You can read our latest Fingal Libraries blog posts here.
Library Staff Favourite Picks 2019
The books our staff loved in 2019
A Sensory Friendly Christmas at Blanchardstown Library
Public libraries are a special part of our community. They are one of few places available where you can gain so much, yet are asked for nothing in return. What’s more, the entire community stands to benefit from the public library and all its facilities and services.
It’s with these thoughts in mind, and thanks to funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund, that Fingal Libraries this year embarked on one of their most ambitious and exciting projects to date, endeavouring to become an Autism-Friendly service.
Young Entrepreneurs Club at Blanchardstown Library
This is one of my favourite times of the year at Blanchardstown Library. There’s glitter and tinsel everywhere as our talented Young Entrepreneurs are busy putting the final touches to their products in preparation for the Christmas Market Day. This year, we will have a wide range of Christmas decorations for sale on market day with everything from wreaths, table centrepieces, tree decorations and ‘naughty or nice’ chalk boards among the many products on offer.
Book Recommendation: Becoming by Michelle Obama
This is one of my favourite excerpts from Michelle Obama's book Becoming. It is so vividly written that my imagination was having a ball picturing the First Family running, the Usain Bolt type of running, across the South Lawn. If you've read it, you'll probably agree with me and with over a million people worldwide who have read it as well that it is a brilliant read.
Fingal Festival of History Launched in Swords Castle
The third annual Fingal Festival of History was launched by the Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Eoghan O’Brien in Swords Castle on Tuesday 17th September. The festival, a week of history talks and events organised by Fingal Libraries, takes place from 30th September until 7th October. This year’s programme features History at the Castle, a day of talks, story-telling and music celebrating Irish heritage on Saturday 5th October in Swords Castle – a national monument and cultural attraction in the care of Fingal County Council.
The Write Time For inspiration
Fingal Libraries fourth annual Write Time Festival takes place this September to celebrate the art and craft of creative writing. Throughout the month, Libraries will host free workshops and author talks to spark the imagination and inspire creativity.
25th Anniversary Series Blog 9
Over the summer months of July and August, Fingal Libraries have celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Fingal County Council through this commemorative blog series, where we traced the inception and continuing development of public libraries in Ireland over the past 300 years.
25th Anniversary Series Blog 8
Public libraries have always been at the heart of the communities they serve. They are the portal to a shared bank of accurate and reliable knowledge, and act as gateways in accessing information. Often the scrutiny of debate in recent years, their existence and relevance has been called into question as we find ourselves in a world ever evolving in how knowledge and information are accessed and disseminated. Despite strong challenges, public libraries have prevailed and are enjoying a resurgence in interest and membership, and are providing for their local community in ever increasing ways.
25th Anniversary Series Blog 7
The year 2000 marked the second turn of a century for public libraries in Ireland. With the availability of all the power and wonder of today’s technological world, one could assume that the goals of modern public library system would be a far cry from those of the 1900s version of the movement. And yet the modern system’s primary focus remains inextricably linked to that established at the very beginning of the public library movement – to educate and serve the needs of the people.
25th Anniversary Series Blog 6
In the early decades of the 1900s, the public libraries movement in Ireland experienced periods of great prosperity, owing directly to the benevolence of Mr. Carnegie and the Carnegie UK Trust, as well as the national impulse towards education and knowledge. Applications for financial assistance were as plentiful as the gifts on offer, and Ireland reaped the rewards in the form of an extensive library service. Approaching the late 1930s, amenities offered could be considered a touch arbitrary – making do with whatever resources were available – yet the movement endeavoured to deliver a service and extended its provision purposefully across the country. By 1947, all but two counties, Westmeath and Longford, had adopted the county library scheme.
25th Anniversary Series Blog 5: Public Libraries Wax and Wane
A nation can become cultivated only insofar as the average man, not the exceptional person, is cultivated and has knowledge of the thought, imagination and intellectual history of his nation’ – George Russell
25th Anniversary Series Blog 4
The passage of a century provides a meaningful measure from which to take stock of bygone days and creates a pause in which to look expectantly to the future. At the turn of the 20th century in Ireland, the increasingly literate masses and the emergence of a newly reading public heralded a new era for knowledge dissemination. The Irish literary scene was thriving with prolific offerings, and many urban centres experienced a rejuvenated and bustling printing and publishing trade, whose wares reached far and wide, filtering through to the village library and reading room. Demand for literature was high, and there seemed a frenzied need to deliver.
