Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Simple Game - Galway City Library

Irish jump and flat jockey, author & Disney actor Thomas Foley
will launch his book in Galway City Library on Tuesday 4th January 2011 at 6.30pm.
He will be in the country promoting his recently released book, The Simple Game: An Irish Jockey’s Memoir and Walt Disney Studios’ feature film Secretariat.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Group Exhibition of Woodturning in Ballybane Library

AN EXHIBITION of work by the Galway Chapter of the Irish Woodturners Guild is currently on show in the Ballybane Library.
“Galway has a vibrant group of wood turners. We meet twice a month, hold competitions, demonstrations, and encourage wood crafts,” says George Anderson, secretary of the Galway Chapter of the Irish Woodturners Guild.
“We have been busy for the last year preparing bowls, vases, candle sticks, stools, kitchen items, platters, decorative pieces, and wall hangings. We expect to display about 40 of our most lovely creations at this exhibition.”

The exhibition runs until December 23. For more information see ttp://

Friday, December 03, 2010

Galway Libraries Summer Reading - Spacehop

Galway Libraries ran a very successful Summer Reading Challenge this year. We have been involved in promoting reading during the summer for the last twenty years and with the Reading Agency for the last five.
This year’s theme “Space Hop” was very popular and provided scope for related activities. Many libraries built their very own space rocket. A group of space hoppers from Galway City Library visited the space centre in NUIG.

  • 3,265 children participated in the Summer Reading Challenge.
  • 2,039 Reading Certificates were presented to children who completed the Challenge by reading at least 6 books and visiting the library.
  • This was an increase of 25% on the number who completed the challenge last year.
  • 24 Branch Libraries participated
  • 70,426 children’s books were issued during July and August, making them the busiest months of the year.
An OECD Report in 2002 concluded that children who read for pleasure do better in school. The Summer Reading Challenge is all about reading for pleasure. We encourage children to explore books, helping them to choose and discover books that appeal to them.
Each Branch Library held a Presentation Party at the end of the summer.
The Mayor Cllr. Jimmy McClearn presented Reading Certificates in seven Branch Libraries (see images above). The parties are a great celebration for the children, their parents and also the Library Staff

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The First Exhibition in Clifden Library's Art Space - 'Thoughts & Views'

'Thoughts & Views' is an exhibition of Etchings and Watercolours by renowned artist Margaret Irwin. Margaret lives in Connemara, Co. Galway on the west coast of Ireland where she has a modern print studio and an etching press. The exhibition opened recently and will run for a month in Clifden Library's brand new Art Space.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Art Exhibition By Poet Edward Lee in Galway City Library

Playing Poohsticks: Part One
An Art Exhibition: at Galway City Library.1st - 21st December 2010

Inspired by the poems of his first collection, Playing Poohsticks On Ha'PennyBridge(Spider Press, 2009), the artist Edward Lee is proud to present the first part of a quartet of exhibitions spanning the next four years. The first exhibition will take place in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street.
The quartet will be a reflection of each of the 60 poems contained in the collection. For the first exhibition, the artist will present the first 15 paintings in the series, alongside the poems that inspired them.

All of the paintings on exhibit will be for sale for 60 euro each and will include a copy of the poetry collection signed by the author. For the duration of the exhibition, the book will also be available to purchase for the special exhibition price of 6 euro.
Opening Night & wine reception will be Thursday 9th December 2010 from 6.30 ~ 8.00pm

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Table Quiz in Athenry Library

Athenry Library held a very successful Table Quiz in the Library on Wednesday 17th November at 10 a.m.
14 teams took part from the Primary Schools in the Athenry area. Schools represented were, Athenry Boys School, Scoil Croi Naofa, Athenry, Lisheenkyle N.S., Killeeneen N.S., Craughwell, Newcastle N.S. and Esker N.S.
Newcastle N.S. were the winners. Runners-Up were Scoil Croi Naofa, Athenry. Trophies were presented to both teams.

Our photo shows Deputy Mayor of County Galway, Cllr. Jim Cuddy, presenting Summer Reading Certificates recently in Athenry Library.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monsters and Things in Tuam Library

Jay Ryan’s puppet show Monsters and Things was one of the events as part of the Children’s Book Festival in Tuam Library.
A sudden case of the sniffles puts Podi and Jacks' plans to become famous into jeopardy when, by chance, Jack happens across a spell book belonging to a mysterious wizard. What ensues is a tale of well-intentioned mishap and hilarious misfortune as evidenced by our 'before and after' photos.
Read more:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Live History in Ballybane Library

Michael Moylan visited Ballybane Library on Wednesday last to give his live History show on World War 2 School children from St Michael’s National attended with their teachers.
It was an amazing event when Michael brought history alive and the children had a hands on experience of that time.
See his website on

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Estonian poetry in translation in Oranmore Library

Estonian writing lives on - searching and experimenting, taking pleasure in its own existence and in the beauty of its mother tongue as it strives for eternity...

