non-fiction

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:-

Jake Gives Advice on Pet Care!

JakeFiona from Dog's Trust brought her friend Jake the dog to Pearse Street Library on Wednesday, 8th July 2015, where she (Fiona that is, not Jake!) showed the children all they needed to know about looking after a pet.

Fiona and Jake are also appearing in Ballymun, Phibsboro', Pembroke, Pearse Street and Raheny during the same week.  Check our Events' Listing for details.

The Most Borrowed Books in 2014

Irish Times Survey photoThe Irish Times today (Mon, 17th Nov) published a story - "Survey reveals the most borrowed library books in Ireland" - listing,as the title states, the most borrowed books in Irish public libraries in the year to date. Dublin City Public Libraries contributed to the survey of course, and for your delectation we reproduce below some of the data we furnished. Topping the fiction list in Dublin City is the winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 'The Sound of Things Falling' by Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vásquez. Interesting to note also that the list is dominated by titles on the Award shortlist. The most popular non-fiction title has been the book selected for last April's Dublin: One City, One Book reading initiative, 'If Ever You Go: a Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song'.

The top children's title, 'The Powers: the Not-So-Super Superheroes' by Kevin Stevens, in fact topped the overall list here in Dublin City, while the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series has proven to be the best read series by some distance. As if to demonstrate the 'power' of library reading initiatives, 'The Powers' was the 2014 Citywide Read for Children choice. 

(titles links below are to the library catalogue)

Contemplating our past

History scrollThe Dublin Festival of History has just come to a close, after a very successful run. It covered a huge variety of topics, ranging from the Battle of Clontarf to the Spanish Civil War, and hopefully the festival will have whetted your appetite for more exploration of our past. Public libraries offer plenty to read on all of the subjects covered in the festival, and plenty of other historical topics besides.

Visit the library and enjoy the experience

Magazines – What are held here?

Irish Garden Magazine cover

The Business Information Centre has in excess of 160 magazine titles in print, including some of the newest and most topical editions – fancy browsing through TIME magazine or Business and Finance to find the latest current affair issues or something more local such as tending and nurturing your garden with The Irish Garden.

This collection includes a wide variety of subjects encompassing both business and general reference material. Are you interested in any of these topics?

accountancy, agriculture, arts, banking, building, business, education, employment, EU, finance, franchising, health, law, marketing, management, tourism, and training and gardening, angling, auto and wildlife many many more besides…

2013 Irish Book Award Winners Announced

John BanvilleThe BORD GÁIS Energy Irish Book Award winners were announced last night.

Authors Roddy Doyle, Darina Allen, Paul Howard and Michael Harding were among the winners in the various categories.

Children’s writers Benji Bennett and Derek Landy, newcomer Niamh Boyce, crime writer Louise Philips, sports writer David Walsh, short story writer Billy O’ Callaghan and Fintan O’Toole were also honoured at the gala ceremony held in Dublin.

Esteemed novelist John Banville (left, image source) was presented with the 'Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award 2013' by actress Sinéad Cusack for his contribution to Irish literature, and a tribute to the late Seamus Heaney was screened during the ceremony which featured accolades from former US President Bill Clinton and Edna O’ Brien.

Lou Reed

Lou Reed passed away on the 27th of October 2013.

Lou Reed Transformer album cover

He was one of the most influential figures in rock music. His first band The Velvet Underground is probably solely responsible for any "Indie Music" we hear today. However he is most famous for two songs, "Walk on the Wild Side" and Perfect Day". The former was a hit in 1972. A most unusual chart song with sparse arrangement of an infectious backing vocal, two note bass line and spoken styled melody of  lyrics about transsexuals and prostitution inspired by characters of the pop artist Andy Warhol's hangout, The Factory. The song surfaced again in 1990 as it's memorable bass line was sampled by A Tribe Called Quest as the backbone of their song "Can I kick it?". The latter was "Perfect Day" (the b side to Walk on the Wild side) which had a resurgence in the film Trainspotting and was released by an all star cast as a charity single in 1997. Both songs were featured on the album Transformer.

Good Bye George.

I lived to tell it all

This year witnessed the passing of one of the greatest country singers who ever lived, Frank Sinatra referred to him as “the second best male singer in the world”, George Jones.
His story is a dramatic rags to riches tale with broken marriages and alcohol problems, subjects which are often the content of country songs. 

His recent auto biography I Lived to Tell It All is available in Dublin City Public Libraries.

As a child he would play the guitar and sing for pennies. He rode on the bus for free because the driver would want to hear him sing. His first hit was White Lightening in 1959, even though he did not pen most of his own hits, like Elvis he was the great interpreter.

Christmas Holidays - time to curl up with a book...

I love the long, warm, bright summer evenings - but the long, chilly, dark winter evenings have their charms too, as long as I have something good to read. The girls in my house have stored up some special reads for those lazy days between Christmas and New Year. We've had to banish the chosen books from sight so we're not tempted to start reading immediately - there lies grave danger of no present buying, pudding making, tree trimming or other essential ingredients of Christmas.

Feedback