Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Spring Into Storytime at your Local Library

Libraries in County Clare are inviting you to Spring Into Storytime this April.

Spring Into Storytime is a national library initiative taking place in all counties in the coming weeks. Parents and young children are welcome to visit any of the participating branches of Clare County Library to celebrate the importance of families reading together and sharing stories.

deValera Library Ennis will host a storytime session every Thursday morning at 11.30am during April.

Ennistymon Library’s next storytimes will be on Saturday the 25th of March and Saturday the 22nd of April and will continue once a month as usual thereafter, beginning at 11am.

Storytime at Kilkee Library will take place on Friday the 31st of March at 10.45am with special invited guests from Giggles Montessori while monthly storytime sessions continue in Kilrush Library, the next one taking place on Saturday the 11th of April at 11am.

Miltown Malbay Library will welcome the children of Spraoi playgroup to a special storytime on Thursday the 6th of April at 12 noon.

Scariff Library will host a series of Spring Into Storytime sessions on Sat the 8th of April at 12 noon, Wed 12th at 3.30pm, Sat 22nd at 12 noon and Wed 26th of April at 3.30pm.

Neighbouring Killaloe Library will also join in the fun of sharing stories and will host special Baby Bear Rhyme Time sessions for very young children and their parents at 11am on the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th of April. This series of stories will run in tandem with a separate storytime programme that will take place regularly at the branch beginning on the 27th of March and continuing on a weekly basis every Monday at 3.30pm.

Shannon Library’s storytimes will take place each Tuesday in April at 4 pm and Sixmilebridge Library will welcome the children of Tomorrow’s Child Montessori to join in a fun storytime session at the branch at 11.30am on the 4th of April.

Through this initiative which is part of the National Right to Read strategy, parents of children from toddlers to five year olds will have a special opportunity to help engage in the experience of sharing stories and laying the foundations for their little ones to become readers. Children automatically and unknowingly reach the pre-reading stage when parents begin to read stories to them and they begin to listen. This can happen in infancy and the process of becoming a reader spans the first four years of your child’s life.

During the series of scheduled storytimes in the library, children along with their parents/carers will be invited to participate in some of the most suitable stories for young children expertly chosen by staff. Simple fun activities based on the featured stories may also be planned. There will be a special focus on demonstrating to parents how best to read and share stories with your child at this crucial time. Listening to stories at an early age has a major impact on your child’s development that is guaranteed to have a lasting effect.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Public Consultation on proposed County Library for Clare

Members of the public and stakeholder groups interested in the proposed new County Library for County Clare are being asked for their input at one of seven public consultation events being held later this month. Clare County Council says the public consultation events are aimed at gathering information on the design and use of the new facility which will be developed at the site of the existing glór facility on The Causeway Link providing a new County Library and art gallery for Clare to replace the existing public Library on Harmony Row.

A full design team has been appointed to progress the design and planning phases of the new build project and Clare County Council anticipates that a planning application will be lodged in early summer 2017. Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian commented, “The purpose of the upcoming open public consultation events is to explain the scope of the project and provide opportunity for interested stakeholder groups and individuals to share their views. Graphic explanatory materials will be on display along with informal opportunities to engage with members of the team to offer input and comments.”

The open public consultation events will be held at glór, Ennis (4.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.) on Monday 27th March, Scarriff Library (11.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.), DeValera Library, Ennis, (3.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.) and Shannon Library (6.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.) on Tuesday 28th March, and at Ennistymon Library (11.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.) and Kilrush Library (3.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.) on Wednesday 29th March. Submissions will be accepted at the open events. Written submissions and observations may also be made to the County Librarian, Library Head quarters, Harmony Row, Ennis, Co. Clare by 4.00pm on the 5th of April 2017.

Clare County Council has been allocated a €3 million capital grant towards the cost of the proposed project under the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Capital Funding Programme for Public Libraries. An additional €1 million in EU funding was also allocated from the Southern Regional Assembly’s Operational Programme 2014-2020. Clare County Council will fund the balance of €4.6 million of the overall cost of the project.

The architect-led design team appointed by Clare County Council comprises Keith Williams Architects Ltd (Architects), Ove Arup & Partners Ireland Ltd T/A Arup (Civil & Structural), Axiseng M & E Ltd T/A AxisEng (Mechanical & Electrical), AECOM Professional Services (Quantity Surveying Services) and OLM Consultancy (PSDP).

For more visit libraryproject.clarecoco.ie.

Creative Ireland Public Consultation

Creative Ireland is the Government’s legacy programme for Ireland 2016. It is a five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy and to mainstream creativity in the life of the nation. It is essentially a culture based programme designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. It follows the same design as the 1916/2016 programme with five pillars - the Local Authority curating the second pillar - ‘Enabling creativity in every community.’