Poet and writer Anthony O’Brien facilitates a reading of Estonian poetry in translation in Oranmore Library on Wednesday 17th November at 7.00pm

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Europe Direct Wind Energy Soapbox at Westside Library

Europe Direct staff from the centres at Ballinasloe Library and Carraroe Library in partnership with Westside Library staff held a very successful soapbox competition at Westside library on Monday, November 1st at 8pm.
The competition was the first in a series of heats from the seven Europe Direct Centres in Ireland and the winner from Galway goes on to represent the Western Region at the National Final in Farmleigh on November 19th at 2pm.

Marian Harkin, MEP, chaired what turned out to be a most enjoyable nights debate and the winner from Garbally College, Ballinasloe was : Eoghan Costello.
Eoghan wins first prize of an iPad plus a trip for himself and his parents to Brussels (courtesy of MEP,Marian Harkin).
Second prize of 200 Euro went to Jack McKenna, Garbally College,Ballinasloe.
Third prize of 100 Euro went to Aoife Ni Chonghaile, Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin, An Cheathrún Rua.
Two supplementary prizes of 50 euro each went to Shane Bleahene and Jack Kelly...both of Garbally College, Ballinasloe.

THE Europe Direct Centres were set up by the European Commission, in patrnership with the Library Council to provide information to the public in an easy to access manner. Prizes for the soapbox competition were provided by the European Commission and Marian Harkin, MEP.Staff at both centres appreciate the help received from everyone on the night.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Halloween Story time at Ballybane Library

Some photos of the special Halloween story time last Friday in the Library at Ballybane. Around 50 children arrived and were dressed-up for the occasion (including our mysterious and elegant storyteller). A fun time was had by all.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Gort Public Library -2010 Autumn Activities

8.00pm Thurs. 11th Nov. - Communicating Europe: Portuguese Night
The Communicating Europe project, organised by Galway County Libraries, aims to highlight the diverse culture and literature of European countries. Each of the 29 branch libraries in County Galway will focus on the culture and literature of a particular country.
Gort library will be hosting a Portuguese night with bi-lingual readings of Portuguese writings.

8.00pm Fri. 19th Nov. - Concert
The Galway Music Residency is presents the Galway Ensemble in Residence, ConTempo Quartet. Admission Free. Doors open 7.30pm.

Children's Book Festival - Storytelling
Gort library will be visited by storytelling performers, Michael Moylan of Irish History Live and Jonathan Gunning of The Gombeens. These performances take place in the library during school hours, admission is by invitation only through the local schools.

Book Clubs
Gort Library hosts two book clubs for adults; The Morning Reading Circle and The Evening Reading Circle. Membership for both groups is currently full.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Best Library Service • Galway County Council- Public Library Provision through Public Community Partnerships

Galway County Council has been named Best Library Service at Chambers Ireland’s 7th Annual Excellence in Local Government Awards which were held recently. The Awards were held in association with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley T.D. said, “Once again I am delighted that my Department is associated with Chambers Ireland's Excellence in Local Government Awards, which highlights best practice among local authorities, thus enabling a diffusion of excellence.”

Best Library Service
• Galway County Council- Public Library Provision through Public Community Partnerships

1. IIIt is the policy of Galway County Council to make each local library a visible community space for educational and cultural activities. This project - a community partnership model for library provision - is based on the premise that: even in the smallest town the public library is central to building a sense of local community. Galway County Council believes that in smaller communities there are clear advantages in locating the local library within and alongside other community facilities, rather than endeavouring to provide a purpose built facility by itself. This approach can achieve optimum integration of the local library into existing community infrastructure.

