books & reading

the war to end all wars

Red poppies for remembrance. White poppies for a peaceful futureAs you’re probably aware, last year we entered what’s being called the decade of commemoration. It began with the centenary of the lockout, and continues now with the onset of World War One. This war was such a catalyst: The world was a completely different place at the end of those four years than it had been at the start of them; and the sheer bad luck of that generation, finding themselves plunged into a maelstrom, is heartbreaking. The centenary brings a surfeit of material, and with it a danger of overkill, but that will pass, and the commemorative material and research will be invaluable down the line. In the meantime, here is a sample of both fiction and non-fiction looking at the war from different viewpoints.

Going Places with Books - Summer Reading Challenge

Going Places with Books, Summer Reading BuzzYesterday (Wednesday, 30th of July), the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan launched the Public Libraries' Summer Reading Programme in the Central Library, ILAC Centre, Dublin.
(View the photo slideshow below)

The Summer Reading Programme runs in public libraries across the country every July and August and is a hugely popular and successful reading event for children of all ages and abilities. Each child chooses the books they wish to read, keeps a record of their progress and gets recognition for each step along the way. At the end of the challenge, all children who have read the target number of books get a certificate of achievement at a special awards event.

Here in Dublin...

Here in Dublin City Libraries, together with our library colleagues in Kildare, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire-RathdownSouth Dublin and Longford, we run the hugely popular 'Going Places with Books' Summer Reading Buzz (see right).

Nobel Prize Winning Author Nadine Gordimer, RIP

Nadine GordimerSouth African Nobel Prize winning author Nadine Gordimer died in her home in Johannesburg on Sunday, 13 July 2014.

A writer and political activist, she was a strong voice against apartheid. She published her first story at 15, and her works comprise novels and short stories, the central theme of which was apartheid and its consequences. Indeed a number of her works were banned in South Africa before the fall of apartheid.

Desert Island Picks

DESERT ISLAND PICKS

desert islandSo. If you were marooned on a desert island, and could have only one book, one film, and one cd with you, what would they be? Frankly I’m doing well to get it down to five of each: choosing just one is incredibly difficult, and, in a couple of months time, I’d probably give completely different answers. It all depends on what mood we’re in, and where we are in our lives. So I’ve simply gone with: which ones do I keep coming back to over time. Feel free to post your own up.

Supporting literacy in the local authority

Tanaiste Eamon GilmoreTánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore today launched the national 'Right to Read Campaign' in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, at Charleville Mall Library. The campaign aims to have an integrated approach to supporting literacy.

Also present were: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD; Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Jan O'Sullivan TD;  Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello TD; and Minister for European Affairs Pascal Donohoe TD.

Enjoying their visit to the library also were the staff and children from St. Louise's Crèche, North William Street (below).

On the road

thumbing a liftThis is my first blog in a long time, mainly because I’m out on relief, which means I’m not based in any one branch but go to whichever branch is short staffed on the day. There are pros and cons to being on the road: the downsides are I’m living out of a rucksack, carrying everything that I might need every day, because I can’t keep food onsite – (sings) don’t know when I’ll be back again! The upsides are variety, catching up with other staff members I haven’t seen in years, getting to know how different branches do things, different demographics, meeting lots of new people, and, as one staff member here puts it, going feral! So what else could I kick off with but a review of books about life on the move.

Never Too Late to Travel!

South AmericaIt might be late-June, but it's never too late to plan a holiday abroad. Though given the weather we've been having here, why leave these sunny shores, you might wonder?! True, but many of you do and will, so as we always aim to please and anticipate your requirements here in Dublin City Public Libraries, we have compiled many travel guides that might interest you should you be so inclined.

So be it Brazil (get to the World Cup, there is still time!), Crete, Cuba, Africa, the European continent, South America, anywhere in fact, there may well be a travel guide amongst our travel guides to start you on your journey.

World Refugee Day, 20th June

UNHCRLibraries and Bookshops across Dublin City have joined forces to support the UN Refugee Agency's book-reading campaign. The initiative to mark World Refugee Day allows children and adults to explore the devastating impact of war on families by reading books that highlight refugee issues.

Celebrating 75 years of Finnegans Wake

Shannon Colleens May 2014 marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of Finnegans Wake.  To celebrate Dublin City Public Libraries hosted the wonderful Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher performing Here's Comes Everybody! a musical journey through Finnegans Wake.  

This performance explores the musical pulse at the heart of Finnegans Wake. The irreverence and subversion of Joyce's comic masterpiece is evoked through parlour song, music hall, nursery rhyme, folk song, street ballads, sea shanties, hymns, carols and the American songbook. James Joyce filled his work with music and in Finnegans Wake there are almost 1,000 song references and allusions. These songs create the dreamlike transformations of the Porter- Earwicker family and express the ambience and cadences peculiar to the city of Dublin.

D-Day, 70th Anniversary

D-Day. Into the Jaws of Death70 years ago today the Allied forces landed on the Normandy beaches, thus beginning the Allied invasion of German-occupied Western Europe (Operation Overlord). The Normandy landings on D-Day, codenamed Operation Neptune, involved the largest seaborne invasion in history. A myriad of books have been written about the war, the events of June and afterwards, and a myriad of documentaries and films have appeared on our TV screens ever since.

Utah, Gold, Omaha, Juno, Sword - the names of the Normandy beaches where thousands of landing craft poured ashore. Over 160,000 soldiers crossed the English Channel on D-Day, and many soldiers lost their lives before they even left their landing point. Then too there was the airborne assault, with thousands of planes involved, soldiers landing behind enemy lines in order to secure bridges and other strategic points.

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