Clare County Council and the Creative Ireland national team will host an open meeting to share details about the Programme and to explore opportunities to increase access, engagement and collaboration in the local arts and creative industries. This public consultation will take place in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, at 7.30pm on Thursday, 30th March 2017.

For further details please contact County Librarian, Clare Library HQ., Mill Road, Ennis, Co. Clare.
Email: mailbox@clarelibrary.ie Tel 065 6846350
Full details of the Creative Ireland Programme are available at http://creative.ireland.ie/

Monday, 13 March 2017

Being an Archaeologist

A group of adult local history students from the Ennis campus of the Limerick Clare Education and Training Board recently took part in our first ‘Be an Archaeologist’ workshop of the year at Clare Museum. It is the first time that LCETB students have taken part in this programme, which is primarily targeted to support Transition Year programmes in Secondary Schools around the county.

Professional archaeologist Kate Taylor from TVAS Archaeological Services took the students through a power point presentation initially, and then gave them some practical experience of ‘digging’ in excavation boxes containing real artefacts. This taught the adult learners how to excavate, describe and record their finds. They also learned about radio carbon dating and how tree rings are used to date wood found in an archaeological context.

Although none of the students intend to be archaeologists in the future, the experience shed light a profession that often rouses curiosity and is frequently misunderstood. Kate also took the opportunity to discuss recent archaeological excavations and finds from around the county which was of particular interest given their area of study.

Feedback from the LCETB has been very positive, and there is a possibility of extending the programme to other adult education courses.

There are still workshops available for booking by Transition Year or community groups. Bookings for groups of up to 25 students can be made by emailing dhiggins@clarecoco.ie. These will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Killaloe Library Craft Club featured at International Women’s Day Event

The Killaloe Library Craft Club was invited to demonstrate crafts at an International Women’s Day 2017 Event organised in Nenagh Arts Centre on Sunday 5th March. There was great interest in the display of spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet and tatting that the group put on. Mary Goss, Library Assistant at Killaloe Library, spoke about the group’s charitable knitting project making hats, cardigans and blankets for premature babies and Monica Hannaford told how the group had knitted 34 jumpers for orphans in Missionvale in South Africa.

Monday, 6 March 2017

YA Book Prize 2017

The YA Book Prize established in 2014 is awarded annually to the best young adult book written by an author living in the UK or Ireland. Its aim is to showcase the best Young Adult writing by awarding the special book prize to a piece of work deemed something special by a panel of expert judges, including young people.

It is the first UK and Ireland prize to specifically focus on fiction for young adults and addresses an important need for a prize in the growing YA and teen market. It celebrates great books for teenagers and young adults and aims to get more teens reading and buying books. Previous winners of the prize are Louise O'Neill's Only Ever Yours (2015) and Sarah Crossan's One (2016).

The winning author receives a £2,000 prize which is presented at Hay Festival.

This year’s shortlist includes a new YA book by Francesca Simon and Ireland’s Peadar O Guilin’s The Call is also shortlisted.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Ennis Book Club Festival Children’s Programme in partnership with Clare County Library

For the first time Ennis Book Club Festival, in partnership with Clare County Library presents a children’s programme as part of the annual weekend festival running from March 3rd-5th.

Children’s events taking place over the weekend include the following:
Ruaille Buaille event with Aidan Courtney in Scéal Eile book shop in Ennis at 9am. Aidan, aka Coimicí Gael, will lead this fun, magical workshop teaching children aged 9-13* how to draw a cartoon character through the medium of Irish (no need to be fluent - a few words of Irish will be just fine!). The theme of the workshop is your favourite Harry Potter character. Some materials supplied, but children are welcome to bring their own pencils if preferred. Numbers for this event are very limited, so please come EARLY to avoid disappointment.
*Younger children welcome with older siblings
Le tacaíocht ó Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia

Book Clinic with Children’s Books Ireland on Saturday 4th March from 10am-1pm in Visit Clare, Abbey Street Car Park in Ennis.

Throughout the year Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) brings the Book Clinic around the country, working with many different partners. Parents and children are invited to drop in for an informal consultation with one of CBI’s friendly panel of Book Doctors, who are ready to offer the best advice for the young readers in the family. The visit begins with a few moments in the waiting room with the Doodle Doctors, working on a Doodle Starter and learning more about drawing as well as enjoying a selection of children’s books. When the Book Doctor is ready to see a patient, the consultation begins with some questions about books the young reader previously enjoyed as well as activities, movies, TV shows and video games they enjoy. This lets the Book Doctor know a little bit more about the patient so she can write a book prescription, which is a personalised list of books recommended for the individual patient. Every patient and their family leave with a Reading Passport containing this book prescription to take to their local library or bookshop to have it filled! Remember, the Book Clinic is always free of charge!

