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Libraries Blog

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You can read our latest Fingal Libraries blog posts here. For previous Libraries Blogs see Fingal Libraries Blog Archive

Author and Illustrator Q & A - with Niamh Sharkey

Author and Illustrator Q & A - with Niamh Sharkey

Yinka had a candid interview, via email, with Niamh Sharkey, award-winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books.  Niamh has been very busy with a couple of Disney projects, but she took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions.

balrothery church, balbriggan

The town of the Rider

Balrothery is a small town in north Fingal located just south of Balbriggan. Its Irish name Baile an Ridire meaning ‘The Town of the Rider’ reveals the importance of the routeways running through it, and local stories surrounding the town are also reflective of this.

Recipies

New and Exciting Recipes at Fingal Libraries

Whether you are a seasoned cook, a novice chef, or simply enjoy flipping through colourfully crafted pages, you’ll find something delicious in one of the new cookery books that have recently landed on our shelves.

Borrowbox

Borrow Box

BorrowBox offers Fingal Library members FREE access to an extensive range of adult and junior eBooks and eAudiobooks, and is always open, 24/7 for all your eBooks and eAudiobooks. 

St Fintan's Church circa 1890-1910

St Fintan's Well

On the south side of the hill of Howth, along the Carrickbrack Road, lies the holy well of St. Fintan. Although the well is no longer accessible to the public, local memory of its waters runs strong.

Favourite Summer Reads

Favourite Summer Reads

We’ve put together a list of some of summer 2021 most popular book titles among our Fingal borrowers. Let us know if you’ve read any memorable ones so far this summer!

Virtual Book Club logo Week 4

Virtual Book Club for Primary School Ages Week 4

Welcome to the final week of our four-week blog series on Virtual Book Clubs for Primary School ages – just in time to help keep your kids engaged and entertained over the summer holidays!

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The Smuggler's Cave

Along the coastal cliff face just north of Loughshinny Harbor you will find a dark opening leading into a cave known locally as ‘The Smuggler’s Cave’. It is so called because it was used as a resting place for stolen cargo by smugglers in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Virtual Book Club Week 3

Virtual Book Club for Primary School Ages Week 3

Welcome to week three of our four-week blog series on Virtual Book Clubs for Primary School ages – just in time to help keep your kids engaged and entertained over the summer holidays!

Ireland's Eye

The Eye and the Head

Both Howth and Ireland’s Eye are Norse names that identify past Viking interaction with these places.However, before Norse influence at these places both Howth and Ireland’s Eye were known by other names.

Virtual Book Club Week 2

Virtual Book Club for Primary School ages Week 2

Welcome to week two of our four-week blog series on Virtual Book Clubs for Primary School ages – just in time to help keep your kids engaged and entertained over the summer holidays!

Virtual Book Club 2021

Virtual Book Club for Primary School ages

Welcome to our four-week blog series on Virtual Book Clubs for Primary School ages – just in time to help keep your kids engaged and entertained over the summer holidays!

Gardening

Growing Your Garden

If you missed Aoife Munn’s Live Events, Growing Your Garden, organized by Fingal Libraries for the Summer, this is your chance to get started on your garden, while reaping all the benefits.

The Mysterious St. Marnock

The Mysterious St. Marnock

Summer stars

Summer Stars 2021 kicks off at Fingal Libraries

Colmcille in Swords

Colmcille in Swords

According to local tradition Colmcille is the patron saint of Swords who is said to have created the holy well on Well Road.

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More New Titles in Fingal Libraries

Fingal Libraries have more new titles just for you to check out.  What are you waiting for? Grab your Library Card and head over to your nearest Fingal library branch; https://bit.ly/YourLocalFingalLibrary

Donabate

The Gobbán Saor and Donabate

According to local tradition the Gobbán Saor is associated with the Turvey area in Donabate (Bates 1988: 18; https://www.logainm.ie/en/1436734 ). This association comes from a dindshenchas (place lore) poem recorded in a medieval manuscript. 

New Titles

New Titles Now Available in Fingal Libraries

Check out a variety of new titles now available in Fingal Libraries.  Are you interested in Crime Fiction, General Fiction or Non-Fiction or maybe the latest film on DVD, the choice is endless.

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Fingal Libraries Latest Online Service: Tumble Books and Tumble Math

You won’t want to miss out on Fingal Libraries’ latest eService: Tumble Books and Tumble Math.

