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October 2013 was a busy month for libraries in Clare. Children’s Book Festival events and Summer Reading Challenge presentations saw close on four thousand children visit our branches. A programme of activities for children offered 56 different events shared between 15 libraries during the month. With everything from author and storyteller visits to a mobile planetarium, children in County Clare had lots of entertainment to choose from while library staff as always used the opportunity to showcase what the library has to offer free of charge to children and teenagers.
This year’s line-up included authors, Darren Shan, Sheena Wilkinson, Anna Carey, Gordon Green, Ger Siggins, Michael Smith, Alan Nolan and Juliette Saumande.
Writing in her Blog on her return to Dublin Juliette wrote:
“I think I've figured out the secret to a good (great?) author's
event in Ireland. All you need is for your book's cover to sport the colours
of the county you're visiting. If said county happens to have won an All-Ireland
final in the very recent past, so much the better, you've your intro ready
and an already hyper and delighted audience.
Darren Shan entertained five hundred devoted fans in Glór at the launch of the latest book in his best-selling series, Zom-B, Baby and storyteller Niall de Burca captured the imagination of every child and teacher in a packed auditorium with his repertoire of tales delivered to schools from all over Clare
Art and crafts featured again this year. Children could make their own books with the The Happy Artist’s creative arts project based in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry and brought to us by the excellent artist Lisa Fingleton.
Assistant Librarian, Frances Pender, Kilrush Library had the following to say about the workshop:
“The whole workshop was excellent. Lisa got all of the children involved, they picked out their favourite books and practiced some sketching etc. She had a range of paper and card for them to make their own books/diaries and some of them bound their books with thread. They decorated them with all sorts of coloured paper, stickers, buttons and had some beautiful creations to take home.”
Sarah Fuller from Dog and String Puppet Theatre ran puppet making workshops in six branches this year and as always her workshops were a lot of fun inspiring the children attending to create their very own puppets from simple materials.
CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory's Stardome came to Kilkee Library for one day only, presenting an amazing opportunity for local schoolchildren to marvel at the night sky in an inflatable Planetarium. As the night sky was lit overhead, the young astronomers were transported from their classrooms to infinity and beyond!
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes were brought to Clare’s children
in a hilariously unique way by the illustrations and antics of artist
Wayne O’Connor who traveled from Sligo. Children and teachers explored
Dahl’s infamous rhymes in a suitably revolting manner
Dr. Sebastian von Engelbrechten shared his knowledge of the Ice Age with children in four branches. Hiss hour-long presentation included examining fossils from the period, and gave them an insight into the consequences of climate change and an awareness of the Irish landscape and its wild flora and fauna.
The star attraction for four to six year olds was a fun educational puppet show presented by CallBack Theatre called Dorothy Dolittle’s Magical Adventure. Presenting two shows each day in Shannon and Ennis libraries, both venues were packed to capacity with spell-bound junior and senior infants who loved every minute of their show on Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.
These and other events completed the varied programme shared between all public libraries in the County. Through the many activities and events scheduled in October and throughout the year, staff continually hope to engage young people with books and foster a life-long love of reading among children from an early age.