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Library Ireland Week 2008

Library Ireland, 14th February 2008

It’s countdown time to Library Ireland Week 2008 which takes place this year from 3rd - 9th March. The week sees a number of events taking place at libraries throughout County Clare. You can expect exhibitions, author visits, readings, crafts and much more.

Library Ireland Week is organised by the Library Association of Ireland and this is the fourth year in this annual celebration of libraries and librarians. On Thursday, 28 February the writer Joseph O'Connor will officially launch the week at the National Library in Dublin. At last year’s launch, Dublin City Librarian, Deirdre Ellis-King, stated that “Library Ireland Week showcases the significant contribution libraries make to the social, economic and cultural development of the new Ireland. The public library, the university and college library and the library in the work place, all provide access to their users to a vast world of information and resources, thereby enriching their lives, whether they be early readers, students, working professionals or lifelong learners.”

Activities kick off in Clare on 29th February with the official opening of the Ennis Book Club Festival, run in association with Clare County Library. As part of the festival, Archivist Martin Morris will talk at the DeValera Library, Ennis on Saturday morning at 9.30. His subject is “The Papers of Maurice Walsh – author of the Quiet Man”. Later that day at 12 noon in the same venue, Dr. Michael Griffin will deliver a talk on the eighteenth century Ennis poet Thomas Dermody. A sale of library books will also take place at DeValera Library from Friday, 29th February to Thursday, 6th March.

In the midst of Library Ireland Week activities, World Book Day will take place on Thursday, 6th March. The day has become firmly established as the biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. It was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. The origins of the day we now celebrate in Ireland and the UK come from Catalonia, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St. George’s Day – a tradition started over 80 years ago. The event is a partnership of libraries, publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all.

World Book Day will be marked in Clare Libraries in a variety of ways. “Celebrating Libraries” - an evening of music, readings, drama and chat will take place on Thursday, 6th March at 8.00pm in DeValera Library, Ennis. Writers participating will include popular Galway poet Rita Ann Higgins, and Clare-based Knute Skinner and Goeran Pettersson. Rita Ann Higgins has published eight collections of poetry, five with Salmon publishing and three with Bloodaxe, including her latest collection “Throw in the vowels”. She has written four plays and has been writer in residence at the National University of Ireland. She is a member of Aosdána. Knute Skinner was a founder member of the North Clare Writers Workshop, editing a number of its publications, which also featured many works by him. The evening will also include readings by library members and community representatives. All are welcome and entry is free. Meanwhile, at Ennistymon Library an “Art Display for World Book Day” exhibition will take place. Children and adults are asked to colour, paint or illustrate favourite scenes from much-loved books. The resulting art work will be displayed in the library from 6th - 13th March. Hugh Weir will visit Tulla Library at 11.15am to talk to 6th Class from St. Mochulla's Primary School. The topic will be “Local landlord houses in the Tulla area” based on his book "Houses of Clare". He will also talk about Brian Boru.

In a packed programme, Seachtain na Gaeilge events also take place in libraries during March. Poet Bríd Ní Mhóráin will visit libraries in Shannon, Ennis, Miltown Malbay and Kilrush. Author Ré O Laighléis will read in Shannon, Kilkee, Kilrush, Killaloe and Scariff Libraries. Marie Clohessy of Shannon Library will present Am Scéalaiocht in Sixmilebridge, Newmarket, Kildysart and Tulla Libraries. Contact Patricia Fitzgerald, Executive Librarian, for full details on Seachtain na Gaeilge events by phoning 065-6846266.

Adding variety to activities, Katja Wittmer will be exhibiting in Scariff library at this time while a Clare Supported Employment Service Information Stand will be in Newmarket Library from 1st - 14th March. Later in March an exhibition entitled “Wood of Life” will go on display in Ennis, Shannon and Kilkee libraries. This is a travelling, hands-on, interactive exhibition on the social, economic and environmental importance of the world's forests.

Throughout this period, a host of ongoing library activities such as storytime, book clubs, class visits, crafts, chess, etc. will continue as usual. Check with your local branch library for further details or phone Clare Library Headquarters at 065 6846350. View the website at www.clarelibrary.ie

All in all, a very busy time at Clare Libraries – make sure you’re part of it..

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