Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 Caldecott and Newbery Medal Awards

The American Library Association (ALA) has announced the top books, videos and audiobooks for children and young adults for 2009-

The Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children in 2009 is The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson (Houghton Mifflin Company).
Richly detailed black-and-white scratchboard illustrations expand this timeless bedtime verse, offering reassurance to young children that there is always light in the darkness. Krommes' elegant line, illuminated with touches of golden watercolor, evoke the warmth and comfort of home and family, as well as the joys of exploring the wider world.

2009 Caldecott Honor Books
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, written and illustrated by Marla Frazee (Harcourt, Inc.)
In lively, detailed, subtly retro cartoons, Frazee gently pokes fun at adult expectations and captures the unbounded joy of two friends experiencing a parent-free summer adventure.
How I Learned Geography, written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Recounting memories of his family's flight from the Warsaw Blitz and his years as a refugee during World War II, Shulevitz employs watercolor and ink to depict a boy liberated from his dreary existence through flights of fancy inspired by the map his father buys in the village market.
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)
Sweet's mixed-media collage and primitive watercolors flow seamlessly with Bryant's prose to reveal the important bits and pieces of Williams' ordinary, yet extraordinary, life as a doctor and poet.

2009 Newbery Medal winner
The Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature for 2009 is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by HarperCollins Children's Books.
A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens.

2009 Newbery Honor Books
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
Underneath the canopy of the loblolly pines, amid the pulsating sounds of the swamp, there lies a tale. Intertwining stories of an embittered man, a loyal hound, an abandoned cat and a vengeful lamia sing of love, loss, loneliness and hope. Appelt's lyrical storytelling heightens the distinguished characteristics of this work.
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt & Comapny)
The Surrender Tree utilizes compelling free verse in alternating voices to lyrically tell the story of Cuba's three wars for independence from Spain. Combining real-life characters (such as legendary healer Rosa La Bayamesa) with imagined individuals, Engle focuses on Rosa's struggle to save everyone--black, white, Cuban, Spanish, friend or enemy.
Savvy by Ingrid Law (Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in partnership with Walden Media, LLC
This rich first-person narrative draws readers into a wild bus ride, winding through the countryside on a journey of self-discovery for Mibs Beaumont and her companions. Newcomer Law weaves a magical tall tale, using vivid language and lively personalities, all bouncing their way to a warm, satisfying conclusion.
After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson (G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Books for Young Readers)
This tightly woven novel looks back on two years in a New York City neighborhood, where life changes for two 11-year-olds when a new girl joins their game of double Dutch. Bonded by Tupac's music, the three girls explore the lure of freedom and build a friendship that redefines their own identities.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

In the Picture at Westside, Tuam and Ballinasloe Libraries

The Play4All Committee of Galway City and County launched the booklet “In the Picture” recently in Westside Library . An exhibition of the books and posters associated with the collection will be exhibited till the end of February at Westside Library and during February and March in Tuam and ED Ballinasloe/Ballinasloe library.

A travelling exhibition will also be made available for other groups to borrow. For further information please contact ourselves, the Library Service or the City and County Childcare committee. View the booklet here.

The In The Picture campaign is about encouraging publishers, illustrators and writers to embrace diversity - so that disabled children, who have been virtually invisible until recently, are included alongside others in illustrations and story lines in books for young readers. It is not an attempt to create a separate strand of children’s literature, tackling disability issues. People from every area concerned with children's books - from makers to sellers to buyers can influence and be part of this changing culture.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gort Archives available on Microfilm -

Galway County Council is pleased to announce that the Gort Poor Law Union archive collection is now available on microfilm. Access is available at the Archives Section in the County Library Headquarters, Island House, Cathedral Square, Galway.

The collection contains the minute books of the Board of Guardians of Gort Poor Law Union throughout the famine period, and subsequent minutes which chart the history of the Union right up to 1921. It contains, for instance, weekly statistics on the number of persons accommodated in the workhouse, together with the numbers of births and deaths, and the number receiving outdoor relief. The highest recorded number of deaths occurred in January 1848, with 26 dying in one week, 63 the following week, 79 deaths are recorded for week-ending 15 January (1848), and 65 died during week-ending 22 January 1848.
At that point the Board’s Medical Officer reported that the medical department of the Workhouse was in a ‘most deplorable condition’ and that ‘whole [work]House is one mass of disease and infection without accommodation classification, clothing, bedding or proper attendants...’ (February 1848, G01/12/5, pp538-539).

The Minutes also reveal that the Board was involved in a programme of assisted emigration in the early 1850s. The minutes record for example that the Board ‘Resolved that the Commissioners be requested to get Aid from the Treasury to Emigrate some of the unmarried females now in this workhouse to Van Dieman’s land’’ (G01/12/11, p13).

The minutes also record that ‘The Medical Officer of the Kinvarra District reported that the town of Kinvarra is at present in a filthy state, owing to heaps of manure being allowed to remain in several parts of the town which polute (sic) the air and are highly dangerous to the health of the inhabitants’ (1888 , G01/12/81, p157), and also that Lady Gregory often invited the workhouse children to spend afternoons at Coole Park (for instances, G01/12/79, p449, 1887).
There is a whole wealth of interesting and important historical and human interest information to be gleaned from this wonderful archive collection. It is a valuable record charting local administration, and social and public infrastructural development in the south Galway region during a very important and poignant era in Irish history. It should be of interest to administrative, economic, political and social historians. In particular, it should be a major source of information for local historians.

