Dublin City Libraries open for 'Browse and Borrow'
4 May 2021
From Monday, May 10, sixteen Dublin City libraries are open for browsing and borrowing from Monday to Saturday. At this point of a phased re-opening there will be no seating for reading or studying, and users are encouraged to keep their visit as short as possible, and to use the self-service kiosks or library app to issue and return items.
Always wanted to learn a new language or improve your school French or German? Well, there’s no excuse now as you as you may have found yourself with time on your hands during this current pandemic, and not least because you can do it for free with some of Dublin City Libraries’ online resources – Transparent Language Online, uTalk and Road to IELTS. This blog is brought to you by our colleague Simon from Inchicore Library. Simon likes travelling and languages and is currently reading "Milkman" by Anna Burns.Transparent Language OnlineYou can learn 110 plus languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian and Irish but also more exotic tongues such as Afrikaans, Bengali, Breton, Dakota, Farsi, and Maori. For those of you learning English as a second language, you can do so through 31 interface languages. Thus, you can study English through French, German and Spanish etc. but also through Thai, Arabic, Turkish and Romanian for example.Transparent features a flexible learning path, meaning you can stick to a structured course made up of a number of units containing three lessons and an assessment, or you can follow the Practice activities in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. You could, of course, do a combination of both. The units feature real-life themes such as Organising your Trip, Staying at a Hotel and Dealing with Money. You can follow your progress through reports that are automatically generated and a Learned Vocabulary tracker, which also act as a motivation to progress. A grammatical approach is also catered for with a comprehensive grammar reference section including verb conjugations, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and commonly confused words.In my opinion, the best and most fun feature is the speech recognition tool where you listen to a word or phrase spoken by a native speaker, then record your own attempt at pronunciation and see your score on a dial. You can listen to your attempt and compare with the original and repeat the process to try and increase your score. A graphic speech wave pattern also appears as an aid to pronunciation.If you are learning English or one of the major European languages, in addition to the structured course you have access under the Browse tab to many practice activities such as immersion conversation activities at elementary to advanced levels. These include topics such as Finance, Medical, Moving Overseas and Home Sweet Home (topical or what?). Under the Resources tab there is access to features such as Word of the Day, Blogs, Transparent on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, PDF resources and a Proficiency Test with 50 questions.There are courses for children too with “Kidspeak” in 6 languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Using colourful animation this contains lessons on the alphabet, colours, numbers, and songs along with downloadable puzzles and activity PDFs.Library members can access Transparent Language through RB Digital on our Dublin City Libraries website using their Library card number and PIN. If you are not a library member, you can get a card number.To use Transparent Languages Online (TLO) app, please follow these steps:1. Register or log on (if you are already registered to use RBdigital magazines you can use the same log-in details)2. You need to select a language course when logged in on a browser.3. Now click Menu >Get the app > use the log-in credentials supplied by TLO.4. Download the TLO Mobile App on Google Play - Android | iTunes - iOS and enter the log-in credentials supplied by TLOuTalk is another of Dublin City Libraries’ online language-learning resources. With this you can learn the basics of over 140 languages including familiar languages such as Italian, Russian, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and Irish. There are also lots of minority languages like Albanian, Basque, Burmese, Esperanto, Sicilian, Mongolian, Urdu and even Cockney! There are almost as many (130) interface/help languages, so for example, if you are Brazilian you could learn Polish through Brazilian Portuguese or if you are from Spain you could try Irish through Spanish.Each language consists of 64 topics with 35+ words/phrases in each – a total of 2,200 phrases. The topics cover real-life situations you could encounter on a visit to that country, including sections on transport, restaurant, shopping, directions, emergencies, and social phrases. Intelligence gathering is also a topic, perhaps not a real-life situation for most of us! In addition, there are sections on the alphabet, prepositions, and adjectives.The method of learning is chiefly through listening, speaking and game playing. You listen repeatedly to words and phrases spoken by native speakers - each phrase is heard with a male and female voice for diversity. You can listen at normal speed and use a slow speed option, then record yourself and compare your effort to the native pronunciation, repeating as often as you wish. Your learning is then consolidated by use of a game where you match the card shown to a phrase you have just learned. With the Speaking Game you record yourself against your own pronunciation. Having recorded a few given phrases, you then must identify these phrases when they are presented back to you visually by a virtual card. There are also memory games in which you match the phrase to a card, playing against the clock and a final game where you test your recall and pronunciation of all the phrases in the topic.Access to uTalk is administered by the Central Library Dublin and is offered mainly to learners participating in courses such as City of Dublin ETB, and group-learning settings for ESOL (English as a Second Language). Normally, you have to register in person but for the duration of the Covid_19 pandemic you can send an email to [email protected] requesting a link to the registration page and a log-in code. Once you have registered you can then download uTalk to your PC or the uTalk app to your device/phone/tablet and sign in using your email address and password.Road to IELTSRoad to IELTS is another online language learning resource provided by Dublin City Libraries for those learning English and specifically those preparing for the IELTS exam. The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers, very often needed to work or study in an English-speaking country. Road to IELTS is the British Council’s official website for preparation for this exam.The course includes material to prepare for the 4 skills tested in the General Exam: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Material for each skill is very clearly laid-out in four areas: Starting Out, Advice & Tutorials, Practice Zone and Test Practice. Starting Out contains short videos giving you key facts on each test along with a 7-page e-book/pdf with information and tips on how to approach the test. Advice & Tutorials contains more videos with practical advice and suggestions from British Council teachers on how to maximise your score in each skill test. For example, under Speaking there’s advice on how to cope with nerves and a video of a real test with a real candidate.The Practice Zones are the real bones of the course and are divided into sets, about 12 in each, with real examples of the type of questions used in the exam. They are ordered in increasing level of difficulty. For example, under Reading you can practice sentence completion, matching information to paragraphs and multiple choice, among others. Clicking on Tips, you can get relevant advice before you start. Then, after writing your answers click on Marking and you get your result. You can start again to try and correct wrong answers or click on Show the Answers to see the correct version.In Test Practice there is access to 36 real tests. You can do simulated timed tests on a PC which you submit and get your score immediately or you can do it by paper by printing test papers, answer sheets and the answer key. Other features include a Resource bank featuring a study planner and study guide for each skill test. There are videos of former candidates giving their advice on how to approach each test. Progress Report shows you how much you have done and compares your score in each practice area, giving you a score breakdown in each skill. As in the case of uTalk, access to Road to IELTS is administered by the Central Library Dublin. Send an email to [email protected] requesting a link to the registration page.
Words Ireland is initiating twenty-nine literature mentoring relationships to begin in September 2021. Closing date for applications is noon, Thursday 22 July, 2021. The opportunity is available to writers of: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, children’s / YA fiction, poetry.
The world's leading classical music channel is now available for free with your Dublin City Libraries card. Choose from an extensive selection of concerts, operas, ballets, documentaries and master classes:
Reading aloud to your child is one of the most powerful ways to boost your child's vocabulary and set them up for reading success. Play around with these tips and see which ones work for you and your family. You may find that your kids love silly character voices but lose interest when you ask too many questions about the book. This is just fine! Use the tips that work for you, and come back to the others later. Enjoy your read aloud time with your little ones.Look for Rhyme and RepetitionBe on the lookout for books with rhyme and repetition. The rhyming is a valuable skill, and along with repetition, it creates a rhythm that makes listening to these books soothing and enthralling for kids. Think Dr. Seuss!Ham it UpIf you feel comfortable using character voices when you are reading, do it! And if it feels awkward, jump in and do it anyway. Practice is the only way for it to get easier, and your child will appreciate any voice you come up with. Don’t feel like you have to give each character their own voice – maybe just use a different voice for the main character, and let it go at that. Reading books with straight-forward plots is a great opportunity to ask sequencing questions about what happened first, next and last. You can also ask concrete literal questions about who, what, and where. If an obvious opportunity arises, start a quick conversation about how something happened in the story, or why a character did something in particular. Picking relatable stories about everyday life with main characters (human or animal) who are your child’s age or just a litte bit older will set your child up for success in comprehension right from the beginning.RehearseWhen you find a book that rhymes or uses a lot of repetition, read it to yourself a few times before you read it aloud to your child. Look for the parts that rhyme, and make sure that they sound natural when you read them aloud. It’s best to know when the rhyming bits are coming up, and being ready to emphasize those parts makes a huge positive difference in the quality of your read aloud.Invite ParticipationOnce your child has heard the book a few times, pause just before the end of a line to invite your child to say the rhyming word with you. Know when the repetition is coming up, too, and after a couple of times, pause and look expectantly at your child just before you read the section that repeats.Talk About Photographs and IllustrationsGood books for children have photographs and illustrations that are clear, colorful and engaging. Use these illustrations as an opportunity to talk about new vocabulary – label and explain any items or activities that might be unfamiliar to your child. Doing this regularly sends a message to your child that discussing the pictures in a book is a natural part of reading. It won’t be long before your child is asking their own questions about the illustrations, which naturally leads to even more engagement and interaction. It’s a simple, powerful way to help your child’s vocabulary explode during these preschool years.Short and SweetKeep reading sessions as short as necessary, and if your audience is getting impatient or wiggly, quickly summarize the ending of the book and try again later. Explore our catalogue, reserve a book today, type in "read aloud" in the search bar if you would like more ideas on helping your child discover the joy of reading. Support your local library today.
