How to be everything?

You can find out how to do and be lots of things in the library.

Actors, gardeners, jugglers, farmers, knitters, bakers, candlestick makers, secretaries or being idle. Staying single or looking for partners?

Dubliners: One City, One Book

Actor reading Dubliners outside the Mansion HouseDublin: One City, One Book is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by the city's library service, which encourages everyone to read a book connected with the capital city during the month of April each year. This year the chosen book is 'Dubliners' by James Joyce. So get reading quickly!

Britannica Titanica!

Story of the TitanicFor our younger library visitors, coming soon to our shelves is 'Story of the Titanic' (illustrations by Steve Noon, published by Dorling Kindersley, 2012). This is the tragic story of the Titanic, with double-page illustrations, cross-sections and cutaway details explaining the construction and mechanical details of the ship and revealing life on board for passengers and crew.

You can also locate other books in our libraries on the Titanic.

Encyclopaedia Britannica this month brings the topic of the Titanic to life with its latest spotlight. To mark the 100th anniversary, primary school children can explore both the triumph and the tragedy of this great vessel.

Musical Books

WhitebicyclesHello and welcome, Musical Books is a blog article about exactly what it says! However don't be fooled if you think you have to really like music to get a good read here. I will also be reviewing riveting good reads that are not absolutely note for note about music.

I'm starting with one of my favourites: Joe Boyd's White Bicycles - Making Music in the 60s.

This is a memoir of music producer Joe Boyd whose career began as a tour manager to Muddy waters and The Reverend Gary Davies during the blues revival in England in the mid sixties. Although Boyd is an American the book has the feel of being written by an Englishman. His love of English folk music is probably responsible for this. He was pivotal in furthering the careers of Sandy Denny, the Incredible String Band and Nick Drake.

Storytelling to toddlers

Toot, TootProviding a story time session to toddlers can be a challenge. I have hosted a weekly storytelling session for many years and I am still learning and looking for suggestions on what makes a successful and fun event. Currently, my plan for the 20 minute storytelling session consists of 4 rhymes, followed by 4 stories and ending with a song. The song usually is the Wheels on the Bus, I know this is old hat but children love it and do participate in the singing and actions.

Last week I had a “hen” theme. I found a sung version of Chuck-chuck-chuck-chuck-chuck, good morning Mrs. Hen on a CD and this got everyone in a happy clucky mood, followed by Hickety, Pickety, my black hen; then One, two, buckle my shoe (it does end with a big fat hen!); and I’m a little birdie (adapted from I’m a Little Teapot). The stories told were 'Handa’s Hen' (Walker Big Book size ensures everyone can see the pictures); 'Rosie’s Walk'; 'The Little Red Hen'; 'Old Mac Donald' and to end there was a hen on the bus in the Wheels on the Bus song! Old favourites such as Incy Wincy Spider; If you’re Happy and you know it always get a good reaction. Rhymes such as 5 Little Monkeys jumping on the bed or 5 Little Monkeys swinging on a tree are really popular.

Dublin & Dubliners

Kevin StreetView Dublin & Dubliners Gallery

James Joyce's Dubliners (1914) presents a raw and uncompromising portrait of his native city in a book he described as 'my nicely polished looking glass'.

These images from the Dublin City Council Photographic Collection show Dublin as it was over fifty years later. They illustrate how the city had changed and yet, in some respects, stayed the same. The churches, streets, and pubs through which Joyce's characters roamed and schemed remained as central to Dublin life in the middle of the twentieth century as at the beginning.

Religious Buildings

St Audeon'sDublin is a city of churches, chapels, and meeting houses. This image gallery depicts some of them. Some remain, some have changed use, and some have vanished but all live on in our collective memory. It is sometimes said that Dublin is more a patchwork of parishes than a homogenous city. The religious buildings of Dublin were more than places of worship. They were the totems of their respective communities and the stones and steeples depicted here are the vestiges of those they served.

View Religious Buildings Gallery

Before and After Science: Books on Irish Science

Dublin's tenure as European City of Science in 2012 is an ideal reason to get acquainted with the scientific heritage of this island. These are the very best books on the history of science in Ireland. Poets, novelists, and musicians may entertain us but only scientists will really change our world. Enjoy!

Science, Colonialism and Ireland Science, Colonialism, and Ireland by Nicholas Whyte (1999)

Irish historiography stalled in the 1990s thanks to the tedious 'revisionism' debate which was no more sophisticated than one group of historians claiming that their research was more 'objective' than their opponents. It was a tiresome, politically-driven distraction that was brilliantly unmasked by the likes of Seamus Deane.  The fledgling discipline of the History of Science suffered more than most from the taint of 'revisionism' with specious claims being made that the scientific heritage of Ireland was marginalised because it was largely the domain of Protestants and/or Unionists. Belfast-based Nicholas Whyte did Irish scholars a huge service by subjecting these claims to a rigorous analysis in his Science, Colonialism, and Ireland and unsurprisingly found 'more heat than light' at the heart of the matter. Whyte considers the role of the central scientific agencies in Ireland - the Royal Irish Academy, the Royal Dublin Society - as well as how science was organised in the country from the Act of Union to the foundation of the Free State. It is a brilliant, generous, and inclusive piece of scholarship that should be foundational for anyone interested in the subject.

Walking Through The Airs of the Famous Composers

The Story of Classical MusicThe story of Classical Music is a 4 CD set produced by Naxos, that explores the life and music of the great composers of classical music in a very entertaining and informal way. The account is written by Darren Henley and read by singer and presenter Aled Jones and is an excellent introduction to classical music

It outlines the development of classical music from 600 to present day and gives a historical overview of classical music beginning over 1400 years ago with Gregorian chants and Hildegard von Bingen and culminating with a brief listen to the soundtracks from the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Due to the vast time period covered, this CD does not attempts to look at the development of classical music in any great depth, but rather to give an overview.

Daffodil Day

Knitted DaffodilToday is Daffodil Day, an opportunity to support those excellent people who support those who have had cancer.

And I'm one of them.  About 9 years ago I developed cancer and had to have chemotherapy.  It was hard, it was not something I'd like to have to do again and I'm glad it's over.

I do plan to do a more comprehensive blog post about books about cancer but a few that I recommend (on top of the Irish Cancer Society website which is a great resource in itself), as useful books are: