non-fiction

Evolution of the Computer: from mainframes to current technologies

boardAn evolution has occurred with bit / byte data that has transformed the IT world over the last 60 years. The logic of inputting a code to a system, processing that code and then producing a result, or the arithmetic / logical operation was the basic groundings for the first bit-serial binary computer in the late 1940s.

The first computing generation occurred from 1942 to 1955 with the Mainframe Computer, a machine which used vacuum tube technology to make electronic digital computers. The first bit-serial binary computer was the BINAC which was launched in 1949. It could calculate data in milliseconds. Next was the ‘ENIAC - a first electronic general-purpose computer which could solve ‘a large class of numerical problems’ through reprogramming. Other computer manufacturers followed suit.

History eAudiobooks

Audiobook on the goIt's Dublin Festival of History time and to celebrate we've put together a short list of history eAudiobooks that you may enjoy. Now you can satisfy your curiosity for the past and your interest in history while walking, running, in the car, cooking dinner or even at the gym.  All these titles are available to download or reserve now.  All you need is a WiFi connection and your library membership! So if you haven't signed up already, visit library.bolindadigital.com/dublin and sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. You can borrow up to 5 eAudiobooks at a time to listen on your phone, tablet, mp3 player.

Don't forget we also have hundreds of history audiobooks that you can borrow as CD or Mp3 player from your local library.

Ten History eBooks

ebooks on tabletDublin Festival of History begins tomorrow and to celebrate we have picked out a selection of history eBooks which you can download and read. Now, we absolutely love history books but sometimes it can be tricky to squeeze that fabulous hard back tome into your bag to read on the bus or on holidays.  So this is where the eBook and your library step in! We have hundreds of history books ready for you to download right now. All you need is a WiFi connection and your library membership!

If you haven't signed up already, visit library.bolindadigital.com/dublin and sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. You can borrow up to 5 eBooks and 5 eAudiobooks at a time to read on your phone, tablet or reader.

Festival of History Reads

Dublin Festival of HistoryThis year's Dublin Festival of History promises to engage and challenge history lovers with a diverse range of interesting talks.  Topics on the programme include Ireland's sporting history, Stalin's personal library, Hillsborough, modern Middle East, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the raid on Entebbe airport and World War I and II. 

We have put together a book list as we are sure you will want to know more about these interesting areas after attending the talks. All books are available to borrow from our libraries and the pop up library at the Festival.

Dublin Festival of History takes place all over Dublin city from 23 September to 8 October. Once again the Festival programme offers lectures, film, walking tours and exhibitions. History will be brought to people’s doorsteps via the city’s branch library network with a series of talks and workshops.

Digital Leaders Summer Reads

Digital to the CoreDigital Leaders asked leaders from across enterprise, government, charities and academia and former winners of their Digital100 Award to recommend their top summer reads.  It makes for an interesting and refreshing summer reading list, as not everyone likes to switch off with the latest light fiction or beach read. It will suit those of you who like to keep your brain engaged even while relaxing by the pool. Dip into these books and you're sure to be inspired and informed when you return to your desk.

Most of these books are available in our libraries and some can be downloaded as ebooks from BorrowBox. Check our catalogue to borrow or reserve one of the Digital Leaders summer reads:

 

Reading the Somme

Soldiers at the SommeThe Battle of the Somme was the largest and bloodiest battle fought on the Western Front during World War I. It was fought between 1 July and 18 November 1916 and left more than 1 million men wounded or killed on both sides, including 3,500 Irish men (read some of their stories as recorded in the RDFA Archive). In our minds, the Somme signifies the horror of war especially the inexorable hardship, suffering and futility of trench warfare.

Image: Detail from DCLA/RDFA1.09.047A  "War 1914-15-16... in the Somme French Offensive Relieving the trenches at Dompierre" (see larger image).

If you would like to read about the Battle of the Somme we have compiled this short reading list.

Back of the net: Our top XI football reads

Only a Game by Eamon DunphyDid you hear the English team have a pop-up library in their hotel? It seems the English FA are hoping to foster a winning mentality amongst the team through reading.  Our Irish team assistant manager Roy Keane features in the library. As well as reading Roy's words of wisdom, the team can consult the memoirs of other successful sporting figures such as Alex Ferguson, Swedish Zlatan Ibrahimovic and F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The library also includes books by and about inspirational leaders such as Nelson Mandela,  civil rights champion Malcolm X and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Let's hope the Irish team have studied their copies of Keane and Keane: The Second Half too! What other books do you think the Irish team should read? #COYBIG

Blooming Marvellous Reads

RoseThis June public holiday should be a good one for gardeners. Gardens are verdant, the weather's looking great, and Bloom in the Park is on all weekend. Isn't gardening just fantastic! Many of us spend most of our time indoors, working, looking at screens and gardening can be the perfect antidote to this. It's slowing down in a hectic world, it's creative, it's healthy, it's rewarding, it's stress-relief, it's good for the environment and wildlife.

If you've been bitten by the bug don't forget to pop into our libraries this month and borrow one of our fantastic selection of gardening books. Gardening book displays at Ballyfermot, Charleville Mall, Dolphin's Barn, Drumcondra, Raheny and Central Library (till 7 June) are packed full of inspiration, tips and advice. So this June get out in the garden and if you can, try to get to Bloom in the Park, it's a terrific event!

Biodiversity and the City

BiodiversityWe're wild about May in Dublin! It's the month we celebrate the wealth of biodiversity in the city.  Even in a capital city there are plenty of habitats where nature can flourish: our parks, gardens, graveyards, coastline, rivers and canal banks, trees, even walls and footpaths provide a home for creatures great and small! We are lucky in Dublin, we don't have to go far to enjoy nature and wildlife.  If sea birds and waders are your thing, St Anne's Park, Dollymount and North Bull Island are a must visit. If it's the iridescent blue flash of the Kingfisher you're after, Dodder Valley is the place to visit. Ducks, swans, herons and water hens abound in Herbert Park, Blessington Street Basin, Bushy Park and along our canals and rivers. And anyone who is up early enough (or out late enough) will have spotted one of our urban foxes on the prowl. Get out there and explore! You'll feel better too, getting your dose of green can help reduce stress, aid relaxation and improve your mood.

The Mansion House Dublin, 300 Years of History and Hospitality

The Mansion House, Dublin 300 Years of History and HospitalityA year–long series of events to mark the tercentenary of Dublin’s Mansion House culminated on 14 December 2015 with the launch of a beautiful book The Mansion House, Dublin 300 years of History and Hospitality edited by City archivist Dr Mary Clark.

Professor Christine Casey, guest speaker at the launch, has kindly given permission to reproduce her speech in which she reflects on the historical significance of Dublin's Mansion House and highlights some of the fascinating insights uncovered by the book contributors:-

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