May Day in Fingal

May Day in Fingal

To mark the month of May we are having a seasonal special of Fingal Folktales! May Day or Bealtaine as it is known in Irish was one of the cross-quarter days of the Celtic seasonal cycle. It marks the beginning of the light half of the year and acts as a seasonal counterpoint to Samhain which is the start of the dark half.

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Fingal Libraries re-open on Monday, 10th

Fingal Libraries will re-open their doors on Monday, 10th May with a Contact and Collect service which will allow members avail of a simple process to borrow books, DVDs and other items as well as self-service printing / scanning / photocopying service from their nearest library branch while adhering to public health guidelines.

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Bealtaine Festival 2021

Fingal Libraries annual Bealtaine Festival was officially launched Friday 30th April 2021.

Map of Malahide

The Many Names of Malahide

Exploring the many possible names for Malahide.

Quick book reviews

Quick Book Reviews by Library Staff

Are you struggling to find the next exciting, thrilling or mystery books?  Here are a couple of quick reviews recommended by library staff.

Táin

Translations of the Táin - Part 2

The aim of Kinsella’s translation is to convey the spirit of the older Lebor na hUidre version of the story. While it is not a direct translation, he describes it as ‘a close compromise with one’ (Kinsella 1969: xi). He has also added the remscéala (pre-tales) taken from the Book of Leinsteir version to provide a context for the main events in his translation creating a more cohesive narrative.

Cú Chulainn and the Lady of Lusk

Cú Chulainn and the Lady of Lusk

For the second instalment of Fingal Folktales, we are exploring a local tale from Lusk about how Cú Chulainn met his wife Emer.

Shuggie Bain

Book Review - Shuggie Bain by Stuart Douglas

This debut novel by Scottish author Stuart Douglas won the 2020 Booker award. The author has stated that the book is not autobiographical but is rooted in his own experience, growing up with a single parent in Glasgow, and the book is set in an impoverished 1980’s Glasgow.

The Tain

Translations of the Táin – Part 1

The Táin Bó Cuailnge (or the Cattle Raid of Cooley) is one of the most famous ancient Irish stories. Everyone has heard of the young warrior Cú Chulainn and his epic defence of Ulster against the forces of Connacht lead by mighty Queen Maeve. What is not as widely known is how the story has been preserved, transmitted, and translated through the ages. This blog post is intended to introduce readers to several versions of the story while also providing links to modern translations of the text which can be accessed digitally.

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St. Patrick in Skerries

We are kick starting our new blog series ‘Fingal Folktales’ with a St. Patrick’s week special exploring some local stories about the saint. There is a rich vein of folklore connecting St. Patrick to Skerries with the island Inis Patrick being named for him. 

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Life in Lockdown Series: Photography

My name is Ruth McCann and am based in Balbriggan Libraries. Since Covid-19 hit these shores last year, I rediscovered my love for photography, I find it relaxing, it takes my mind off things and makes me appreciate the world we live in more now than before.  Growing up I have always loved photography, nature, and history, taking my camera out wherever I was, either on holidays abroad, messing with my siblings, or being inspired by nature or of other things at home. 

Credo reference

Credo Reference - a research resource at your fingertips

Do you want to do general research on a topic but don't know where to start? Is your first step always a Google or Wikipedia search? If so, you may want to check out Credo Reference, an online reference database with access to over 1,300 titles from over 100 publishers. This resource covers a broad range of subjects, including health, medicine, psychology, biographies, history, science & environmental studies. 

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Fingal Library eServices and eResources Online

As a 16-year-old student living in Balbriggan, I was surprised to find just how many facilities are available on the Fingal Libraries website online that could be useful for school, mental health, and basic enjoyment. The reason I go to the library most often is for the books, but there is so much more.

 

Bundt cake

My Favourite Bakes continued

More favoutite bakes brought to you by Theresa McNally

Baking

My Favourite Bakes

I have always loved baking.  It is like magic.  You mix some ingredients together and they combine to become a delicious treat.  I love the creativity of it.  As a child, I would watch my Mam make tarts, scones, and brown bread every Sunday evening.  She would then guess how long they would need to bake for, depending on the temperature of the oven that day! 

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Guest Post: Book Review - My Favourite Hero from “Heroes” by Stephen Fry

My favourite hero from Stephen Fry’s novel Heroes is Atalanta. I borrowed this book as a print copy from Balbriggan Library before lockdown, but it is available on Borrowbox through Fingal Libraries. She is the only female hero featured in the book and she is powerful and independent.

