Friday, December 28, 2007

Poetry by Deirdre Brennan from Arlen House

The poet Deirdre Brennan’s latest work is a twin-volume containing two distinct works, a book of poetry in English entitled Swimming with Pelicans and a book of poetry in Irish entitled Ag Eitilt fara Condair. The book was launched in Galway City Library on Thursday November 22nd.

One of the poems in the collection is entitled An Hibiscus, the Hibiscus being that tropical flower of such great and universally admired beauty. Deirdre Brennan’s poem discusses the invisibility of older people, especially older women.
We liked the poem very much and in preparation for the launch Petrina Mee, a member of library staff at Library Headquarters, translated the poem into English. We reproduce below a section of the translation, and we hope that it will encourage you to enjoy the full poem in it’s original form and that you will also seek out more of Deirdre Brennan’s fine poetry.

Deirdre Brennan’s book is published by Arlen House. It is full of poems of the kind of power and life and colour to be found in the lines below:

The change to city life was hard on her,
she who had lived all her life in a rural setting
the young starlings would have learned how to fly by now;
the hawk-moths sucking August sweetness from the petunias
and the owls calling in the night in her old garden

She felt herself taking on the form of a hibiscus, potted up in a hothouse,
her blooms as red as wild corn-poppies
in the morning, the trumpet of her petals opening,
falling to the windowsill by day’s end
some day they’d see her own petals closing one after the other
folding over on her stamen so compactly
that they would not be able to separate them from each other without tearing them

Friday, December 21, 2007

Most popular books in 2007

According to our computerised records the most popular book issues in Galway Public Libraries for 2007 were as follows:

Adult Fiction

  • Hosseini, Khaled: A thousand splendid suns
  • Binchy, Maeve: Whitethorn Woods
  • Keyes, Marian: Anybody out there?
  • Edwards, Kim: The memory keeper's daughter
  • Patterson, James: Judge and jury
  • Ahern, Cecelia: Where rainbows end
  • Ahern, Cecelia: If you could see me now
  • Picoult, Jodi: My sister's keeper
  • O'Flanagan, Sheila: Anyone but him
  • Connelly, Michael: Echo Park

Adult Non-Fiction

  • Bird, Charlie: This is Charlie Bird
  • McGrath, Paul: Paul McGrath :the autobiography
  • Robinson, Tim: Connemara :listening to the wind
  • Purcell, Deirdre: Diamonds and holes in my shoes
  • McGahern, John: Memoir
  • Grisham, John:The innocent man
  • Shields, Stan: Stan's Galway
  • Henry, William: Galway and the Great War
  • Bryson, Bill: The life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid :a memoir
  • D'Arcy, Brian: A different journey

Juvenile Fiction

  • Wilson, Jacqueline: Best friends
  • Sharratt, Nick: Best friends
  • Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the half-blood prince
  • Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the deathly hallows
  • Simon, Francesca: Horrid Henry's underpants
  • Black, Holly:The field guide: Book 1 :Spiderwick chronicles
  • Snicket, Lemony: The wide window :book the third
  • Child, Lauren: Clarice Bean spells trouble
  • Sharratt, Nick:The bed and breakfast star

Juvenile Non-Fiction

  • Deary, Terry: Ireland
  • Frank, Anne: The diary of a young girl
  • Simon, Francesca: Horrid Henry's joke book:
  • Deary, Terry: The awesome Egyptians
  • Daynes, Katie: Titanic
  • Deary, Terry:The frightful First World War
  • Gibson, Ray: The Usborne book of art ideas

  • Deary, Terry: Dark knights and dingy castles
  • Deary, Terry: The cut-throat Celts

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Tomás Rivera: The Complete Works; Arte Publico Press
Tomas Rivera presents us with the lives migratory farm workers in Texas during the decade of 1950 with all its joys and sorrows. Searching is a constant theme in his work: searching for work, searching for identity, and the quest for community. "How long, how long have we been searchers...from within came the passion to create a new life, a new dream every day. In the dump we discovered beautiful flowers among the cans and broken bottles. The sky was blue blue and even the birds looked at it and didn't disturb its beauty, a sacred blue pushing toward the earth."

The Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendhal; Modern Library
The narrative takes the reader by storm with its fervid pace, the pace at which Stendhal wrote it. This translation by the distinguished poet, Richard Howard, preserves the brio, gusto, élan, verve, and panache of the original. The novel's hero is always measuring his life against the poems and novels he has read. He keeps checking up on himself, as if trying to conform to some hidden master plan for being, or for loving -- a plan that, as the novel tragically demonstrates, he is never quite able to follow.

