Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Adventures in Reading

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

Unthinkable Tenderness, by Juan Gelman: Univesity of California Press
Argentine poet Juan Gelman, who suffered wrenching personal loss under his country's military rule and wrote of it in poignant verse, received the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honour last Wednesday. The ceremony served up a juxtaposition that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago: Gelman, a former leftist militant, ex-communist and political outsider, shaking hands warmly with a king. In his acceptance speech Gelman defended the validity of poetry in what he called ‘these materialistic times of poverty.’

Nobody's Home, by Dubravka Ugresic: Telegram Books
"I am standing in a bank in Amsterdam. I am waiting for the people in front of me to finish their business at the teller's window. The young bank clerk snaps: 'You haven't got a number...' The essence of communist daily life was not its lack of democracy, or the restriction of political, religious, sexual and other freedoms. It was the unending, everyday degradation of ordinary human reason. A person who has had experience in both systems, capitalism and communism, cannot help but wonder whether the essentials of everyday communist life have sneaked illegally over to the West? (Extract)

The Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendhal: Modern Library
"As I was carrying this book around with me that summer, I asked myself many times why it was such a pleasure just to know the book was at my side. In reading this book I experienced the joy of youth, the will to live, the power of hope, the fact of death, and love, and solitude. As in novels, there is in life a genuine wish, an impulse, a race towards happiness. But there is more than that. A person wishes to reflect on that desire, that impulse, and a good novel becomes an integral part of our lives and the world around us, bringing us closer to the meaning of life…" Orhan Pamuk

Saturday, April 26, 2008

NewsBank, inc. is one of the world's premier information providers. Through partnerships with leading publishers worldwide, NewsBank provides Web-based access to more than 2,000 newspaper titles, as well as newswires, broadcast transcripts, journals, periodicals and other publications. NewsBank also offers authoritative digital collections of historical documents, curriculum resources covering all subject areas and extensive media services for publishers. It is available to Galway Public Library members through our website. All you need to do is enter the number on your library membership card.

NewsBank has provided information resources to libraries around the world for more than 35 years. It offers the full text of thousands of newspapers from across the U.K and other countries through a wide variety of online reference products.

This year through MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council), NewsBank is offering expanded content and new products specifically created to meet the needs of public library patrons, including:

  • more than 200 U.K. and Irish newspapers, including The Times from 1985 through the present day, the Financial Times from 1982, The Economist from 1998 and hundreds of other local, regional and national titles

  • major international newspapers and wire services business periodicals and journals

Additionally, NewsBank interfaces and search features can be customised to help library patrons locate important sources and find relevant information quickly and easily.

Thursday, April 24, 2008, the definitive website for Galway parents is a free resource for families in Galway. With a full range of listings for activities, classes and clubs for children of all ages, as well as information on services and events for children and families. As well as the new Books for Kids newsletter, parents can also sign up for a free monthly newsletter with information and suggestions for things to do, as well as regular competitions as well.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

23rd Cúirt Festival

The Cúirt International Festival of Literature 2008 takes place in Galway from April 22-27.
The theme of this, the 23rd festival, is that the authors involved have been eye witnesses to history, from Chechnya to Northern Ireland.

Among those taking part are Asne Seierstad, author of "The Book Seller of Kabul"; anti-Apartheid campaigner Breyten Breytenbach; and former adviser to Barack Obama, Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power

As part of this year's festival programme, the Cúirt Literary Tour will trace literature in Galway through the years, while there will also be special readings for young people.
For the full festival programme click here

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ballybane Library Reading Group

Do you enjoy reading but find it can be quite a solitary activity?
Would you like to meet other readers to discuss books and reading?
You may be interested in joining the Ballybane Library Reading Group.
We meet in the library on the last Wednesday of each month. Next meeting is on the 30th of April.

For further details please contact
Siobhán Arkins, Ballybane Library, Castlepark Road, Galway
Ph: (091)380590

Saturday, April 12, 2008

'Re-Telling Ralahine' Exhibition in Gort Public Library

As part of The Forge Literature Festival, organized by the Western Writers’ Centre, which took place in Gort in the last weekend of March 2008, Gort Library hosted two events: a performance by storyteller, Eddie Lenihan and an Exhibition on the Re-telling of Ralahine.
The Re-telling of Ralahine is a drama in words and music by the playwrights, Margaretta D’Arcy and John Arden. The play was performed in the Lady Gregory Hotel in Gort on Saturday 29th March. The supporting exhibition will be on view in Gort Library throughout the month of April.

The great social experiment of eighteen-thirties Ireland, on the estate of John Vandeleur at Ralahine, Co. Clare, started as an attempt to keep unhappy tenants out of the clutches of the Ribbonmen, but concluded as a glorious folly which inspired socialists well into the twentieth century.

The Ralahine Co-operative came into being on November 7th 1831.
Robert Owen was a Welsh born social reformer who aspired to the elevation of the labouring classes through education and fair sharing of profits. Owen had expounded his ideas at a large meeting held in the Rotunda, Dublin in 1823. A number of wealthy landowners who attended were inspired to form the Hibernian Philanthropic Society. This society was short-lived but Owen’s ideas continued to percolate in the minds of some, most notably, Lord Vandaleur who engaged E.T. Craig to manage his co-operative farm in Co. Clare.