The Poor Law Union collection was microfilmed as part of the ongoing program to preserve our County’s documentary heritage, to ensure the protection of original records, and to facilitate access for interested readers. Access to the records is by prior appointment with the Archivist at Island House (Tel. 091 562471).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Poet to speak at Obama's inauguration

Elizabeth Alexander has been selected to compose and deliver a poem at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration at the United States Capitol on January, 20, 2009. She is the fourth poet in history to be so honored. She will deliver her poem after president-elect Obama’s inaugural address.

"She is a superb choice for the inauguration," explains Tree Swenson, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets. "She is from Washington, she represents Obama's generation, and she has written about the Civil Rights conflict and other historical events that have shaped the character of this country. At the same time, her intense personal vision reveals the commonplace life illuminated from startling new angles—as good poetry always does."

Alexander said: "This is a powerful moment in our history. The joy I feel is sober and profound because so much struggle and sacrifice have brought us to this day. And there is so much work to be done ahead of us. Poetry is not meant to cheer; rather, poetry challenges, and moves us towards transformation. Language distilled and artfully arranged shifts our experience of the words – and the worldviews – we live in.
This is only the fourth time in our history that a President has featured a poet at his inaugural. I hope that this portends well for the future of the arts in our everyday and civic life.”

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Costa Book Awards

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry won the novel category at the Costa Book awards announced on the 5th January.

Other category winners were The Outcasts by Sadie Jones, first novel award.
Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill, biography award.
The Broken Word by Adam Foulds, poetry award.
Just Henry by Michelle Magorian, children’s award.

Each winner will now compete for the 2008 Costa Book of The Year, which will be announced on the 27th January 2009.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

‘One Book, One Tuam…From Tuam to Terrabithia’

One Book, One Tuam…From Tuam to Terrabithia’ was launched in Tuam Library on Thursday 8th January.
This project was organized by Tuam Library and the Home/School Liaison Services. The aim of the initiative is to get everyone in Tuam, of all ages, to read ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ by Katherine Paterson during January and February.
Tuam Library and two Home/School Liaison teachers worked together to raise sponsorship to buy copies of the book. Local businesses very generously donated funds as well as John Treacy from International Education Supplies, Tuam Lions Club, Tuam Credit Union and RAPID.
As a result of this sponsorship, over 600 copies of the book are in circulation in Tuam town.
The initiative was launched by Irish storyteller Niall de Burca.

The Mayor of the County of Galway Councillor Peter Feeney, the Minister of State Michéal Kitt and Mayor of Tuam Pete Warren also spoke at the launch. Councillor Michael Connolly and Town Commissioner Gilleesa Lane were also present.

Representatives from Tuam book club, local schools, adult literacy groups, Youthreach, Tuam Herald, RAPID and IES attended. All events associated with this book will take place in the library over the next two months. These events include readings, creative writing, art, dance and drama workshops.
Midi Corcoran of Earwig Arts will work with children from local schools to create a ‘Terabithia’ float for the St Patrick’s Day parade.
The Mall Cinema will re-open for the purpose of screening this film.
This initiative demonstrated Tuam’s warm community spirit.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ballybane Library Book Launch

At the recent Launch of ‘Down Memory Lane-Ballybane and its People at Ballybane Library in December 2008.
Memoirs of Ballybane written by the Ballybane Active Retirement Association’s Writing Group.

1. Signing the book.
2. Informal group photo.
3. Margaret Dowling, Siobhan Arkins, William Henry.
4. William Henry.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Most popular books in 2008

Once again, "A thousand splendid suns" is Galway's most lent title. According to our lending records the most popular book issues in Galway Public Libraries for 2008 were as follows:

Most Popular Adult Books in 2008

  • A thousand splendid suns -Hosseini, Khaled
  • The memory keeper's daughter -­Edwards, Kim
  • Half of a yellow sun -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Out stealing horses -Per Petterson ; translated by Anne Born
  • The mistress's daughter :­a memoir - A.M. Homes
  • ­Under the Tuscan sun - Frances Mayes
  • The olive farm :­a love story -Carol Drinkwater
  • You've been warned -James Patterson with Howard Roughan
  • 7th heaven -James Patterson
  • ­The gathering‑Anne Enright
  • This year it will be different :a Christmas treasury-Maeve Binchy
  • ­The book thief /­Markus Zusak

Most Popular Juvenile Books in 2008

  • ­The Spiderwick Chronicles:The field guide /­Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  • Harry Potter and the deathly hallows /­J.K. Rowling
  • The seeing stone : the Spiderwick Chronicles /­Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  • Captain Underpants and the big, bad battle of the Bionic Booger Boy /­Dav Pilkey Pt.1, The night of the nasty nostril nuggets
  • Skulduggery Pleasant / ­Landy, Derek
  • ­Captain Underpants :­three more wedgie-powered adventures in one /­Dav Pikley
  • The Ironwood tree :the Spiderwick Chronicles /­Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  • Captain Underpants and the preposterous plight of the purple potty people /­Dav Pilkey
  • Best friends /­Jacqueline Wilson ; illustrated by Nick Sharratt
  • Lucinda's secret: the Spiderwick Chronicles /­Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  • Captain Underpants and the invasion of the incredible naughty cafeteria ladies from outer space ... :­the third epic novel /­cby Dav Pilkey

Compare these with last years results here