Three Stories and a Reflection, by Patrick Suskind; Bloomsbury Publishing
The topics are all plucked from the life - sometimes melancholy, sometimes mysterious or dark, and never monumental but they tie one from the first sentence. The protagonists are underdogs or losers, and come mostly from humble backgrounds. The art lies not in the content of the stories, it is in their words. In the opening story, about a young painter who after harmless criticism plunges into despair, Suskind writes about the frightening power of superficial criticism.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Database of Irish women's writing, 1800-2005

The University of Warwick and University College Dublin has constructed a bibliographical database of Irish women writers, who wrote in both Irish and English, between 1800 and 2005. The database includes a whole range of publications, such as novels, articles, poems, memoirs, travel writing, essays, cookery writing, plays, films, etc.

The database also provides biographical details, where available, such as birth dates, date of death, place of birth and death, places associated with a particular author, together with all known pseudonyms. Every known edition of a book, play, or film is listed, along with details of printers and publishers for each work. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The database is now freely available here

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Enhancements to News Resources

NewsBank, inc. has been one of the world’s premier information providers for more than 35 years. They will soon release an enhanced interface that significantly improves search results across their unrivaled local, national and international newspaper content. These enhancements to our news products, including —Australia's Newspapers, Access UK and Ireland Newspapers, Access World News—will go live on January 7, 2008.
Researchers using news databases are frequently overwhelmed by excessive or unrelated search returns. The solution: intuitive tools that narrow or refine the focus of a search to quickly produce specific, useful results. These new features, developed with an advisory board of librarians from around the world, enable users to:
  • more quickly and efficiently navigate through millions of articles
    tailor searches by specific source, one or multiple geographic locations, source types and more
  • further refine search returns by title, date, source type or location with a single click
  • explore timelines on specific topics or events to understand at a glance how coverage has changed over time
  • compare different viewpoints and uncover differences in news coverage across locations and time periods

This service is available to Galway Public Library members through our website here. You will need to login using the barcode on your library membership card

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Literature in Libraries

Since its foundation in 1995, 'Markings' has evolved into one of Scotland’s most popular literary magazines. Its content addresses poetry, fiction, contemporary art, criticism and reviews, including both commissioned and unsolicited material. Editorial policy is to feature writers and artists from southern Scotland, alongside their counterparts from around the world. A significant portion of each issue is dedicated to one writer and artist, enabling them to present a representative body of work.

Markings has teamed up with Bibliographic Data Services Ltd (BDS) to create the BDS Literature in Libraries scheme which involves searching for new talent in poetry and short story writing from writers who are in any way associated with libraries. Further information can be had by contacting the magazine here.

The current edition (Issue 25 October 2007), is available in Galway City Library. It includes contributions from performances made at this years Kiltimagh Literary Festival: Insight of Rafteri featuring Over the Edge poets Kevin Higgins and Susan Miller Du Mars.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:
Tonguecat, by Peter Verhelst-Farrar, Straus and Giroux
These days, the pursuit of perfection is all around us, a pursuit that is based on the notion that we can alter the world to suit us. But, according to recent theories, this view is untenable and perfect order always ultimately degenerates into chaos. In Tongue Cat, Peter Verhelst uses the various stories to describe how a city falls apart and comes to grief in chaos and violence. In the masterly final chapter, Verhelst lets the story, together with the city, burst apart at the seams. Tonguecat is a visionary novel about our society.

The Center of Everything, by Laura Moriarty - Hyperion Books
Evelyn is 10 when the novel opens, an observer of the silent struggle between Tina, her wayward young mother, and Eileen, her quiet, religious grandmother. Though Evelyn appears to be a mere observer of the tumultuous lives of her friends and family, it is she who will achieve her dreams with quiet determination. Evelyn is an intriguing, thoughtful narrator, and this novel is a truly exceptional coming-of-age story, perfect for readers of all ages. Moriarty deftly treads the line between adolescence and adulthood, and insecurity and self-assurance, offering a moving portrait of life.

My Christina, by Mercé Rodoreda - Graywolf Press
DEAR DOCTOR: Don't be surprised that I describe my condition in writing. Don't be surprised that the name I sign isn't mine. In a way I'm very shy and people frighten me. Maybe if you think about it calmly, you'll figure out who I am, but as for me, if there's no cure for my disease, I'd rather you didn't think about it and didn't figure it out. What’s been happening to me is so pent up inside: I'm turning into such a madwoman that I have to try and explain myself in writing. (Opening lines)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Doris Lessing...the war and the memory never finish

Doris Lessing is angry. In October of 2007 she won the Nobel Prize for Literature, on the following day she had her 88th birthday but she is still feeling angry. She has just finished a book about the war and her parents. Through her writing her memory has been envoked and now she feels full of rage and courage. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper "El país" she explains why.
We had the extraordinary opportunity to drink a cup of tea with Doris Lessing, the night before her birthday. She had a cold, she was worried about the bad mood of her cat and she explained to us that she had already finished a book about the war and her parents, "a book of rage and courage". Her house is an isolated area of peace; we are surrounded by books and now she reads a lot about the Spanish Civil War, an episode which filled her generation with anger an interest.

