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Reader-in-Residence Appointed!

Dublin City Public Libraries, in association with the Home School Community Liaison Scheme, has appointed Sarah Purcell as Reader-in-Residence. Sarah takes up her Residency this September for a nine-month period and will deliver a programme of activities designed to instil in young children an appreciation and love of reading which, at the same time, will give parents/guardians an awareness of the positive value of literacy, books and reading in their children’s development. The programme will include opportunities for parents and children to explore and enjoy reading and other literacy activities together.

A Great Night Out!

WastersDublin is famous for many things, not least its nightlife. While many people imagine that Dublin’s international profile as a night spot only began with the establishment of Temple Bar, this selection of images from the Special Collections of Dublin City Public Libraries demonstrates that the fun didn’t start then. Fairs and taverns provided venues for entertainment from the Middle Ages and in the eighteenth century Coffee Houses were dens of political dissent and gossip. During that same century the theatres often saw more action in the pit than on the stage, or if throwing oranges at the actors was not to your taste you could while away the evening with a trip to a Charity Sermon. During the nineteenth century thrilling melodrama and wild vaudeville graced the Dublin stage and organisations such as the YMCA hosted lectures on the new advances in science. Going to “the pictures” became an important part of a Dublin night out in the twentieth century, but the city also played host to international luminaries such as Laurel and Hardy and The Beatles. And in the Dublin of the early 1980s you could get to a U2 concert for just £1.20!

A Visitor's Guide to Dublin in 1811

National Bank, Image from Picture of Dublin for 1811. Dublin City Public Libraries plans to digitise some of its early books and manuscripts, in order to bring the history of the city before a wider public. Many of the proposed works are hard to find and are very expensive to buy.

Rathmines Library on the UP!

Rathmines LibraryRathmines Branch Library re-opened after extensive refurbishment on Tuesday August 2nd, 2011. Improvements include the provision of a lift, a user friendly self-service system, accessible public toilets, upgraded lighting and heating, improved signage, new shelving and a new accessible public counter. Plus, the library has been fully repainted and many of the original features have been restored to their former glory.

View photos in our Image Gallery.

Rathmines Library, one of 21 Dublin City branch libraries, first opened to the public in 1913, one of over 60 public libraries in Ireland built with the financial support of Andrew Carnegie.

French crime writer extraordinaire

Fred VargasThink crime fiction, think France, and the name that ought to come to mind is that of Fred Vargas. In my estimation one of the best fiction crime writers around today. Vargas, born Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau in Paris in 1957, is an archaeologist, historian political agitator and crime writer, but best known for the latter. She, along with her twin sister, adopted the name Vargas having seen the film 'The Barefoot Contessa' starring Ava Gardner. She is BIG in France, but elsewhere too, and rightly so. Vargas's works can be bizarre, quirky, humourous, refreshing, are definitely imaginative, and certainly well written.  Her series starring Commissaire Adamsberg you will find a joy to read; I waited so impatiently for the latest instalment, An Uncertain Place (2011), which I read in June.

Explore The World of Operetta

La Belle HeleneJoin Michael Grant on Tuesdays 6th, 13th & 20th September @ 1p.m. to explore the World of Operetta. Michael, who presents specialist music programmes on RTE Lyric FM,  has delivered a number of talks at the Music Library and has proved to be a very entertaining and informative speaker.

  • Tuesday 6th September: French Fizz

Michael will explore the operettas of Jacques Offenbach and some lesser known but equally brilliant French composers in the genre, Louis Varney, Edmond Audran, Charles Lecocq.

back to school

Autumn’s coming up, and with it starts the rounds of evening classes and part-time study. Alongside individual college brochures, each library branch holds guides to full time, part time, and online day and evening courses to help you choose one that suits. Returning to study can be rewarding – learning a new skill, a language, obtaining a qualification. It can also be daunting, particularly if it’s a long time since you were last in a classroom;  but there are lots of good guides available to help get you up and running, and freshen up your study skills.

The Good Study Guide by Andrew NorthedgeThe Good study guide by Andrew Northedge, from the Open University, is well laid out, written in clear language, and full of tips on time management, reading and note-taking skills, and essay writing.

Authentic Irish Voices in Novels for Teens

The Real RebeccaIn my earlier blog posts I've mentioned the amazing talent Ireland is producing in illustrators and picturebook creators - but recently I've also noticed that Irish authors are writing very interesting books for older children and teenagers. In fact, you could do worse than have a read of them yourself - even if it's a long, long time since you were a teenager!

'The Real Rebecca' by first time author Anna Carey, is a light-hearted tale of a real Dublin schoolgirl, Rebecca, whose otherwise ordinary life is made miserable when her mother (more mortifying than most, it seems) writes a book about a cringe-inducing teenager and claims that Rebecca is the inspiration! I enjoyed every minute of Rebecca's predicament, then doubly enjoyed giving it to my daughter to read, to prove that I'm not the most embarrassing mother in creation - not be a long shot!

Designing Together

On the 28th June, 2011, students from 5th class, St. Gabriel's National School, shared their aspirations for Ballyfermot Library with the local community in a Sneak Peek Day.

Students showcased the prototypes of their ideas, which were developed at series of workshops with the designer Ré Dubhthaigh and architect Maxim Laroussi as part of the Designing Together programme.

Designing Together is a collaborative initiative between Dublin City Public Libraries, Dublin City Architects, local schools and designers.

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