Wednesday, 17 January 2018

New Year – New You

Whatever you New Year’s resolutions – weight loss, stress management, quitting smoking, managing your personal finances – there are over 500 free online courses available through Clare County Library’s website Follow the Universal Class link from the library homepage and use your library card number to learn at your own pace in the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to learn a new language check out the range of over 70 languages through the library website. Follow the Mango Languages link on the library homepage and learn conversational skills in your chosen language by recording your speech and comparing it directly to audio from a native speaker to hear exactly how to tune in your accent in preparation for that holiday.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Costa Book Awards - Children’s Fiction Winner

Katherine Rundell’s The Explorer has been announced the 2017 Costa Children’s Fiction Award winner.

Hailed by the judges as ‘a masterful, delicious read from start to finish’ it tells the story of Fred, Con, Lila and Max who are stranded and in mortal danger after their plane crashed over the Amazonian Rainforest. They have no food, no water and no chance of being rescued. But they are alive and they have hope. With hope and determination could there possibly be a way out after all.

The other shortlisted titles Moonrise by Sarah Crossan, Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans and The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave are equally good reads and are all in stock in the teenage book collections of Clare County Library branches.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Healthy Ireland at Your Library

Healthy Ireland is the national strategy to improve health and wellbeing, placing a focus on prevention, individual awareness and keeping people healthy for longer.

Public libraries are currently delivering the nationwide Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme that will establish libraries as a valuable source within the community for health information.

Funding granted by Healthy Ireland has enhanced health and wellbeing book collections (digital and hardcopy), and provided for staff training, events, and promotion.

The Healthy Ireland at Your Library programme will continue to build on this and contribute to improving the health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life of communities and individuals at all life stages. Find out more on the services offered see

Monday, 4 December 2017

Every Child a Poet

The Poetry Collective has, with the support of Creative Ireland, produced a short film for teachers entitled: Every Child a Poet This 10-minute film will be previewed at the De Valera Library from 5.00 pm through 5.30 pm on Thursday 7th December.

The film is aimed at primary schools and teachers and includes poetry learning and teaching in action along with recitals by children of their own poems and some by well-known writers. The cooperation of children and teachers at Barefield NS in the making of this film is gratefully acknowledged.

The Poetry Collective’s ‘Every Child a Poet’ campaign is aimed at helping all children in County Clare primary schools enjoy, understand and create poetry. This campaign is being organised by the Poetry Collective in conjunction with Clare Education Centre – whose support is greatly appreciated.

Every Child a Poet’ includes a poetry contest. Last year there were 200+ entries, some of exceptional quality; this year it is hoped entries will be 1,000+ and, more than that, to encourage the appreciation and creation of poems by – as the title says – ‘every child’.

A guidebook is available and this, along with further information, may be obtained from Mike Douse at:

Monday, 13 November 2017

Shortlist unveiled for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017

The shortlist for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017 features a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across fifteen categories, including Novel of the Year, Children’s, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry and the new Teen and Young Adult book of the year category.

Hundreds of books were submitted for consideration this year and the public are now being asked to cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards website

Votes may be cast until midday on Thursday 23rd November, and the winners will be announced at the gala ceremony on Tuesday, 28th November. This year, the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards will be presented by Keelin Shanley and will be televised on RTÉ One at 9:30pm on Wednesday 29th November.

David Walliams, the mega-selling children’s author, has been announced as the recipient of the 2017 ‘Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award’ at this year’s awards. Walliams will be presented with the accolade in recognition of his significant contribution to children’s literature in the past decade.

Monday, 23 October 2017

20017 Man Booker Prize winner

The American short story writer George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. The book is based on a real-life event – the death of Abraham Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie in 1862. Shattered by grief and imagining the boy trapped in the Bardo – a Tibetan Buddhist term for a kind of limbo – Lincoln paces the graveyard on the eve of the boy’s burial. The book intersperses historical accounts, both real and imagined, with monologues from a cast of ghosts watching over the boy in the after-life.

The other shortlisted titles for the 2017 award were
4321 by Paul Auster
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
Autumn by Ali Smith

Monday, 25 September 2017

Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby for free from the comfort of your own home

Register for one of the 400+ free online courses available through Clare County Library and learn at your own pace and in your own time. The areas of study covered range from accounting, through DIY and pet and animal care to writing skills. Courses on offer include cake decorating, landscaping, how to write a business plan, early childhood development and internet marketing basics. Follow the Universal Class link from the library homepage All first time users must register with Universal Class using their library card number and PIN number.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Booker shortlist 2017

Books by two debut novelists Fiona Mozley and Emily Fridlund have been shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker prize. They join Ali Smith who has made the shortlist for the fourth time while Mohsin Hamid previously made the list in 2007 with The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Irish writer Mike McCormack and Sebastian Barry failed to be shortlisted.

The shortlist covers a wide range of subjects, from the struggle of a family trying to retain its self-sufficiency in rural England to a love story between two refugees seeking to flee an unnamed city in the throes of civil war.