How are you feeling after all the bustle of the Nobel?
Are you asking me seriously?
Well… I cough all the time, I have a light diarrhea and cystitis.
Aside from all this I am feeling very well, thank you.
All my symptoms are because of stress, the stress of the Nobel.
The doorbell is ringing all day long, everyone wants to see me, the phone does not stop ringing, it is like this all day, everyday. And the cat is annoyed, don’t you see it?

Lessing lives this sudden interest with the indifference of someone observing their fame; she knows that this popularity is volatile.

You have always cautioned people about the perversions of the mass media: journalism, television and all that surrounds us everyday…
Yes, and I am still cautioning. Anyway the mass media and the journalist are two different topics. Furthermore, now we have the internet which has introduced a new type of culture, one which we accept without truly understanding.
And the television, just look at the television. Television has changed the way of thinking of everybody although we do not really know why.
I have seen the television come into a house where once all there was, was the radio, where the people used to sit together every night to talk, to eat, be together, etc…In those days our lifestyles were more simple, more healthy, more natural… and then came the television and interrupted all this culture and way of life.
That was the end of the conversation, of the joviality and of the coexistence…

And in which culture do we live now?
Family life has changed. As you know most of our women work and when they come home although they are exhausted, they still have their work at home to do… preparing meals, cleaning the house etc. .
We do not read to our children anymore because we are too tired … all this is new…

And how do you see England now?
People have now a lot of money … if you go to Leicester Square you will see that it is completely full. At midnight or even early in the morning there are still young people wanting to have fun. That is new in this country. I do not believe that this is going to last… Hmmmm, we will see.

How do you feel inside when you write about the war?
I am angry and somehow I can not take this anger out of me.

Is literature not helping?
The anger is still there and I do not know why. I feel the same as my father felt, rage, rage that something like that could happen. We had to fight the Second World War but the First was completely unnecessary…

When you were a child you ate oranges while you were reading. You were also a dreamer.
And I still am a dreamer but now I do not eat oranges anymore. I am too old to eat oranges now. That happens when we get old: I do not eat this, I do not eat that…. But I still read a lot and dream.

Do you remember your dreams?
Of course and as a writer it is normal that I use them.
Now you have a lot to celebrate, but about what are you especially happy?
I have a situation in my life about which I do not even speak. I have an invalid son of whom I have to take care. So my life
is not really what I expected. I can not talk about it. My life is not my life anymore.

What are you going to do for your birthday?
Nothing. I will think about this kind of thing when I get to 90.
Oh my God! The telephone is ringing again!

El Pais, 21st October 2007. Interview by Juan Guz

Translated and compiled by Vanessa Lafarga Kärnä
Galway Public Libraries

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

The Collected Poems, By Stanley Kunitz: Norton & Co.
Kunitz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet of far-ranging style and influence, died last year aged 100. Over the years he learned to "strip the water out of my poems" and acknowledge the benefits of a simpler, more intense approach. "A poet cannot concern himself with being fair to the reader. Time will tell. All poems contain a degree of mystery, as poetry is a discovery of one's hidden self. . . . Poetry is not concerned with communication; it has roots in magic, incantation, and spell-casting."

Lies, by Enrique De Heriz: Random House
After a boating accident in a Guatemalan backwater, Isabel, a Spanish anthropologist finds that one of the victims has been misidentified as her. She is strangely reluctant to return to her grieving children and husband in Barcelona. This is a powerful, original and beautifully written book , which explores the substance of what we are. The vivid, deadpan pacing of this novel recalls the films of Pedro Almodóvar.

Silence in October, by Jens Christian Grondhal : Harcourt
Story of an art historian whose wife, Astrid, has inexplicably departed. Why did she leave? Will she return? These are the questions her husband ponders as he tracks her progress through Europe (via credit card use and bank withdrawals) to a place in Portugal that has special meaning for them. This is indeed an "October" novel, meditative and melancholic: a lucid and lyrical book from a gifted writer.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Digital Archive Service launched

How to become a Galway Public Libraries borrower

The digitization project was co-funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and The Irish Times Trust.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

The English Years, by Norbert Gstrein; Hirschfelder is an Austrian writer, a Jew, who was forced to emigrate to Britain in 1938. The narrator of the story is an Austrian doctor whose estranged husband, Max, is an enthusiastic admirer of Hirschfelder. Whilst on an extended holiday in England she meets Hirschfelder's widow, Margaret, his third wife, and, in addition his two previous wives, and Clara, now senile, his lover. The pictures the three wives give of him do not correspond, either with each other's or with the myth believed in by Max. An elegant tale of exile and betrayal.