25th Anniversary Series Blog 3
Early 1800s Ireland was a nation of people dejected and fervent for change, but ignorant of the means for that change. Repression and the demise of old, traditional ways led to a yearning which was to be appeased through the power of discourse and knowledge. The ancient proverb ‘The battles of tomorrow are won in the practice of today’ was an ideology which was to anchor the importance of education; empower the masses; and, as such, epitomise the inception of the public library movement in Ireland
25th Anniversary Series Blog 2: 1700s – Ireland’s First Public Library
In the heart of old medieval Dublin, proudly stands the immense 800-year-old Gothic structure that is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Its lofty spire pierces the sky, its looming shadows cast so wide as to extend unapologetically beyond the perimeter of its grounds, its presence is so stark and obvious, one would almost be led to believe there was little else of interest in the area. Yet, hidden amongst the shadows of this mighty structure is an almost secret, diminutive gem, its value to Dublin’s heritage equally as impressive as that of its neighbour – Marsh’s Library, Ireland’s first public library.
25th Anniversary Series Blog 1: Fingal & Public Libraries
2019 marks a very special occasion for the region of Fingal – the 25th Anniversary of Fingal County Council. The inaugural meeting of Fingal County Council took place on January 7th, 1994, in Newbridge House, Donabate. On that day, the newly created council assumed the administrative duties of the previous local authority, Dublin County Council, of the area composing the old county of Fingal. With this transfer, the libraries of the region now fell under the governance of the newly formed Fingal County Council.
Summer Reads 2019: Find Out What Fingal Library Staff Are Reading
Summer has finally arrived! We've asked our well read library staff which books they have enjoyed reading over the Summer. They have chosen a great mix of fiction, non-fiction and a book that won the International Dublin Literary Award 2019.
Cruinniú in the Castle: Fingal Libraries Day of Youthful Creativity
Ireland was the first and only country in the world to have a national day of FREE creativity for children and young people, under 18 years.
It’s a Dream Come True for 9 Year Old Garristown Author Brea Mullarkey
Brea Mullarkey, from Garristown, is just 9 years old and she has written a book called, “Lost and Found: A bedtime story for my brothers.” She is always drawing and writing notes to her friends but her wish was to write a book and with the help of Make-A-Wish Ireland her dream has come true.
Introducing “Rory’s Rainbow”: A Beautiful Children’s Picturebook by Fingal Resident Aoife Kirwan
Rory’s Rainbow is a new children’s picture book, written and self-published by Garristown resident and local school teacher, Aoife Kirwan.
The book tells the story of Rory the robin who goes on a love hunt and seeks answers to lots of questions he has on his mind. He brings his dad along with him and, as their hunt progresses, Rory discovers that love can be found everywhere, every day.
Autism Friendly Fridays in Blanchardstown Library
Blanchardstown Library is one of the biggest and busiest libraries in the country serving a diverse community. Staff had been talking about introducing autism friendly hours for a while and the seeds were firmly planted after I attended a seminar hosted by Children’s Book’s Ireland on programming ‘relaxed events’. From this I paid a visit to the National Library where there is a regular sensory craft session for children on the autism spectrum. I also looked at what other libraries around the country were doing and got in touch with them for some advice. This concept is relatively new in Irish public libraries so it’s a case of everyone learning from each other.
Learning to Upcycle Your Clothes at Skerries Repair Café
I had heard of Repair Cafés mainly through my interest in Zero Waste lifestyle blogs and social media groups. They are a really great innovation, appearing in ever-increasing numbers around the country in a effort to bring back the ‘Make Do and Mend’ mentality of generations past and as a place for people to share skills that enable us to repair things that have worn out, rather than immediately binning them.
Freegal Music: Fingal Libraries New Streaming & Downloading Service
The world of music at your fingertips!
We had a staff tea-break argument about Leonard Cohen this morning. For the life of us, we couldn’t agree what music genre he falls under. One person suggested ‘Canadian Country/Folk’ while another insisted there should be a new ‘Morose-Middle-Ager’ genre added…
Whether you love Cohen, Mozart, Springsteen or Parton, you’ll find something of interest on Freegal – Fingal Libraries’ new music streaming and download service. Did we mention it’s free and that you can access it using your library card and PIN? Streaming is unlimited while your weekly download limit is set at 5 MP3 downloads. The App can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices and is incredibly easy to navigate.
Welcoming 2019 & Celebrating New Year’s Resolutions at Your Local Fingal County Library
Happy New Year, from all of us at Fingal County Libraries.
It’s that time again, as we return to work from an indulgent festive break, we pause to reflect on a year gone by and, for many, pledge to carve out an overall better version of ourselves and our lifestyles for the year ahead. And while some, if not all, of our annual vows are but a re-emergence of those good intentions consigned to the bin early last year, we optimistically resolve this is going to be our year. We here at Fingal County Libraries have a myriad of FREE resources to help you on your way!