The titles are:

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Autumn by Ali Smith

The winner will be announced on October 17th. Visit for more information.

25 greatest comedy films

The BBC have compiled a list of the 25 greatest comedy films based on recommendations from critics from around the world. The top 10 films are

1. Some like it hot
2. Dr Strangelove
3. Annie Hall
4. Groundhog day
5. Duck soup
6. Life of Brian
7. Airplane
8. Playtime
9. This is spinal tap
10. The general

To see the complete list and to read why these films deserved to make the list, see
These films and many more can be borrowed from Clare County Library.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Clare County Library Celebrating our National Heritage

Clare County Library is proud to once again take part in National Heritage Week, which in 2017 will run from August 19th to 27th. National Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, which is celebrated in over 40 countries across Europe. The Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and its aim is to build awareness and education about our heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation. Each year, during the last week of August, many national and hundreds of local community organisations participate by organising events throughout the country. Many of the events that take place during the week are free and the programme highlights the abundance of great work that is carried out in all communities in Ireland to preserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage. In 2017, the Heritage Council is inviting you to be active, have fun and get involved with our natural heritage

For its part in celebrating the week, Clare County Library will host a number of free events throughout the week. On Tuesday, 22nd August staff from Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, DCU will visit library branches in Ennis, Shannon and Sixmilebridge to provide information sessions on Meitheal Dú and Meitheal

Meitheal Dú is an opportunity to transcribe folklore material collected by schoolchildren for the National Folklore Collection in the 1930s in Ireland. It is one of the most successful crowdsourcing projects of its kind in the world. Discover more at Meitheal encourages the recording and sharing of minor placenames. The public is asked to record minor placenames, such as field names, via a simple online form. Discover more at

The aim of the talks/workshops is to show the public how easy it is to access the information contained in these valuable cultural resources - via PCs in their local library or from the comfort of their own homes. The sessions also aim to show that these resources are available to everyone - no matter how limited your computer skills may be you can still get involved!

Also on Tuesday 22nd August at 6pm, to coincide with Clare County Library's touring display based on the 1917 East Clare By-election, writer Kieran Sheedy will visit Shannon Library to give a talk on that topic. On June 7th 1917 Willie Redmond, the Member of Parliament for East Clare, was killed in the battle of the Messines Ridge and a contested election (the first in fifteen years) took place in the following month. The candidates were Patrick Lynch K.C., a native of Ennis (Home Rule Party) and Eamon De Valera (Sinn Fein), the Irish Volunteer Commandant at Boland’s Mills during the 1916 Rising who had been recently released from an English jail. The election campaign and its result became pivotal in the emergence of Sinn Fein as a National party and is equally as significant in Clare political history as the 1828 by-election, won by Daniel O’Connell. Kieran Sheedy held a number of posts in RTE Radio One, including Head of Documentaries, before concentrating on a career in writing. His historical works include Upon the Mercy of Government, The Tellicherry Five, Peerless Tom Malone, The Clare Elections, The Horse in County Clare (2 volumes), The United Irishmen in County Clare and The Clare Anthology (Ed.). The Library’s display continues to travel to various branches throughout the county. See for details.

On Thursday 24th August, at 12 noon, Scariff Public Library will host a special lecture by Steve Dolan of the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna entitled The Workhouse System in Ireland. The topic of the lecture will be the workhouses system in Ireland, with a specific focus on Scariff, and the afternoon will also see the launch of a free booklet by the Irish Workhouse Centre staff.

The following day, Friday 25th August, John Rattigan, curator of Clare County Museum, will visit Scariff Library at 2.30pm to give a presentation on some of the ancient objects found in east Clare that are housed in the Museum in Ennis. He will also bring the catalogue of objects from Clare that are in the National Museum so individuals can find out about archaeological items found in their parish/townland over the last 150 years. This is a free event hosted in conjunction with CABES.

To finish off the week, on Friday 25th August at 6.30pm,  native of north Clare and author of The Fanore School Case, Joe Queally will visit the De Valera Public Library in Ennis to give a talk based on his book about "one of the most bizarre episodes in the history of Irish education". As Joe shows in this fascinating book, the conventional account does not tell the full story. Leaning on a wide range of sources, from court records to oral history, Queally reveals many new aspects to the case, the violent means used by his supporters to intimidate the new teachers who succeeded him, and the bitter divisions caused in the community by the results of the affair. This absorbing and exhaustively researched book brings together all the facts of the Fanore School Case. It balances previous accounts with the Catholic Church's version of events, derived from diocesan archives, which were made available for the first time to the author. A short documentary commissioned by RTE on the story will also be shown during the talk. Copies of the book will be on sale after the event. For more visit

All library events are free of charge and everyone is welcome so be sure to take this opportunity for the whole family to discover and enjoy your heritage and history. Details of all events can be found at or by phoning 065-6821616/6846350. Information on nationwide events is available at