Vita, by Melania G. Mazzucco;
Ellis Island, 1903, where 12-year-old Diamante Mazzucco and his cousin Vita, age nine, evolve into star-crossed lovers striving to fulfill their destinies. Working in squalid boarding-houses the two (along with other relatives) are more or less confined to Prince Street in Manhattan, where they are subject to a horrifying array of abuses and privations. Deeply in love with Vita by the time he is 16, Diamante signs on with a railroad building crew and unwittingly begins four years of involuntary servitude under conditions that Mazzucco describes in unsparing detail; this underrepresented corner of the East Coast immigrant experience feels as fresh here as it is brutal.

Sepharad, by Antonio Munoz Molina
Molina's beautiful novel begins with a poetic meditation on the bittersweet nostalgia that seizes those who live in exile. It becomes clear that the past the narrator and the author are truly grappling with encompasses the entire Sephardic diaspora and the unfathomable horror and mass insanity of Hitler's and Stalin's regimes. How, Munoz Molina seems to ask, can a writer possibly convey such apocalyptic shock, terror, and grief? Calling on such inspiring figures as Franz Kafka and Primo Levi for guidance, Munoz Molina creates astute, deeply felt, and exquisitely expressive testimony to love, suffering, and the astonishing fecundity of human consciousness.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

National Winners Design a Bookmark Competition

Children's Books Ireland have announced the National Winners of this year's Children's Book Festival 'Design a Bookmark Competition' as follows...

Category Age 11 & over: Dennis Appleby (11)
from Ballinamore Branch Library in Co. Leitrim (left).

Category Age 10 & under: Claire Malone (10)
from Naas Branch Library in Co. Kildare (right).

Both of these designs were picked out by Illustrator Niamh Sharky as being particularly original and striking and will be used as next year's competition bookmarks..The overall standard was particularly high this year and choosing just two was by no means an easy task.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you all for taking part!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Over the Edge Reading in Galway City Library

The next ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, November 22nd, 6.30-8.00pm.

The Featured Readers are Kevin Lavelle, Danny Denton & Margaret Irish.

Kevin Lavelle lives in Barna, Co. Galway and works as a freelance film and television editor. He is the 2007 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year. His winning story, Bury Me In The Garden, is published in the current issue of Galway Arts Centre’s online literary magazine West 47. It is Kevin’s first published work.
Danny Denton completed his MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2006. He is a short-story writer, originally from Cork but now living in Galway. He has published fiction in The Stinging Fly, Southword, and The Sharp Review, and continues to work on his first collection of stories.
Margaret Irish is a native of Co. Kilkenny and writes short fiction and plays. She has had stories published in Ireland, England and Canada and won the PJ O'Connor Award for radio drama in 2003. Five of her stories and two of her plays have been broadcast on RTE/BBC. After many years of wandering she is back living in Kilkenny again.

There will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details phone 087-6431748.Over The Edge acknowledges the financial support of Galway City Council and The Arts Council.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Buaiteoir Dhuais an Oireachtais 2007... New Irish Writing Awards 2007

Bronnadh €10,000 ar Dharach Ó Scolaí, scríbhneoir, ealaíontóir & drámadóir as Casla, Co. na Gaillimhe, ar son a úrscéal liteartha, 'An Cléireach’ (Leabhar Breac). Beidh an saothar seo á sheoladh ag Oireachtas na Samhna i gCathair na Mart i mí na Samhna. Seo é an chéad úrscéal óna pheann, scéal atá suite i ndeireadh na seachtó haoise déag.
I measc na scríbhneoirí eile a fuair duaiseanna tá Biddy Jenkinson, Joe Steve Ó Neachtain, Alan Desmond, Liam Ó Muirthile, Breandán Delap, Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Gabriel Rosenstock, Liam Mac Cóil, Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin, Orna Ní Choileáin, Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé, agus Pádraig Standún.
Tháinig os cionn scór scríbhneoir faoi bhun 18 mbliana d’aois ó cheann ceann na tíre le glacadh le duaiseanna i rannóga na ndaoine óga.Tá na Comórtais Liteartha mar chuid lárnach d'obair Oireachtas na Gaeilge ó bunaíodh é i 1897 agus é mar aidhm aige deiseanna a chur ar fáil do scríbhneoirí na Gaeilge agus scríbhneoirí nua a mhealladh.

Darach Ó Scolaí has scooped the top prize of €10,000 at the annual Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competition. Ó Scolaí’s historical novel entitled ‘An Cléireach’ (Leabhar Breac). is the first published novel by the acclaimed artist & playwright from Conamara, Co Galway. A prize fund of €55,000 in total was awarded to both established and aspiring writers in the Irish language.
Winners were announced in categories including Light Fiction; Drama; Script Writing; Poetry & Irish for Adult Learners.Ó Scolaí’s historical novel entitled ‘An Cléireach’ is the first published novel by the acclaimed artist & playwright from Conamara, Co Galway.
The top Short Story prize went to Biddy Jenkinson while the Creative Prose award went to young writer Orna Ní Choileáin.

The Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competition, in its’ 110th year, is the most prestigious Irish language literary competition in the country. Previous winners include some of Ireland’s most celebrated authors including Pádraig Mac Piarais, Máirtín Ó Cadhain & Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

The Reader, by Ali Smith: Constable & Robinson
Featuring a wide range of writers whose work Ali Smith has loved at different points in her life, and for very different reasons, The Reader is both a treasure trove of rare treats and a unique literary autobiography. It is full of pieces from wonderful writers - Plath, Spark, Grace Paley, Yeats, Atwood. But also full of lesser known writers about which readers will be very happy to hear, like Joseph Roth, and Clarice Lispector. Also full of pieces by brand new wonderful writer and full of surprises,

Leaving Tabasco, By Carmen Boullosa: Grove Press
This lovely coming-of-age novel is full of humour and touched by magic. Raised by her mother and grandmother, in an all female home, Delmira Ulloa comes into adulthood with a wicked sense of humour and a delightful imagination. As Delmira becomes a woman she will search for the missing stranger who fathered her, and in choosing her own allegiances make a choice that will force her to leave home forever. In terms of the A penetrating sense of humanity infuses the prose and poetry of Carmen Boullosa. A book which is as effortlessly accessible as it is profound.

All that Blue, by Gaston-Paul Effa: Arcadia Books
At the age of five, Douo, a Cameroonian boy, is given in (traditional) sacrifice to the local French church by his father. Deprived of contact with his family, he is ensconced in a convent for the rest of his childhood. Aged 15 he is sent to become a monk in a monastery in Paris. As an adult he looks back at the nine years he spent in the convent school and the pain that has compelled him ever since to seek his absent father through the teaching of priests—and his mother's love in the arms of every woman he seduces.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Winners in CBF Bookmark Competition

Our congratulations and best wishes go to the Galway Winners of the Children's Book Festival Bookmark Competition for 2007. Michelle Heffernan, who is a library member in Oranmore Library who's bookmark on the left was selected as the Under 10 winner. Lisa Hannon from Headford Library won the 11 years and older section. Their entries now go forward to represent Galway in the National Finals. Best of luck to them!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gareth O’Callaghan launches Short Story competition in Loughrea

The writer and broadcaster, Gareth O’Callaghan launched the Home-Start Short Story Competition in Loughrea Library on Tuesday 30th of October. The competition is open to all parents in County Galway. Entries may be written or oral and must begin with the line “I am a parent, I never thought that being a parent would feel so …..”

The prize for the best entry is a Family Holiday in France:country-region, Spain:country-region or Italy, country-region, sponsored by Kelair Campotel in Ballinasloe.

Home-Start is a voluntary organisation with a dedicated group of trained volunteers who visit parents at home, while the children are young and while their need for support is greatest. Each volunteer offers friendship, emotional support and practical help for as long as the parent chooses.

For further information on the competition, on Home-Start support for families or on helping as a volunteer, please contact
Michael Stapleton,
Home-Start Co-ordinator,
ADC House,
Station Road,

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Donation of books to Loughrea Library honours the memory of the late Senator Bobby Burke.

Bobby Burke, a Senator who represented the Labour Party
and who was a member of Galway County Council in the 1940s was honoured in Loughrea Library on Tuesday night October 15th. Senator Burke was a man who believed strongly in working on behalf of the poor and the marginalised.

On the initiative of his niece, Claire Besnoye, a special collection of books to mark his memory has been placed in the Loughrea Library. This collection is a tribute to the life and work of Bobby Burke, and the books reflect the political and social philosophies by which he lived and the historical tradition from which he emerged. The collection was donated by Claire Besnoye and by friends who wished to honour the work of the former senator.

At the launch of the collection both Professor Gearóid O Tuathaigh, Professor of History at NUI Galway and Dr. John Cunningham, lecturer in history at NUI Galway gave short lectures on Bobby Burke.

Senator Burke established a co-operative farm near Tuam and the men who were working on the co-operative farm in Tuam were ordinary agricultural labourers.

Senator Burke could have employed the labourers in the ordinary way, and paid them a day's wages when they worked and let them remain idle when he did not require their services. Instead of that, he brought them in on his land, built houses for all of them, and gave them a voice in the running and management of the farm. He believed in giving the worker a share in the management of the farm. To him this was exceedingly desirable because of the sense of responsibility which it develops and because, he believed, "it places at the disposal of the employer the genius that is often found latent in a man in a humble position. It gives the worker greater interest in life and makes him feel that he is not merely a wage slave, that his opinion is valued and that, if he has any good ideas, they can be exploited to his own and his employer's advantage."

Senator Burke followed through on this philosophy in full measure. He gave these men comfortable homes. He formed them into a management committee where he had only one vote, the same as they. They meet periodically to decide in regard to various operations on the farm. He made himself an allowance for his work as he did for his men. Allowance was made for seeds, manures and so on and, at the end of the season, the accounts were made up and the profits were divided in equal measure amongst all.

The staff of Loughrea Library, Ms. Anne-Marie Callanan, Mary Donnellan and Sheila Kelly ensured that the event was well-attended, well-organised and that it ran smoothly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Lost, by Hans-Ulrich Treichel, Random House
A boy's parents never get over the loss of their older son, whom they last saw while fleeing from the Russian army in 1945. There is virtually no dialogue, and the deliberately slow progress of the plot makes you anticipate a big finale that doesn't arrive. What you get instead is a paradoxical conclusion, that makes sense for the little boy if not for the other characters. This kind of "sober" narrative will surely get critical acclaim in academia, but it is also recommended to anyone attracted to the theme of the fragile nature of the human mind.

Antigua and My Life Before, by Marcela Serrano, Random House
The day the Berlin Wall fell. Everything began that November 9, 1989, with the fall of the Wall. Who could have imagined how much more would come down with it. Which was what I told Violeta Dasinski that day. I ought to have been a witness: if only I'd paid more attention. In the photograph there is a forlornness in her expression I hadn't noticed until now. As if her consciousness were dissolving in her eyes. The date of the beginning of Violeta's public life was the day her name appeared on the front page of the Santiago newspapers: November 15, 1991. (Opening paragraph)

In the Wilderness, by Manuel Rivas, Overlook Press
"There were three hundred crows.... and there was a girl and a church." The lady of the manor, Misia, accounts how the three hundred crows are poet-warriors of the last king of Galicia. A priest, Don Xil, explains to a young peasant, Rosa, that the paintings of beautiful women which are discovered on the walls of the church are sinful portraits. Rivas's "delicate, restrained magical realism, deploys Galician folklore to lend a mythic resonance" to a story about Spain's reluctant transformation to a modern urban lifestyle.

Friday, October 26, 2007

We are not alone...anymore

Our congratulations go to the new Watch House Cross Community Library (Limerick City Library Service) for developing what is now the second Public Library Blog operating in Ireland. You can find out what they are writing about here.

Their new, state of the art branch library at Watch House Cross was officially opened on Thursday 31st May.This new branch library will serve the north side of Limerick City, especially the communities of Moyross, Ballynanty and Kileely.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

A Coin in Nine Hands, by Marguerite Yourcenar; University of Chicago Press
During the space of a day in Rome in 1933, a ten-lira coin passes through the hands of nine people—including an aging artist, a prostitute, and a would-be assassin of Mussolini. The coin becomes the symbol of contact between human beings, each lost in private passions and nearly impenetrable solitude. Within a few pages we have met half the major characters in this haunting, brilliantly constructed novel. . . . The studied perfection, the structural intricacy and brevity remind one of Camus. Yet by comparison, Yourcenar's prose is lavish, emotional and imagistic.

Selected Stories, by Robert Walser; NewYork Review of Books
Robert Walser lived on the fringes, an urban migrant working at menial jobs, rejecting adult relationships for the ever more total isolation in which he poured out poems, plays, novels, and hundreds of brief, brilliantly unpredictable prose sketches. He a writer of considerable wit, talent and originality, and for much of his later life an institutionalized madman who could be surprisingly lucid. He loved his food, his beer, and his freedom to ramble in both the Swiss and German countryside. Here are stories to be read slowly and savoured, a volume filled with lovely and disturbing moments that will stay with the reader for some time to come.

America's Magic Mountain, by Curtis White ; Dalkey Archive Press
An unassuming young man was travelling north by train from his home in Downstate , Illinois. He knew little of the world outside of the absurdly narrow purview provided by textbooks in what was called Industrial Psychology. To understand his capacities one has only to imagine the possibility of a young man whose life consisted of being shoved from box to box. That he never ventured forth from any of these boxes - until this momentous trip by train - says something about his willingness to trust and, yes, his essential timidity. At any rate, break forth he had now, for he planned a two-week stay at a recovery spa. (Opening page).

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Children's Book Festival 2007 in Galway City

Here are some more details of events taking place around Galway City as part of the Children's Book Festival . Please contact each library for details.