Ostensibly, the purpose of the venture was to set up common capital or a common wealth to provide for tenants against sickness and old age, and to provide educational needs. It was governed by a committee elected twice a year. The commune consisted of twenty-two single adult men, seven married men and their wives, five single women, four orphan boys, three orphan girls and five infants under the age of nine. It was governed by an elected committee of nine people. New machinery was bought and the first mowing machine in Ireland was introduced by the Ralahine Commune. The commune prospered for a time and 29 new members joined.

Employed by Vandeleur to manage the Ralahine co-operative, E.T. Craig saw himself very much as a facilitator, rather than a landlord’s agent, who applied the ideals of Robert Owen to the agrarian setting of Ralahine. George Russell describes Craig as "a true, kind, stout-hearted man with an infinite belief in the magic of goodwill and justice" and refers to him as a man of advanced philosophical principles. Craig left his home in England to emigrate to Clare in 1830. It was a brave step to take on the social turmoil of County Clare with the hope that his confidence in his economic theory and the essential goodness of human nature could improve the social condition of the destitute local population. While other leaders in Irish society resorted to physical force to cull social unrest, Craig believed in winning men from violence by reason and justice.

But Vandeleur's reckless lifestyle collapsed the ground-breaking venture and by 1831 it was over. The commune members met for the last time on November 3rd, 1833. The venture, however, caught the imagination of socialists for years afterwards. An issue of the 'Socialist Worker' declared that it was 'a magnificent socialist enterprise.'
Two great Irish social thinkers of the 20th century who were inspired by the Ralahine experiment were George Russell (AE) and James Connolly. AE wrote the preface to the edited reissue of Craig’s book "An Irish Commune" in 1920 and in it refers to his own hope for the reincarnation of the soul of Ralahine in the modern Ireland of the early 20th century.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Jim Morrison: Authors that Influenced, Books that Inspired

Galway City Library is hosting a Jim Morrison night entitled:Jim Morrison: Authors that Influenced, Books that Inspired. A selection of books and works by various authors known to have been very influential will be on display. The event takes place free of charge in Galway City Library on Wednesday 9th April at 6.30pm. Renowned local author Mike McCormack will deliver the talk while music will be provided by local musican and poet Gerry Hansberry.

Jim Morrison at age 23 became known to all as the lead vocalist and songwriter with the band The Doors, but he was more than that-a singer, a poet, a songwriter,a film director, a rebel and a visionary. He was and is many things to many people. One of the most lasting enigmas of all time through his poetry and lyrics. He is widely considered as one of the most influential and charismatic front men in the history of rock music.

In the six years between 1965 and 1971 he wrote a hundred songs, recorded seven platinum albums, wrote and published four editions of poems, made three films, recorded his poetry, wrote screenplays, and filled dozens of notebooks with verse and notations as well as performing in excess of two hundred concerts with The Doors.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

East Galway Art Trail in Galway Public Libraries

East Galway Art Trail is an innovative idea that is concerned with art awareness and library awareness. Its objective is to bring art and artist into the community by using the space available in rural libraries. These artists are working and living within local communities; by bringing both the artist and the libraries together, small communities can benefit from the enjoyment of art and engage with their library’s facilities. The art trail aims to make art accessible to everyone in the community; that is the intention that Galway County Library staff, who are based in the East Galway area, and Joyce Little, a local Ballinasloe artist, had when they worked together to bring this project to fruition.

The six artists involved in art trail are Kevin Doherty, Astrid Hofmann, Emily Rainsford, Grellan Ganly, Heidi Reich and Mary Redfern; they are locals of East Galway making a livelihood through their work.

Kevin Doherty is a Galway/Mayo artist and is a highly skilled portrait painter. His collection of work encompasses many of our great Irish writers and also many contemporary Irish figures, as well as many well-know cultural significant faces. Doherty’s solo exhibition is in Killimor library, 7th April 7 p.m. and will run for two weeks.
Astrid Hofmann is originally from Germany and relocated to Ireland in 1979. Hofmann’s artistry lies in the making of felt and silk painting; having won recognition in Ireland and abroad since her return to the Arts as a professional in 1986. Hofmann’s solo exhibition is in Woodford library 8th April 7 p.m. and will run for two weeks.

Emily Rainsford has received training in Crawford College Co. Cork and Cluain Mhuire (GMIT). Her art concerns itself with the impact of immediate surroundings, its history, mythology and language attached to place. Rainsford has exhibited nationally and is currently teaching adult art classes in Galway and Mayo. Rainsford’s solo exhibition is in Portumna library 9th April 7 p.m. and will run for two weeks.

Grellan Ganly is a Ballinasloe artist, working in the medium of Ceramics and paint. His art is a playful but potent dialogue between fantasy and reality, colourfully depicting the fragility but also the innovation of the mind. Ganly’s solo exhibition is in Eyrecourt library 10th April 7 p.m. and will run for two weeks.

Heidi Reich is a German native now located in Peterswell Co.Galway. She is a graduate of Cluain Mhuire GMIT. For Reich, image is the means of expression, a superior engagement beyond the limits of words. Her work engages with the relationship between Man and animals. Reich’s joint exhibition is in Ballinasloe library 14th April 7 p.m. and will run for two weeks.
Mary Redfern is a graduate of Cluain Mhuire GMIT and is located in Oranmore. Redfern specialises in paint and mixed media. Her work is a playful engagement with colours and produces dream-like/fairytale images and challenge to viewer to construct meaning in the works. Redfern’s joint exhibition is in Ballinasloe library 14th April 7 p.m. and will run for two weeks.