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Shannon folk do it by the book

Clare People, Tuesday, 15th December 2009

by Emer Connolly

Membersip at the Seán Lemass library in Shannon has increased by up to 20 per cent in the past year. The increase in membership and readership is spread across the board as both adults and children are reading more books than ever before. Their interests are varied as books are being read in a variety of subjects.

Executive librarian Carmel Daly told The Clare People that membership has soared and more books are being borrowed than in the past. “More people than ever are reading books. Our membership has shot through the roof and our book usage has increased in 2009. Usually it’s the parent that leads. More adults are coming in because they have more time on their hands. This happens in time of recession. Public library use goes up as people return to study,” said Ms Daly.

She said that a wide variety of topics are of interest for book readers in Shannon. “It is very evenly spread. People are reading fiction, non-fiction, travel and social issues. They are also interested in how to get into learning. For some readers, it might be social issues or whatever triggers something at the time,” added Ms Daly.

“A lot of people concentrate just on fiction. Others have a mix, while true crime is somebody else’s interest. Health issues are huge. People want to be more informed about their health,” she said.

When it comes to children’s reading, authors Darren Shan and Stephanie Meyer are proving hugely popular in Shannon. Books that are well illustrated are also proving a hit with children.

In addition to loaning books, the library has been a hive of activity of late. The annual Christmas craft fair has just concluded, having been in operation at the library for 10 days. 25 local people exhibited their crafts which included jewellery, crochet, patchwork and jams.

Storytime for children aged between four and six takes place every Tuesday afternoon at 4pm. This is presented by library staff and introduces children to the joys of books and reading. The library took part in the national Book Festival in October and a huge interest in reading was evident.

An art exhibition opened at the library yesterday (Monday) and will continue until December 22. The exhibition features work of the art class attending the Shannon Family Resource Centre.

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