Galway City Library, Augustine St.
Monday 22nd October: Matthew Noone a travelling storytelling musician from Australia will recount adventures from around the
world. 11.05-12.00
Tuesday 23rd October: Author and storyteller Pete Mullineaux will tell
tall tales and recite rhymes. 10.00-10.45 and 11.00-11.45
Wednesday 24th October: 'Larry the Lion'. Arts and Crafts - Create a happy lion!
Thursday 25th October: Storyteller Clare Murphy will weave her magic with some
enthralling tales. 1.15pm-2.00pm

Ballybane Library
Tuesday 23rd October: Chess Tournament. 11.00 -1.00
Thursday 25th October: Storyteller Clare Murphy, suitable for junior/senior infants.
Friday 26th October: Twilight Stories...stories based on African folklore.
Three Sessions: 10.30-11.30, 11.30-12.30 and 1.30-2.30

Westside Library
Wednesday 24th October: Mask making for 7to 10 year olds. 4.00-5.00
Thursday 25th October: Storytelling with Clare Murphy, suitable for junior/senior
Friday 26th October: Pete Mullineaux with an interactive storytime with rhymes
and song. For 3-5 year olds. 3.00-3.45

Oranmore Library
Wednesday 24th October: Arts & Crafts for 6 to 10 year olds. 3.00-4.30pm
Thursday 25th October: Interactive story time with Clare Murphy for 1st class.
Children's Fancy Dress. 4.00pm

Friday, October 19, 2007

Children's Book Festival - Around Galway

As the Children's Book Festival continues into it's final week, we include here details of events forthcoming in Galway Libraries. Also, some images from last week in Gort Branch Library, including Michael Carroll reading from his book "The Quantum Prophecy" which is the first book in his New Heroes science fiction series.

Eyrecourt Library
Friday 19th October: Author visit Kate McMahon. 10.00- 11.00 and 11.15- 12.15
Map of Europe Jigsaw Competition. 3.00-4.00

Athenry Library
Friday 19th October: Make and Do with Tina 11.30 – 1.00pm
Tuesday 23 October: Table Quiz for Primary Schools 11.00 – 12.30
Wed 24th October: ‘I can animate’ Workshop 11.00 – 12.30
Thursday 25th October: Storytelling with Tina 11.00 – 12.00

Gort Library
Friday 19th October: Storytime for Preschoolers. 11.00
Tuesday 23rd October: Deadline for Bookmark Competition
Friday 26th October: Baloonmania and announcement of Bookmark Competition Nominees

Portumna Library
Friday 19th October: Teddy Bear’s Picnic with Hayley
Fancy Dress Parade 4.00

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Author visits - Children’s Book Festival 2007

The month of October is a busy month throughout Galway County Libraries. Children’s Book Festival is in full swing.There are all kinds of events from the traditional Table Quizzes, Chess, Draughts, Story and Poetry Competitions etc.
It is a great opportunity to promote the Library to children.

Author Visits
Galway County Libraries will host 5 Children’s Authors during Children’s Book Festival.
Malachy Doyle will visit Galway City, Ballybane, Westside and Oranmore on Thursday 11th October.
Friday 12th Oct, he will visit Ballinasloe and Portumna
Malachy Doyle was born and brought up in Northern Ireland. He went to College in Lancashire and then worked for some time as a teacher and also in advertising. At thirty years of age he moved to a small farm in Wales with his wife and family. He worked as a care assistant in a special school and then began to write.
He is a prolific writer and has received many awards.
His Picture Books include Big Pig, The Dancing Tiger, Hungry Hungry Hungry, When a Xyder met a Zeeder. The Football Ghost for beginner readers, Amadans and amadans alert for young readers and Georgie his award winning novel for Young Adults.

Jon Berkeley will visit Galway City Libraries on Monday 15th Oct.
Jon Berkeley was born in Dublin and travelled extensively before settling in Catalonia with his wife and family. His novel The Palace of Laughter was shortlisted this year for CBI/Bisto award. His second book is due out this month The Tiger’s Egg.

Michael Carroll will visit Galway City Libraries on Tuesday 16th Oct.
On Wednesday 17th he will visit Gort, Athenry and Tuam.
Michael Carroll was born in Dublin, left school at sixteen and worked as a postman for 3 years. He then worked in the computer industry for a number of years. He writes for adults and children. He writes science fiction and his children’s series The New Heroes are proving very popular. The titles include Quantam Prophecy, Sakkara and Absolute Power.

Maeve Friel will visit Tuam and Dunmore Libraries on Thursday 18th oct. Oughterard and Headford on Friday 19th Oct.
Maeve Friel was born in Derry.She grew up in a house filled with books. She has a great interest in myths and legends and they tend to find a way in to her books. Her first novel The Deerstone was published in 1992. She writes for all age groups. Her Witch-in-Training Series are very popular with the younger age group.

Baboro The International Festival for Children have organised Oisin McGann to read in Killimor and Loughrea Libraries on Friday 19th October and on Saturday 20th the Storyteller Andrew Mc Kenna will entertain children in Glenamaddy and Tuam Libraries.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Children's Book Festival in Tuam Library

The Children's Book Festival is a nationwide celebration of children's books and reading, which this year will be taking place from October 3rd-26th. The following are details of events happening in Tuam Branch Library during the festival.