Our photo shows Cllr. Jimmy McCLearn, Mayor of County Galway accepting the award from
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley T.D at Chambers Ireland’s 7th Annual Excellence in Local Government Awards

Friday, October 22, 2010

Social Inclusion Week celebrated in Gort Library

Many events are taking throughout the county this celebrating Social Inclusion Week. Gort Library– Launched an Arts & Crafts Exhibition by The Orchard Services Centre recently.
  • Celebrating the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010 has been designated the EU Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.
    There are four main objectives at the heart of this European Year:
    Recognising the right of people in poverty and social exclusion to live in dignity and to play a full part in society
    Increasing public ownership of social inclusion policies and emphasising everyone’s responsibility in tackling poverty and marginalisation
    Creating a more cohesive society where no one doubts that society, as a whole, benefits from the eradication of poverty

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Prize-giving in Athenry, Tuam and Ballinasloe

Councillor Jimmy McClearn, Mayor of County Galway presenting Summer Reading Challenge Certificates in Ballinasloe Library (left)

Councillor Sally-Ann Flanagan, Mayor of Tuam at prize-giving in Tuam Library

Deputy Mayor of County Galway, Cllr. Jim Cuddy, presenting Summer Reading Certificates in Athenry Library (left)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wind Energy...Ballinasloe, Carraroe and Westside libraries

The Europe Direct Information Centre at Ballinasloe Library together with Europe Direct Carraroe are jointly hosting a soapbox competition on 'Wind Energy...the future or just a blot on the landscape'. with the above title at Westside Library in Galway City on Monday, November 1st next At 8pm.

Energy is one of the priorities of the European Commission and wind energy is a topical subject...the soapbox is open to all ages, it is free to enter and the closing date for entries is on Friday,22nd October. The winner of the Galway heat will go forward to the National Final at Farmleigh, Dublin on 19th November next.

Entrants will be given 3 minutes each to speak on the subject and the winner will receive an iPad and a trip to Brussels for two people, second prize is 200 Euro with a third prize of 100 Euro.there is a 1,000 Euro prize for the National winner.
Marian Harkin, MEP, will chair the evenings proceedings and refreshments will be available on the night. 3 people, all of whom have a background in or work in the specialized area of wind energy will make up the judging panel on the night and their decision will be final.
There are 8 Europe Direct Centres in Ireland and they were launched by the European Commission in partnership with the Library Council of Ireland to create a network of accessible, local information centres around Ireland.

Entry forms are available from all public libraries and also online at
Entries must be made in advance and close on Friday,22nd October
We invite as many people as possible to support this event.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Social Inclusion Week in Galway Libraries

17th – 22nd Oct has been designated Social Inclusion Week in Ireland. The week is being coordinated by the Social Inclusion Unit of Galway County Council. The Mayor, Cllr Jimmy Mc Clearn will launch the week in County Hall on Monday 17th Oct. 2010 @ 1pm

There are 29 Branch Libraries in the County working with their local communities all through the year. All are welcome in Libraries and nobody is found wanting.

Some services that may be of interest.
Getting Started’ Age Action Computer Classes take place in Branch Libraries throughout the County. Classes are free. Contact your local library.
Audio Book Service for Visually Impaired. Books on CD and Tape are posted free of charge to people with a visual impairment. More information is available from Library Headquarters, Island House. Phone 091 562471

There are a number of events taking place in Libraries during Social Inclusion Week.

Gort Library
The film 'Milk' will be shown on Thursday
14th Oct @ 8pm in conjunction with the Gort Family Resource Centre.
A display of arts and crafts by clients of the Brothers of Charity Orchard Services Centres in South Galway will take place from Friday 15th Oct – 25th Oct.
The ‘Six Book Challenge for Adults’ will be launched on Thursday 21st Oct @ 11.30.
The six book challenge is an incentive scheme for adults who have been out of the habit of reading and want to regain confidence in reading.

Loughrea Library
A Cultural Storytelling Evening.
Youth Work Ireland, Loughrea Project, will hold an evening of storytelling, from different cultures on Tuesday 19th Oct from 4pm – 6pm.
Youth Work Ireland will host a film & quiz night for teenagers on Wednesday
19th Oct from 4 – 6pm.
The work of the Parent and Youth Programme at St Brendan’s Centre of Education and Training will be on display in Loughrea Library for the week.

Tuam Library
Cups and Crowns Theatre will perform ‘Benny , the Waterdaughter ‘ in Tuam Library on Tuesday 19th from 10.30- 11.30
The Ladybird Club takes place in Tuam Library each Thursday morning from 10.00 -11. 00.
The PEEP Programme is for mothers/carers and babies. It offers information and support in helping children learn and develop.

Oranmore Library
Cups and Crowns Theatre will perform ‘Benny , the Waterdaughter ‘ Oranmore Library on Wednesday 20th Oct from 10.30- 11.30.

Carraroe Library
Residents from Aras Mhic Dara and older people from the area will visit Carraroe Library to view 'Generations Together’ an exhibition of photographs from the Age Action Positive Ageing Photography Competition on Tuesday 19th Oct from 11 – 1pm. Light Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Arts Festival in Clifden Library

John Sheahan of the Dubliners performing in Clifden Library as part of the Clifden Community Arts Festival, (left).
Poets, Tony Curtis, Enrique Juncosa and Michael Coady in the library with John Sheahan at one of the many poetry evenings during the festival.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Storytelling Festival in Galway Public Libraries – October 2010

Galway County Libraries are celebrating Children’s Book Festival during the month of October, with a Storytelling Festival in conjunction with the Arts Office, Galway County Council.

The love of stories is universal. Before the advent of writing and printing stories were used to pass on information, preserve traditions etc. Time has moved on and we live in a very visual technical world, but the art of storytelling is alive and well. The magic of Once upon a time… can still weave a spell for all of us.
During the month of October, storytellers will roam the County delighting children with their fantastic and magical stories. Stories that will amuse, entertain and encourage children to explore the world in all its wonder and diversity. The storytellers will be in residence in the 29 Branch Libraries dotted throughout the County, working in conjunction with the local schools. The Festival is funded by the Arts Office of Galway County Council.

Jay Ryan, Pignut Puppet Theatre Company and Midi Corcoran Earwig Theatre Company will host events in Libraries in the Tuam region, Tuam, Dunmore, Glenamaddy, Ballygar, Athenry and Headford.

Niall de Burca, Pete Mullineaux , Rob Fulton and Carol Barrett are in the City Library, Westside, Ballybane and Oranmore Libraries.

Pat Speight, Jay Ryan and Danielle Allison will tell stories in Ballinsloe, Killimor, Eyrecourt, Woodford and Loughrea Libraries.

Jonathan Gunning will delight audiences in Athenry, Headford, Clifden Gort and Tuam.

Jean Parker will weave stories with younger audiences in Oughterard, Headford, Leenane and Clifden.

Beidh Gwyneth Ui Ghaora, údar agus scéaltóir i Leabharlann na Ceathrun Rua, an Spideal agus Oileain Arainn.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Culture Night in Galway City Library

The Nordic group, Cafe Minor (left), playing in Galway City Library on Friday evening September 24th as part of Culture Night in the City.
Part of the attendance enjoying the poetry and music of Finland as part of Culture Night in Galway City Library.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Positive Ageing Week in Ballybane Library

The Mayor of Galway, Councillor Michael Crowe speaking at the launch of Positive Ageing Week 2010 in Ballybane Library.

Positive Ageing Week is a festival which highlights the positive aspects of ageing and celebrates the contribution older people have made and continue to make to their communities.
The central aim of Positive Ageing Week is to dispel the many negative perceptions that surround ageing and to transform attitudes towards ageing and older people. We need to celebrate the fact that we are living longer, that ageing is not a burden but an opportunity.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Poets in Clifden Library

Some of the visitors to the Library during the recent Clifden Community Arts Festival included Sue Hubbard and Donald Teskey.
Their collaborative new book, The Idea of Islands (Occasional Press) comprises a suite of fifteen emotionally incisive poems and eleven powerfully atmospheric drawings.

The image on the left includes the poets; Michael Coady, Tony Curtis, Rita Ann Higgins and Brendan Flynn. All the poets gave readings in Clifden Library during the Festival.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Community Arts Week in Clifden Library

Clifden Community Arts Week is celebrating its 33rd anniversary in 2010, from 16th to 26th of September. It is a great celebration of the Arts which includes poetry readings, lectures, recitals, traditional music, concerts, comedy, etc. all enjoyed in a wonderful relaxed atmosphere in one of the most beautiful places on the West Coast.

Among the acts performing this year are - Christy Moore, John O'Connor, Julie Feeney, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ConTempo Quartet, National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Edna O'Brien, traditional Irish music with Matt Cranitch, John Faulkner, Jackie Daly, Brendan Begley and Caoimhín O'Raghallaigh. There will lectures by Diarmaid Ferriter and Mark Patrick Hederman, as well as a performance from Carol Ann Duffy.

The following events are taking place in Clifden Library

16 September 2010 1:00pm- Poetry reading with John Walsh and Jarlath McDonagh
16 September 2010 4:30pm -Reading with writers from The Wordsonthestreet Press

17 September 2010 1:00pm -Galway Arts Centre advanced writers’ workshop under tutor and poet Kevin Higgins
17 September 2010 4:30pm -Thomas Merton and 20th century writers. Talk by Fr. Pat O’Brien

18 September 2010 10:00am-Memoir writing workshop with Irene Graham

20 September 2010 1:00pm- Ed Boyne launches his poetry collection The Day of the Three Swans (Doire Press)

21 September 2010 1:00pm-Hunger, a Dramatic Recital
21 September 2010 4:30pm -Poetry reading with Orlaith Foyle and Nuala Ni Chonchuir

22 September 2010 1:00pm-American Whaling in the 19th Century
22 September 2010 4:30pm-Reading with poet Rita Ann Higgins

23 September 2010 4:30pm-‘The Idea of Islands’.The artist Donald Teskey with Sue Hubbard

24 September 2010 1:00pm-Reading with poet and novelist Fred Johnston
24 September 2010 4:00pm -Reading with Tony Curtis and Enrique Juncosa.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Galway City Library goes into Space

On the 17th of August at 3pm we all gathered at The Centre for Astronomy at N.U.I.G. It was an event in our “Space Hop” Summer Reading Programme and Dr.Andy Shearer had invited us to visit the 3D visualisation suite to see the stars.
We trod softly through the bowels of the Physics Department, and all of the Space Hoppers had smiles of anticipation as we started our space adventure. We were ushered through a science laboratory where students with furrowed brows peered through spectrometers and we could only imagine the stellar scenes or mind boggling aliens they encountered. We were issued with sunglasses as we entered the 3D visualization suite and took our seats with the other space travelers.
We traveled through our universe, stars of all shapes and sizes whizzing past. John, our captain explained in light years the distance between different stars and it was a measurement beyond our comprehension!! Eight year old Iarla enquired if sound traveled in space and when he was assured it didn’t, he asked how did we know about the Big Bang theory then!
We saw the Milky Way and all it’s components and learned that there is no water on the rusty surface of Mars. We tried to imagine how hot it would be on the surface of the sun and learned that the largest telescope of it’s time was built in Offaly in 1845 and was the largest in the world for over 70 years. We were all enthralled with our space trip and the hour passed quickly.
The children had lots of information to pass onto their parents and maybe a new astronomer was born that day. Thanks to Niamh, Alison, Mark, Gavin, Ben, Daniel, Rosa Marie, Iarla, Ciaran, Liam, Aaron and Diana, together we went to the edge of the Universe and back!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Teddy Bear Storytime in Ballybane Library

Storytime in Ballybane Library.
The children were asked to bring their favourite Teddy's and stuffed animals into the Library and Teddy stories were read.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A River of Words in Galway City Library

Galway City Library featured a world of literary and arts celebration on Culture Night last. It was headlined by a very special event. Reflecting on the exemplary life of poet and doctor William Carlos Williams, " A River of Words" was an entertainment for all ages contemplated through the words and images of a great writer and a great man. Popular Galway wordsmith, Susan Millar Du Mars, narrated the story.

Friday, August 06, 2010

An exhibition of painting and sculptures by local artist, Thomas Coyne will be on view in Gort Public Library during August and September. The exhibition is entitled Consequences of Living.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Six Book challenge in Tuam Library

This year for the first time, Tuam Library took part in the Six Book Challenge in association with the Reading Agency. Adults from Ability West and Tuam Adult Literacy took part and on Wednesday 21st July, seven adults from Ability West received certificates from Mayor Sally Ann Flanagan in Tuam Library. Maureen Moran congratulated the participants on their hard work and they are already looking forward to next year’s challenge.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Events in Ballybane Library

Away With Words Vol. 2, edited by Susan Millar DuMars, was
launched in Ballybane Library on Wednesday July 14th at 11am. Kevin Higgins of Over the Edge launched this collection of poetry and writingsfrom the work of the Away
WithWords groups from Galway,
Ballinasloe, Gort and Athenry. This
is a celebration of their gifts and work.
Niall de Burca one of Ireland's finest storytellers shared his stories with local children.
A Facepainting workshop and Michael Redfern entertained children with a talk entitled 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'

Friday, July 23, 2010

‘Communicating Europe Initiative’ begins in Loughrea Library

This was a ‘Communicating Europe Initiative’ and involved placing works in translation by native writers of EU countries in selected libraries to promote public awareness of the literature and culture of countries within the EU. Loughrea Library was assigned Greece and cross-border cultural awareness iniative was formally launched there.
Members from BAFFLE, The Loughrea Creative Writers Group and The Loughrea Active Retired Association were invited to read selected poems from Greek writers. Those who read were: Liam Nolan, Mary Ida Kelly, Ian McDonald, Lucy McCrann, Ray Gately, Anne Marie Kennedy, Joe Conmy, Breid Sibley, James Kennedy and Gretel Sullivan who read on behalf of the library staff.
This was followed by a wine and Greek food reception. It was a most enjoyable evening and was attended by a large and appreciative audience.