Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Library Ireland Week 2008

Here are some of the events taking place in Galway Public Libraries during Library Ireland Week.

Tuam Library
Monday 3rd March:
Galway based artist Jim Kavanagh will do the first of a three part series of workshops for adults with learning difficulties. A group of ten people from Ability West will paint pictures for their own homes, which will then be framed and exhibited.
Tuesday 4th March: "Revolting Rhymes" drama workshops with Midi Corcoran, from the Tuam Arts Festival. Midi will bring along costumes and make up and the children will act out the stories from ‘Revolting Rhymes’.– 2 sessions.
Wednesday 5th March: Storyteller Matthew Noone will delight children with his tales from around the world. His style of storytelling uses African drums, Indian lutes and the odd touch of rocking guitar which creates a rich sensory experience of the myths and folk tales he weaves. – 2 sessions.

Ballinasloe Library
Tuesday 4th March: Historical Society lecture "Emigration and Return 1890-1920..south Roscommon" by Diane Dunnigan at 7.30pm
Wednesday 5th March: Poetry reading with Galway City Council’s writer in residence Michael O'Loughlin at 8.00pm.

Portumna Library
Mon. 3rd March @ 7.15pm: Book club meeting - Book for discussion this month - Bill Bryson's life and times of the thunderbolt kid.
and @ 8.00pm - Ann Heagney and Margaret Rudkins will give a talk on "The components in maintaining positive mental health"
Wed 5th March @ 7.30:
Literary Readings from Portumna Pen Pushers and Maple Poetry group.
Thurs 6th March: - Local Art Exhibition launched at 7.30pm with cheese and wine reception.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2008 IMPAC Literary Award

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is open to works of fiction written in, or translated into English and published within a specified period of time.The nomination process for the Award is unique as nominations are made by selected libraries in capital and major cities throughout the world. Participating libraries can nominate up to three books each year for the Award:
Galway Library staff should email their nominations to HQ, who will aggregate the information and forward to Impac. Nominations should reach us by the 18th of April. To refresh your mind see the nominated 2008 longlist here.

The books must meet the following criteria for eligibility.
  • Only Novels are eligible.
    You may nominate up to three novels which must have been:
  • first published in English between 2007 and 2007, both dates inclusive, or
  • first published in a language other than English between 2003 and 2007 and first published in English in 2007
  • Books nominated and eligible in previous years are NOT eligible for this year
  • Your choice should be based soley on literary merit

Thursday, February 21, 2008

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

White King, by György Dragomán, Houghton Mifflin.
Eleven-year-old Djata makes sure he is always home on Sundays. It is the day the State Security came to take his father away, and he believes it will be a Sunday when his father is finally sent home again. This disturbing, compelling, beautifully translated novel is set in an unnamed totalitarian, communist regime, based on the nationalist, Stalinist, poverty-stricken Romania of the 1980s where Dragomán grew up. The most moving parts of the book are the quieter moments - how one morning he slips out of the flat to cut tulips for his mother.

Night Train to Lisbon, by Pascal Mercier, Grove Press
Raimund Gregorius, a Swiss professor of languages, is crossing a rainy bridge in Bern when a mysterious woman writes a phone number on his forehead and utters a single word in Portuguese. A number of unexplained and seemingly unrelated events conspire to tear Gregorius out of his solitary and unvarying existence and send him to Lisbon in search of both the woman and a book’s author. This novel caused a sensation in Europe and spent 140 weeks on the German best-sellers lists. The book becomes a moving meditation on the defining moments in our lives, the "silent explosions that change everything."