There will also be a Children’s Book Club event with author Caroline Busher in the De Valera Library, Ennis on Saturday 4th March at 2.30pm. This is a first for Ennis Book Club Festival, to include a children’s book club event. Festival organisers and Library staff are very excited and hope many young people will come along to meet Caroline and discuss the book. It could even be the start of a new children’s book club in De Valera Library, Ennis so we want to call out to all 11 & 12 year-old readers to come along to this free but ticketed event. Call De Valera Library on 065-6846353 for more information.

Ennis Book Club Festival and Clare County Library also partnered for this year’s Teen Week at the Library with events featuring authors E.R. Murray and Dave Rudden in the libraries in Ennis and Ennistymon.

For all details of the Ennis Book Club Festival visit http://www.ennisbookclubfestival.com.

The 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal

Recently an unexpected package arrived by mail from the Irish Defence Force HQ in County Kildare. The package contained a sample 1916 Centenary Commemorative Medal, one of a type presented by President Michael D. Higgins to all members of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps to mark the fact that the Defence Forces had played such a prominent role in the commemorations to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

The medal has a familiar look to it, which is intentional according to documentation that was included in the package. It explains that, as the Defence Forces trace their origins to the foundation of the Irish Volunteers in November 1913, the medal was designed to reflect the tradition of the original 1916 medal but was made respectfully different in deference to the men and women of 1916 to whom the original medal was awarded.

The documentation also explains that because of the prominent role played by the Defence Forces at local authority level during the commemorations, it is considered appropriate to provide local authority museums with a sample for our collections.

We at Clare Museum would like to thank the Defence Forces for their generosity. The medal is a welcome addition to our collection and will serve as a tangible link to the centenary commemorations in the years to come.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Waterstones Book of the Year 2016

Historical novel The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry has beaten the likes of J K Rowling and Beatrix Potter to be crowned the Waterstones Book of the Year for 2016.

Described as “a novel of rare intelligence”, it was voted “overwhelmingly” as the title which booksellers were most proud to recommend to customers Set in Victorian London and an Essex village in the 1890s, The Essex Serpent has at its heart the story of two people who fall for each other, despite agreeing on absolutely nothing. Cora is a well-to-do London widow who moves to the Essex parish of Aldwinter, and Will is the local vicar. They meet as their village is engulfed by rumours that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Balancing Care with Access: Patrick Brennan’s Autograph Book

In a previous blog post, we told the story of how Clare Museum acquired Patrick Brennan’s Frongoch autograph book and its significance as a link between County Clare and the Easter Rising in 1916. The autograph book records the names, thoughts, hopes and political aspirations of fifty-four Frongoch internees from all over Ireland and is beautifully illustrated, but since its acquisition it has been mostly in storage and away from the public eye. It is probably no surprise then that as part of Clare’s contribution to mark the centenary of the Rising, the opportunity was taken to place this album of signatures in the long-term exhibition at Clare Museum.

However, early in the planning there was an awareness that, paradoxically, placing the autograph book on public display would actually restrict access in many ways as only two pages can be displayed to the viewer at any one time. The decision to display the item would also pose another problem which would become apparent over time: in order to make it available to researchers it would require the autograph book to be taken off exhibition for periods, while the handling of its delicate pages would place it at increased risk of damage and deterioration.

In order to overcome these restrictions to access while simultaneously protecting the artefact, it was decided early on to produce a book as a resource that would make available the original material the autograph book contains. With funding provided by the Clare 1916 Programme, Dr Tomás Mac Conmara, oral historian and an expert on Clare during the Irish War of Independence was commissioned to research and write the text of the publication.

Titled ‘An Interpretive Guide to Patrick Brennan’s Autograph Book’, Dr Mac Conmara provided biographical notes on each of the signatories and translations from Irish to English of their compositions. He also provided an analysis of both the compositions and of life in Frongoch as experienced by the internees.

In addition, because the Clare 1916 Programme provided the funding for the printing of the book, it became possible to provide the ‘Guide’ free of charge to the public. Dr Mac Conmara’s research and the funding received for publication has allowed the museum to provide:

- The widest possible access to the original document.
- An educational resource for adult learners, students, local historians and the general public
- Reduced risk of damage the original document through handling

In addition, the project allowed the museum and the Clare 1916 Programme to:
- Provide scholarly research for our objects as outlined in our Exhibition Policy
- Provide a significant souvenir for the people of Clare of the county’s contribution to the centenary commemorations.

Patrick Brennan’s Autograph Book is on display in the Riches of Clare exhibition at Clare Museum, where admission is free.
The Interpretive Guide was launched on 22nd December, 2016, to bookend the Clare’s commemorative programme. It is available to the public at Clare Museum.