Saturday, June 26, 2010

One Book, One Tuam’ - Tuam library

One Book, One Tuam’ was a reading initiative which took place in Tuam from January to March 2010. Tuam Library collaborated with local schools and groups for the project which was funded by RAPID and Galway County Council Arts Office. The aim of the initiative was to encourage children and adults alike to read ‘Cirque du freak’ by Darren Shan, an Irish author.
The project was a great success with over 600 children in Tuam town receiving a free copy of the book and taking part in associated events. One of the highlights was a ‘flash dance’ which took place on the streets of Tuam where children performed a specially choreographed dance while in scary costumes!
The project was officially launched by Leo Moran from The Sawdoctors and Tuam Town Mayor Tom Reilly. This is the second year that such a project took place in Tuam and will hopefully become an annual event. In 2009 the book which was enjoyed was ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ by Katherine Patterson. One of events of the 2009 project was filmed and shown on The Den.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Impac 2010 Awards

The 2010 award winner for The Twin, author Gerbrand Bakker, Pat McMahon, Galway Librarian and Margaret Hayes, Acting Dublin City Librarian. Pat McMahon received a citation for his contribution to the award. Picture Jason Clarke

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A stimulating, nurturing environment is a necessity

A Report from the Health Research Board, detailing drug-related deaths and deaths among drug users in Ireland, arrived at Library Headquarters on Monday morning. The report makes sad reading. It details the deaths of over 3,000 people, in the last decade, due to poisoning or trauma.
In the same post, another publication arrived which featured a work by the Spanish artist Carmen Calvo. Calvo has been written about in the following way:
"Artists, you can't help but notice, have more interesting gardens than the rest of us. That's because they're so suffused with talent, everything they touch blossoms into self-expression.
Isn't that what, in our heart of hearts, we all believe?
And isn't it a demoralizing thought? "
Well, it's also dead wrong, says Maria del Carmen Calvo, a painter who keeps a garden in Capistrano.
"Artists don't live in beautiful spaces because they are artists," says Calvo. "They live in beautiful spaces so that they can be artists."
They believe that a stimulating, nurturing environment is a necessity, not a luxury, and they go to great lengths to create it. "Beauty feeds our souls," she continues. "We need it in order to function at full capacity" And that "we," insists Calvo, includes all of us...(Read more)

Perhaps the key point here is that “a stimulating, nurturing environment is a necessity, not a luxury.”

I notice that one of the objectives of the Health Research Board is “to assist in identifying and prioritising areas for intervention and prevention, and to measure the effects of such interventions.”

People take drugs because they are searching for something, because they need something for their heads. Literacy skills and access to books and reading in a stimulating, nurturing environment like a library will do something for people’s heads, will allow people to dream real dreams.
Let’s hope that the Health Research Board will identify and prioritise library services as a place which will provide the stimulating, nurturing environment which vulnerable people need.

“Beauty feeds our souls,” but, we might ask, how many of the people on the Health Research Board list who have died, how many of them were given the opportunity to access the beauty which might have fed their souls.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

'Overcoming Reading and Learning difficulties' Galway City Library

Galway City Library is pleased to announce a free talk on 'Overcoming Reading and Learning difficulties in children and adults'.
The talk will include segments on how the brain functions and what happens when there are reading and learning problems. Read Dr Bill Jenkins article about the worldwide computer programme Fast ForWord and much more here.
The talk will take place on Wednesday the 16th of June 2010 @ 6.30pm in the City Library.

Friday, June 11, 2010

"We've got books-and they're free."

Here are extracts from a really fine recent editorial in Library Journal. It is by the editor, Francine Fialkoff who writes so wonderfully about books and reading.

The Book Brand
Libraries are the best community place for book culture to thrive
Years ago I heard Paco Underhill tell an audience of librarians to play to their strengths by plastering signs all over saying "we've got books—and they're free." That was back in the 1990s when we might have been trying too hard to put a little distance between libraries and the book culture with which they were most associated.
Happily, despite all the changes in libraries in the last decade or two, the library = books perception still resonates. We've seen the proliferation of book groups (in and outside libraries) and of the "one book, one community" programs. We've seen how new social networking tools, digital technology, and mobile apps can serve readers and reinforce the library-book connection.
And we've seen the community of readers drawn to libraries for author programs and for the entertainment, enlightenment, and just plain distraction that books provide. While the down economy has brought people back to the library, it has also brought many back to books.
Whatever else libraries provide, we would do well to remember Underhill's advice to proclaim the book brand and play it to the hilt. "We've got books, and they're free." Books are both personal and communal, and libraries remain the best community place for book culture to thrive.
You may read the full editorial here.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Ballinasloe Library/Europe Direct Centre - 3 Rivers Storytelling Festival

The 3 Rivers Storytelling Festival,now in its third year, takes place from the 2nd to the 24th of June in the East Galway library catchment area, with some events in Athlone also.
The festival focuses on bringing storytelling to communities in the East Galway area and thus,to make stories and storytellers accessible to both children and adults who might not normally get an opportunity to enjoy this form of the arts.the line up of visiting storytellers this year includes:: SPUD and YAM, Melissa Barker, Liz Weir, Suse Weiss, MairinMhic Lochlainn, Liz Warren, Sue Brown and Danielle Allison.
Libraries in Ballinasloe,Portumna,Loughrea,Eyrecourt,Killimor,Woodford,Athlone and Moate will host visiting storytellers for storytelling sessions in English and Irish. Susa Weiss will visit from Germany as part of Europe Direct Ballinasloe’s continuous programme to promote the arts and culture of European Countries.
Contact local libraries for details of storytelling sessions.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Schools Quiz in Ballybane Library

Ballybane Library hosted a School Quiz last week to local schools. 60 children from 8 schools participated.
It was a resounding success. After a tie break round between Scoil Chaitríona and Claregalway Educate Together ( 68 questions correct out of 80) Claregalway Educate Together were declared the winners.