Did you know that as a member of Dublin City Libraries, you can access the Touch-type Read & Spell (TTRS) course for free? What is TTRS and who can use it? TTRS is a multisensory, structured, online typing course which assists students to learn at their own pace.In addition to developing typing skills, TTRS is designed to benefit students of all ages who experience spelling, reading or writing difficulties. Learners with dyslexia or literacy issues have found it helpful. Many of our patrons, both adults and children, some as young as 8, have already availed of this free service at Dublin City Libraries. While a large number of these patrons have found the course helpful for Dyslexia, many others have also found it beneficial.For example: learners with Dyspraxia learners with Dysgraphia students studying English as a second language those who wish to upskill and improve their general typing skills those who wish to improve their literacy skills or those having literacy difficulties those who wish to improve their memory skills or who are experiencing memory problemsThe feedback we have got from our current learners and parents has been very positive, with many reporting how they have benefitted from the course. How does TTRS with Dublin City Libraries work? If you are a member of Dublin City Libraries and if you have internet access at home, then you can use TTRS. All you need is a username and password. The course has a user-friendly interface and, from the very start of the course, students are prompted and talked through what to do, for example: where to place their fingers on the keyboard etc.There are many different levels and modules which learners can work through and improve on, and at the end of each level you can get a Certificate of Completion to represent all the hard work you have done!In addition to the main TTRS course, there is also a TTRS subjects section. This is only recommended after learners have completed at least 3 levels of the main course. Subjects include maths, grammar and science.How to get access to TTRS? If you would like access, please email: [email protected] and include your name and Library card membership number. We will send you a username and password along with the login instructions. You can also email us if you have any other questions about accessing TTRS. For further useful information on TTRS check out their website.Submitted by Fiona from Central Library.
Here’s one I made earlier... This is a project I made from a Mollie Makes magazine a few months ago. The message might have seemed a bit corny then but now I am reminded of the calming power of craft.My favourite craft is embroidery. When I’m focussed on the correct length of a stitch or choosing a colour, there is no room for any other thought, negative or otherwise. Embroidery is a craft that doesn’t require much equipment, you can use any textile and thread or wool. And you don’t need to know a sampler’s worth of stitches - a simple running or back stitch can be just as effective.If you are looking for inspiration, we have excellent sources on RB Digital.Mollie Makes is a cheerful have a go magazine covering a range of crafts and it assumes no previous experience. It’s also a useful reference for anyone thinking of starting a craft business. The current edition has simple projects using what you might have around the house, for instance knit your own hairband and scrunchie (apparently the 90s are back and everyone needs help with lockdown hair).Inspirations has been described as the most beautiful embroidery magazine in the world and it probably is. The current edition has an exquisite Chinese silk pomegranate project. But there is also a fascinating article and review about the author Clare Hunter on needlework and activism - how people at historic times of crisis have expressed themselves through banners and quilts for instance the Suffragettes, Greenham Common, the AIDS quilt.Piecework is a magazine about the history of needlework. It covers handmade items from all countries and eras. For the modern craft person, it’s inspiring to feel a a kinship across time and space with other makers. The crafts people of the past worked with whatever they could find - check your cupboard and your wardrobe. You can always buy supplies online but see if you can support Irish companies online first.Register for RB Digital magazines. Watch our how to video here.Submitted by Sandra from the Business Information Centre
Very Short Introductions from Oxford University Press Online