The Bad Girl, by Mario Vargas Llosa, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
"What was her name, her home, her life, her past?" wonders Flaubert’s Frédéric Moreau on seeing Mme Arnoux for the first time. "Even the desire for physical possession gave way to an aching curiosity which knew no bounds." Much the same feeling is stirred in the narrator of this novel by the woman to whom he consecrates his life. So indefatigably unreliable and elusive will she prove, that the narrator’s curiosity, far from being satisfied, is endlessly renewed. He will meet her again and again, over forty years, in several different cities, and fall in love with her anew each and every time. (TLS)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Library Ireland Week 2008

In order to promote the work of Librarians and Libraries, the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) co-ordinated, with the help of libraries and information units all over Ireland, the first Library Ireland Week during March 2005.

This was the first time that the LAI held a series of events nationally and locally to celebrate Librarians and Libraries. There was a huge response from members in all types of Libraries and information services all over Ireland. They marked this event by highlighting their work, holding events, drawing attention to the issues Librarians and Libraries face, celebrating our achievements.

Library Ireland Week 2008 takes place from 3rd – 9th March . Posters, bookmarkers, a logo and a website will all feature in this year’s publicity campaign.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adventures in Reading

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

Frank Zappa: A Biography, by Barry Miles. Atlantic
An engrossing portrait of the troubled musical genius who died in 1993 at age 52. Zappa endured a peripatetic youth and an early brush with the law that fueled his trademark anti-authoritarian strain; his musical brilliance eventually transformed him from class clown into one of rock's major icons. The book skillfully weaves together the major beats and minor notes of Zappa's remarkable life: he was a hard-rocking star, but also a meticulous, studious composer influenced by Varèse and Stravinsky. Well written and exceedingly well referenced, right down to the exhaustive discography.

The Poems of St. John of the Cross ; University of Chicago Press
St. John of the Cross, a 16th-century mystic, wrote a small body of poems, many of them while he was imprisoned. His poems often blur the line between romantic and religious love in the tradition of Song of Songs; it's often difficult not to interpret them as secular love poems. These are poems to read aloud to a lover, poems to read silently before God, poems that quiver before the world's beauty and thankfully seek to describe something beyond it--a God whose undeniable intimacy with humanity always edges toward the ineffable.

Nureyev: The Life, by Julie Kavanagh ; Pantheon
Rudolf Nureyev had it all: beauty, genius, charm, passion, and sex appeal. No other dancer of our time has generated the same excitement. This is a lovingly crafted biography of the dancer who leaped out of the Soviet Union in 1961 and settled into a spectacular if erratic orbit of the ballet world. Drawing on previously undisclosed letters, diaries, and interviews with Nureyev’s inner circle, Julie Kavanagh gives the most intimate, revealing, and dramatic picture we have ever had of this dazzling, complex figure. A brilliant work worthy of its mercurial subject.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

NewsBank's Hot Topics

Galway Public Libraries continues to offer it's library users full access to NewsBank which is a full text newspaper database, providing online access to international news articles in both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. News articles are complemented by additional sections including obituaries, literary criticism, people, editorial pieces and book/film/art reviews. New articles are added to NewsBank on a daily basis to ensure the collection is as current as possible.

To search NewsBank simply enter the Barcode No. from the back of your Library Membership Card here. To become a Galway Library member and use this service go here

Included below are some subject areas from their topical 'Hot Topics' service:

FINE ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE - Model for the Mona Lisa Topic: A researcher at the University of Heidelberg has recently uncovered evidence that confirms the identity of the woman portrayed in Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Who is the woman? What is the evidence that was used to identify this woman?
Search Terms: Mona Lisa AND art

CIVICS, GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS - Iraq's New Flag Topic: Iraq has passed a new law which changed the design of their national flag to eradicate any vestiges of the Saddam Hussein era. What will the new flag mean to Iraqis? Will this new design help in building peace between the different political factions?
Search Terms: Iraq AND flags

LITERATURE - Margaret Truman Topic: Novelist Margaret Truman was known for many reasons. What kind of novels did Ms.Truman write? Who was Ms. Truman's father? What career did Ms. Truman have before writing novels?
Search Terms: Margaret Truman

