe and comfortable transportation of sick children to and from children's hospitals, national treatment centres, respite and hospice centres. BUMBLEance provides the highest standards in professional medical care, and a suite of top-of-the range entertainment facilities designed and tailored for children. The aim is to distract, comfort and entertain Ireland's youngest and most sick patients as they travel, allowing children to be children and parents to be parents. Their mission is to deliver smiles and compassion in equal measure, along with all additional medical supports when needed most.

So taken by the story of the BUMBLEance and its founders were the staff and children of Scoil Na Maighdine Mhuire, Newmarket on Fergus in October, that they decided to do what they could to join the Bee Team and help the children who need the BUMBLEance services.

Staff and children organized a cake sale especially for BUMBLEance on the 2nd of November and €310 was raised. The presentation took place at Newmarket on Fergus Library on the 5th of February 2019 during one of the weekly visits that the children and teachers make to their local branch to choose the latest reads and to access additional books to support the Accelerated Reading Programme running in their school since 2015. The children of 4th class were accompanied by teacher Emer Pigott and SNA Pauline O’Neill.

Monday 4 February 2019

Familiar stories are most popular for Clare’s young readers

There are no big surprises in children’s reading choices indicated by the most popular books borrowed in 2018 from Clare County Library branches. David Walliams, Jeff Kinney, Rachel Renée Russell and Dav Pilkey are constants year on year, showing that children are happy to keep reading the authors and series they love.

David Walliams’ Bad Dad is at number one and is the most borrowed book by children in Clare, written by the biggest selling children’s author to have started writing since the year 2000.

Tom Gates Epic Adventure (kind of) is in second place. Author Liz Pichon is the author of this best- selling series for 9+ readers. The first book in the series THE BRILLIANT WORLD OF TOM GATES has won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, The Red House Book Award Best Book for Young Readers and the Waterstone¹s Best Fiction for 5-12 year olds prize.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney are as popular as ever and are well represented in Clare’s top 10 children’s books by three titles in the series, The Getaway, Double Down and Old School. These hilariously funny diaries that chronicle Greg Heffley’s middle school years have turned millions of kids into readers.

Francesca Simon’s Horrid Henry books remain popular with younger children who seem to never tire of reading about the escapades of this very naughty boy and his maddeningly good, little brother Perfect Peter.

Meanwhile the most popular Irish writer for Clare’s children is Marita Conlon McKenna whose Children of the Famine trilogy, including Under the Hawthorn Tree, Wildflower Girl and Fields of Home was an unparalleled publishing sensation in 1990. An amazing 20 years later, the books continue to be popular with new covers created by Ireland’s leading children’s illustrator, PJ Lynch in 2018.

Rachel Renée Russell’s Dork Diaries also make the top 10 and the ever popular Jacqueline Wilson whose books have entertained and inspired child and adult readers for nearly three decades is unsurprisingly included also.

Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants books first published in 1997 are still favourites among Clare’s young readers twenty years later, indicating that overall, familiarity with characters and knowing what to expect from favourite authors seems to be what children want when choosing library books and reading for pleasure.

Top 10 Children’s Books 2018
1. Bad Dad by David Walliams
2. Tom Gates Epic Adventure (kind of) by Liz Pichon
3. The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. Double Down: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
5. The Midnight Gang by David Walliams
6. The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams
7. Old School: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
8. Frenemies Forever: Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée Russell
9. Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman by Dav Pilkey
10. Horrid Henry’s Krazy Ketchup by Francesca Simon

Tuesday 29 January 2019

The Book Clubs’ Favourites 2018

Are you looking for a good book? Something that comes highly recommended by other avid readers? We asked local book clubs in County Clare, some library-based and others not, to list their favourite books from those they had read in 2018 and which they would recommend to others looking for a good read.

The top three recommendations were:
Homefire by Kamila Shamsie
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Lullaby by Leila Slimani

Other recommendations were:
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford
Lean on Pete by Willie Vlautin
Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Nutshell by Ian McEwan
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Plainsong by Haruf Kent
Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
West by Carys Davies
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Irish crime novels very popular in Clare’s libraries in 2018

The popularity of Irish crime writing continues among our readers, with Liz Nugent having 3 books in the list of the ten most popular fiction books borrowed from branches of Clare County Library in 2018.