Have you ever wished to get an overview of a subject but were unsure where to start? Why not try Very Short Introductions from Oxford University Press, this collection of 600 books cover a range of subjects in the Arts, Law, Medicine, Sciences and Social Sciences from Abolitionism to Zionism and everything in between. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions to a range of subjects, written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable.For example, there’s a book by Barry Cunliffe on The Celts. I really like the way he explains the term “Celt” and shows how the meaning changed throughout history. Cunliffe has, (with J.T. Koch) published three volumes "Celtic from the West". They claim that Ireland's population came from south west Iberia, around 4,000bc. The books are expensive but the theory behind them is widely available online.Climate Change by Mark Maslin is quite topical and worth a read. He looks at the factors that influence the global climate. He considers the difference between weather and climate. He concludes by looking at the issues of climate change and what is being done to tackle it. Other science topics include The Antartic, Black Holes, Waves, Viruses, and many more.Recently I began reading “The Divine Comedy". I saw that there was a title: Dante by Peter Hainsworth and David Robey on Very Short Introductions, so I had a look. Dante wrote about people and issues from his era. Hainsworth and Robey demonstrate how these issues are often left to the reader to resolve. They look at the medieval versus modern aspects of the text and that is why, The Divine Comedy, is a masterpiece in world literature. Sometimes it's enough to dip into the book to see what interests you.Submitted by Liam in Terenure Library. Access Very Short Introductions with your Dublin City library membership card barcode number. Select 'Dublin City Public Libraries' from menu.
For the gardeners among you the extra time being spent at home is a golden opportunity to get outside more than ever and have the garden looking its best. For the rest of us, whether we have access to a garden, big or small, a balcony or a sunny windowsill we can still start growing plants and developing our green fingers.Gardening can also be a great family-friendly activity to get children outdoors and involved in growing flowers or fruit and vegetables. Children love to grow things and there are great learning opportunities in all aspects of gardening.Whatever your level of gardening know-how we have lots of resources to help you develop basic skills or brush up on your existing knowledge and access advice from experts.Let our library e-resources get you started.RBdigitalRBDigital gives access to numerous gardening magazines to browse for inspiration or delve into for practical tips and projects.Gardeners World – offers topical practical advice for gardeners and ideas for garden projects.Amateur Gardening – offers advice and fresh ideas for beginners and more knowledgeable gardeners.If you want to take this time to start planning your dream garden or just appreciate some beautiful gardens from around the world there is plenty of inspiration on offer from Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden and Homes & Gardens.When it comes to garden design and landscaping Modern Gardens gives advice on how to create fresh, exciting outdoor spaces.With a focus on growing your own fruit and vegetables Kitchen Garden offers growing tips, recipes and much more.Download the RBdigital app: Google Play - Android | iTunes - iOS | Kindle Fire. Watch our how to video here.PressreaderThe young gardeners of the future have their very own mini magazine available on Press Reader, Kids Go Gardening. Register for Press Reader, select Categories, and then gardening.Sign in with your Dublin City library membership card barcode number to access the service. Check out the how to video here.The Great Courses Library CollectionIf you want to get into specific gardening topics in more detail The Great Courses Library Collection offers courses with in-depth video lectures delivered by experts. Each course in this vast collection is taught by experts in their field.How to Grow Anything - Learn the fundamental rules of gardening in this clear and useful guide consisting of 6 lectures.How To Grow Trees & Shrubs – a horticulturist and certified arborist takes you through different landscapes, climates and seasons to reveal strategies for shopping, planting and caring for trees and shrubs in 12 lectures.The Science of Gardening – guides you in developing a science-based, sustainable, vibrant home landscape in 24 lectures.Download the RBdigital app: Google Play - Android | iTunes - iOS | Kindle FireUniversal ClassIf you want to get into even more detail Universal Class offers courses with instructors, video-based exams and assignments and certificates of achievement at the end.Try Landscaping 101 or Introduction to Gardening to get you started. To access online, register with your library card number and email address. Watch our how to video.BorrowboxDon’t forget to check out our BorrowBox to find garden related e-books and e-audiobooks. And if the beautiful blooms in your garden attract even more birds than usual you could take the time to sit back and enjoy all your hard work while observing the visitors with books to identify the birds of Ireland. Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.