HISTORY - Japanese Immigration to Brazil Topic: Brazil is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to their country. What are some of the contributions the immigrants have made to their new country? Is immigration good or bad for a country?
Search Terms: Brazil AND Japan AND immigration

LITERATURE - Best Sellers on Phones Topic: In Japan, cell phone novels are now considered a new literary genre and readers are spending 2 to 3 hours a day on their phones. Publishers are printing the more popular stories to keep up with the trend. Will this type of fiction delivery be good for building a new nation of readers? Do you believe the fiction will ever receive any major literary prizes?
Search Terms: cellular telephones AND fiction

HEALTH - Blood Type Change Topic: A young girl in Australia who received a liver transplant five years ago found her blood-type and immune system changing to match that of the donor. She no longer has to take the drugs that prevent her body from rejecting the new organ. Will this discovery lead to more transplants? Will organ donations increase to cover the demand?
Search Terms: Blood Types AND Transplants AND Australia

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - Mercury is Shrinking Topic: The planet Mercury is shrinking in size. What is causing this? How have scientists been able to determine this?
Search Terms: Mercury AND planet

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"long prepared and graced with courage"

John Lonergan, Governor of Mountjoy Prison, speaking at a recent library conference said that it was not books, it was not the internet, rather it was people who came into the library who were important.
He advised: "especially the people at the bottom....... listen to them, hear what they have to say." He said that we were not there to worry or to be concerned about what the Minister thought or what those in authority wanted. No….he said that "we need to make those at the bottom feel welcome in our libraries."
And he continued: "People who need warmth and love in their lives........ and who have missed out on these things in their lives....... dealing kindly and helpfully with these people will repay us a thousand fold, both personally and in terms of the library service."

His words brought to mind some of the lines of the Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy who wrote; ....."let us be long prepared and graced with courage."

Here is a variation on that poem by Cavafy:
"As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
as is right for you who were given this honour of working in a library,
go firmly to engage your readers each day
and listen with deep emotion
listen to the voices
to the exquisite music of that strange procession
of people who regularly visit."

Cavafy's portrait by artist
Panagiotis Gravallos

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Adventures in Reading

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

Madame, by Antoni Libera; Canongate
Madame is an unexpected gem: a novel about Poland during the grim years of Soviet-controlled mediocrity, which nonetheless sparkles with light and warmth.
Our young narrator-hero is suffering through the regulated boredom of high school when he is transfixed by a new teacher --an elegant "older woman" who bewitches him with her glacial beauty and her strict intelligence. He resolves to learn everything he can about her and to win her heart. This deeply symbolic novel is full of tragedy and comedy, exuberance and suffocation.

The Turkish Lover, by Esmeralda Santiago; MERLOYD LAWRENCE Memoir in which the narrator tells of running off with a struggling Turkish filmmaker 17 years her senior. Their relationship was lopsided. Santiago is an immensely powerful storyteller, and The Turkish Lover is imbued with grace and passionate honesty. She unflinchingly examines what drew her to such a destructive relationship and why she stayed so long. When life becomes frustrating, she falls back on the theory that "there [will] always be another train." The voice of Santiago is fresh, exciting, and necessary.

Lying Awake, by Mark Salzman ; Vintage
The life of a modern nun is often misjudged, mysterious, and quizzical. When a nun is the recipient of mystical visions and ecstasies, and the fame that results from them, her life is all the more fascinating. Her visions have gained her and her community fame. But Sister John's visions are accompanied by powerful headaches, and when a doctor reveals that they may be dangerous, she faces a devastating choice. To make her decision, Sister John must re-examine her path to the cloistered life and test the strength of her most cherished beliefs. In this spare, affecting novel, Salzman creates a compelling portrait of faith and the interior life.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Matters of the Heart

Oranmore Library hosts the launch of a new book of poetry by Robert Allen Eastwood on Wednesday February 6th at 7.30pm. The book will be launched by Dr Kieran Daly. Entitled Affairs of the Heart, it is published by Croí and proceeds from it's sale will support the West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation.