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Clare County Library - Children’s Book Festival 2005

Children’s Book Festival took place in libraries all over Ireland from the 5th to the 31st October 2005. Clare County Library put together a varied and highly entertaining programme of events which spanned four weeks.

Ann Carroll, Cora Harrison, Oisin McGann and Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick provided children with the opportunity to meet the creators of some of their favourite stories as well as being simultaneously treated to the fantastic illustrations which some of these authors use to accompany their writing.

Marie Lennon’s Animal Roadshow was the runaway success of the festival in the four libraries she visited. Library staff, parents and her young audiences have all requested a return visit. Marie provided all children in her audiences with the opportunity to touch her amazing array of animals featuring a lizard, an owl, and a snake to name but some.

Storytellers, Niall de Burca and Toby Kinsella were this year’s visiting storytellers and as always with storytellers, they were characteristically entertaining, involving children, teachers and librarians in hour long sessions of interactive fun.
Toby Kinsella is a multi instrumentalist. His enthusiasm and love for the music and rhythms of the world highlighted the many diverse cultures present in the classrooms of today.

Niall de Burca told stories in a combination of Irish and English. The children were constantly involved in his performance with actions and responses. The stories were dramatically presented and often quite funny, so the kids’ attention never wavered. The session was thoroughly enjoyed by children and teachers alike. Both events were highly recommended by their audiences.

Children’s puppet theatre was provided by Clare’s own Dandelion Puppets. One librarian had the following to say about their latest production Fishy Tales from Noah’s Ark, “it was an excellent show with lots of 'he's behind you' and 'look over there!, the children were well entertained.”

Clare based artists, Caitriona Sheedy, Shona McGillivray and Judy O’Sullivan gave children the chance to participate in three very different art and craft workshops. Participants had to be limited for each workshop but those who booked early were rewarded with personal Halloween mobiles, copper bookmarks and their own storybooks to take home at the end of the sessions.

Jans Schuurmans hosted drama workshops in Kilmihil and deValera Library, Ennis. Evaluation from both libraries was very positive. The workshop emphasized interaction and participation and was enjoyed by everyone involved. Thanks to Jans for adapting most successfully to her audiences in both branches.

Clare County Library would also like to thank Alan Shoosmith and Peggy Coyne for their individual workshops in Sean Lemass Library, Shannon.

Magicians are a firm favourite with our young festival goers every year and shows by The Great Padini and Magik Mik were much appreciated and enjoyed. Both magicians had large audiences with no shortage of aspiring young magic makers who were willing to help out.

Clare County Library would like to take this opportunity to thank all sponsors of this year’s festival. Once again we would like to thank schools and teachers who arranged for classes to attend events in library branches during school time. A collective total of almost 3,000 children attended all events in fifteen branch libraries in the County.

Festival Competition: Design a Bookmark
For the third successive year Children’s Books Ireland in association with Clare County Library ran a Design a Bookmark Competition.

The volume of entries increases annually with a record number of entries received this year. A total of 1,622 entries were received from children all over Clare at Library Headquarters before the closing date in September.

Entries were judged by Clare County Arts Officer, Siobhan Mulcahy, Carrie Stafford, Executive Librarian, Patricia Fitzgerald, Assistant Librarian and Nathalie Leahy, also from Clare County Arts Office.

This year’s County winners were Orlagh Flanagan from Miltown Malbay National School in the Aged 10 and under category and Eavan Kane, Holy Family National School, Ennis in the Aged 11 and over category. Both received a €50 book token and an award certificate, compliments of Clare County Library and The Youth Library Group of The Library Association of Ireland. The winning bookmarks will be made available in all branches of Clare County Library.

The award certificates were presented to both girls in their schools by the Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Pat Keane.

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