Liz Nugent, picked up two awards at the 2018 An Post Irish Book Awards for her latest novel Skin Deep - the first for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year, and the second, for the Ryan Tubridy Listeners’ Choice Award. Skin Deep is her third novel. Her second novel Lying in Wait was the most borrowed adult fiction book in our libraries in 2018.

Other crime novels making the top ten list were The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and The Late Show by Michael Connolly. Connolly introduces a new female lead character in his latest book. Donal Ryan’s 4th novel From a Low and Quiet Sea which takes the reader from Syria to small-town Ireland was the 4th most popular fiction book in the libraries. The runaway success story of 2018, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman – a sad but humorous and life-affirming novel – reached number 6 on the list. The final three places on the top ten list were claimed by authors Emma Hannigan, Cathy Kelly and Sheila O’Flanagan – perennial favourites with the readers of Clare County Library.

Top 10 fiction books 2018
1. Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
2. Skin Deep by Liz Nugent
3. The Late Show by Michael Connolly
4. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
5. Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
7. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
8. The Perfect Gift by Emma Hannigan
9. The Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly
10. The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan

Readers in Clare County Library get healthy

All but 3 of the books on the list of the top ten most popular adult non-fiction books in Clare County Libraries in 2018 were related to healthy eating, wellbeing or mental health. Healthy Ireland is the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Ireland and as part of that strategy all libraries have been provided with relevant books and health related events have been held throughout the library network.

Of the three books that aren’t on the Healthy Ireland reading list, one – The Happy Pear by David and Stephen Flynn – is also a healthy eating cookbook. The 3rd most popular book on the non-fiction list was The Doctor’s Wife is Dead by Andrew Tierney. The book, set in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary in 1849 unravels a compelling but forgotten murder mystery about the trial of a local doctor for the murder of his wife. Michael Harding’s On Tuesdays I’m a Buddist, claimed 8th place on the top ten non-fiction books list. Mixing stories from the road with dispatches from his Irish Times columns, this is a powerful book about the human condition and the ultimate bliss of living in the present moment. Brian O’Connell’s book about Sixmilebridge native Brendan O’Regan was also very popular with our readers.

Top ten adult non-fiction books 2018
1. The plan: eat well, lose weight, transform your life by Aoife Hearne
2. Karl Henry's healthy living handbook by Karl Henry
3. The doctor's wife is dead : the true story of a peculiar marriage, a suspicious death, and the murder trial that shocked Ireland by Andrew Tierney
4. Mindfulness for health: a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing by Vidyamala Burch.
5. Food for the fast lane: recipes to power your body and mind by Derval O'Rourke
6. The Happy Pear: healthy, easy, delicious food to change your life by David and Stephen Flynn
7. Mindful walking: walk your way to mental and physical well-being by Hugh O'Donovan
8. On Tuesdays I'm a Buddhist by Michael Harding
9. Your middle years: love them, live them, own them by Paula Mee
10. The life well lived: the therapeutic journey to recovery and wellbeing by Jim Lucey

Wednesday 16 January 2019

No more fines on late library books

From the 1st of January, fines for overdue library books have been removed and no existing overdue fines will be collected. It will take a while before fines that existed pre- Jan 1st will be removed from members’ accounts but these fines will not be collected. We are encouraging members of the public to return undamaged, overdue library items to their local libraries. There will be no overdue fines to pay and we would be happy to reactivate your library membership for you to begin using your local library again.

The removal of fines is a key aim of the new public library strategy Our Public Library 2022: inspiring, connecting and empowering communities which was published jointly by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the County and City Management Association and the Local Government Management Agency and launched by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D. in June 2018. The strategy states, ‘The library is a free lifelong resource that should be available to all without barriers or charges. Library charges have been shown to have a detrimental effect on library use by children and the disadvantaged. However, there is little evidence to show they ensure timely returns – rather they may actually dissuade members and users from returning overdue items.

However we ask members to return their library books and DVDs promptly out of courtesy to other borrowers. You will continue to receive reminders and overdue emails to prompt you to return items to the library. Once a third overdue reminder has been sent, your card will be blocked until the outstanding items have been returned or the issue resolved. The elimination of overdue fines is another way for libraries to encourage people who might not regularly use the library to experience what they have to offer. So if you have been avoiding visiting the library for a while because of outstanding fines, it’s now safe to pop in and see what’s on offer.