Tuesday 16th October – Jewellery making and bead workshop with local artist Karena Ryan, 10.00 – 11.00 & 11.15 -12.15

Wednesday 17th October – Author Michael Carroll will read from his ‘new hero’s’ book series at 3.15 – suitable for children aged 10+.

Thursday 18th October - author Maeve Friel will read her latest spellbinding story from her “witch-in-training” series suitable for 1st and 2nd classes. 9.45—10.30, 10.45 –11.30 & 11.45—12.30.

Friday 19th October - Jewellery making and bead workshop with local artist Karena Ryan, 10.00 – 11.00 & 11.15 -12.15

Saturday 20th October – Australian performance storyteller Andrew McKenna will tell stories from around the world with the use of words, mime, music, gesture and masks.

Monday 22nd October: Print workshops with the National Print Museum… Participants will work with artefacts from the Museum's collection to hand set and print their names in metal type. The participants will learn basic composing skills to construct their names, which will then be inserted into a 'WANTED' poster, and printed on The Farley Proofing Press, a key working piece of the Museum's collection.
Hand Folded Printers Hat
The second half of the workshop will show participants how to make old style printers hats, using Origami techniques. They will then have the opportunity to decorate their printers hats.
Suitable for 5th and 6th classes
9.30—11.00 & 11.30—1.00.

Tuesday 23rd October: Story time with local storyteller Gerry King; suitable for pre-schools and junior infants. 11.00—12.00

Wednesday 24th October: Galway based story teller Clare Murphy takes us on a magical journey with her amazing stories from around the globe; 9.45—10.30 & 10.45—11.30 & 12.00—1.00.

Thursday 25th October: Table Quiz for 3rd and 4th classes
Friday 26th October: Table Quiz for 5th and 6th classes

Friday, October 12, 2007

Lessing wins Nobel Literature Prize

British author Doris Lessing has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy has announced.The academy described Lessing as "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny." Few had tipped Lessing for the prize. At 87, she is the oldest person ever to win, and only the eleventh woman since it was first awarded in 1901.

Lessing is widely respected by her contemporaries as one of the most cerebral novelists of her generation. Author Margaret Drabble once described her as "one of the very few novelists who have refused to believe that the world is too complicated to understand.''

Born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), race and empire are themes frequently explored by Lessing. In her debut novel, The Grass is Singing (1950), she examines the relationship between a white farmer's wife and her black servant.

Lessing's breakthrough came with The Golden Notebook (1962), a book that became a favourite for the feminist movement for its examination of the male-female sexual relationship from a woman's standpoint. Lessing herself has said she does not want to be viewed as a feminist icon. She caused controversy in 2001 when she said she found herself "increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed."

In her latest novel, The Cleft (2007), Lessing continues her exploration of the relationship between the sexes by constructing a mythical all female world into which men are suddenly introduced.Under My Skin (1994) and Lessing's other autobiographical book Walking in the Shade (1997) are widely regarded as the high-point of her career. They were praised for capturing the last days of the British Empire.

Also notable is Shikasta (1979), which marked a venture into science fiction, something of which the Swedish Academy was rumoured to disapprove. This was blamed by some for Lessing missing out on the prize in the past.

Galway Public Libraries hold over 40 of Lessing’s works across it's library network, There are approximately twenty five titles held in Galway City Library. All of these titles may be borrowed by library users either directly, or through their local library branch.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adventures in Reading

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Passion Perfect, by Annie Ernaux
Annie Ernaux has written eloquently about loss. Now she writes of another kind of loss, the loss of herself in a love and then the loss of the love itself. In spare, beautiful language, she writes of the end of an affair, the coming to terms with it’s close and with the person she has become because of it. A stunning story, despite its detachment and the careful exclusions of any excess, that pulsates with the very passion Ernaux so truthfully describes. Small, but abundantly wise.

Antichrista, by Amelie Nothomb
With their hoodies and their attitude, teenagers have become the terrifying, foul-mouthed behemoths of adult society. Blanche is just such a teenager. She is bad at friendship and good with books. Enter Christa, another precocious 16-year-old, but one with social skills. How can Blanche possibly interest her? Amélie Nothomb is an artist like no other. She emerges from the multitude thanks to the perfume of her authenticity, her audacity, her conscientiousness and a humility which for her is a mark of honour.

The Lost Grove, by Rafael Alberti
Autobiography of Rafael Alberti, writer and poet, whose life and work remained interconnected with profound social and political change that occurred in Spain throughout the 20th Century. This book evokes all the joys, the sorrows, the embarrassments, and the longings of a boy growing up, and it unashamedly presents all the pleasant and all the bitter reflections of a man looking back on himself as a youth. By turns reflective and confessional, Alberti's reminiscences recreate his strict Jesuit upbringing, adolescence and struggles as both painter and poet.