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Recommended Reads by Fingal Library Staff during the Pandemic Crisis in 2020

Recommended Reads by Fingal Library Staff during the Pandemic Crisis in 2020

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Learn a language in 2021!

Would you like to learn a foreign language or brush up on your school French? Maybe 2021 will be the year you set about achieving this goal. Whether you want to learn a language or improve your skills, Fingal Libraries can help you on your linguistic journey.

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The Wonderful World of Podcasts

These days we are all spending more and more time sitting and looking into screens. It’s how we work and for many of us how we relax. If you’re looking for a way of entertaining yourself while giving your poor eyes a break, then why not try a podcast? They can be listened to while walking, training, cooking, cleaning, eating, taking a bath… The list goes on and the range of topics covered is vast meaning there is something for everyone. The best part is that it’s free!

Stein & gate

Turkey and Bones: Gertrude Stein at the Gate Theatre Christmas 1940

A Gertrude Stein play performed at the Gate Theatre Dublin in 1940 turns out to be something of a subterfuge. On the eightieth anniversary of the event, Máighréad Medbh makes a chance discovery.

 

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Preview: New Online Services Coming to Fingal Libraries in 2021!

Here at Fingal Libraries we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to find new and relevant e-resources to offer our borrowers in 2021. Here’s a preview of 3 educational online resources we’re offering which will benefit children, teachers, parents and those looking to improve their literacy skills in the new year.

The Black Arrow

Book Review: Stevenson’s Tale of the Two Roses

Despite being a much reprinted and consistently popular book, his novel The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses occupies an odd place in the canon of Robert Louis Stevenson's works. Its own author was quite dismissive of the book, and it has failed to secure the literary respect accorded to many of Stevenson's more famous works. 

Book review: Dune by Frank Herbert

Book Review: Dune by Frank Herbert

I decided to read Dune after finally finishing the Harry Potter series at age 30. I had never seen the David Lynch film adaptation but as a fan of director Denis Villenevue, I was excited for his new film and tackling a text that has been described as “difficult” and “unfilmable” seemed like an intriguingly unorthodox choice for the director.

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Fingal Libraries - Continuity in Crisis

Welcome to Library Ireland Week, a week where we commemorate all that is great about libraries and library staff. Although we like to celebrate libraries all the time, we think this year is especially important.

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The Comfort of Books

I work as a librarian in Balbriggan library.  In April 2019 I was diagnosed with a serious illness which meant spending quite a lot of time in hospitals, where I found myself waiting around a lot of the time.  Hospitals and treatments can be very difficult to cope with and I needed some way of transporting my mind to another place so I could get a break from it all.  Staring at my phone and the hospital walls just made the time go slower. I sought refuge in books.

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Fantastically Festive Craft Ideas from your RB Digital App

Christmas is just around the corner and, as any craft lover will know, it’s time to get moving on those festive projects! We’ve had a look through some of the fantastic craft magazines which are available with RB Digital and chose some of our favourite projects to get us in the mood. Read on for our top picks.

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Running with Logan

There was much more to 1970s science-fiction than Star Wars. Alan from Malahide Library recalls Logan’s Run, a film which he champions as a “jewel in the crown” of the golden era of sci-fi cinema.

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A Fingal Glossary from 73 years ago…

Do you know what gollockers are? Perhaps you fancy yourself as a dibby-dab at something? The meanings of these unusual words can be found in a fascinating glossary of North County Dublin terms published by Béaloideas, the journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society, in 1947. Orla from Malahide Library selects a few terms which you may still recognise.

 

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An Uncanny Anthology of Supernatural Tales

Alan Dunne recalls his introduction to supernatural fiction, thanks to a special anthology which he discovered nestled amongst the paperbacks in his local newsagent’s, and describes the transformative experience this genre can bestow upon its readers.

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Business Information at your Fingertips with Fingal Libraries

Are you trying to start or build a small business? Do you know who your competitors in the industry are? Maybe you need to do some research on a company for a job interview. If so, you will need business information that is accurate, current and relevant to your needs.  However, this information is often very costly. Orla from Malahide Library gives us a run-down of the benefits of Vision-net – available as part of your library membership.

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Book Review: A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

Nadene reviews the debut novel, A Ghost in the Throat, by Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa - the story of a woman’s journey as she attempts to uncover the mysterious, largely undocumented life of another, that of the 18th century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Conaill.

Soapbox Europe Direct 2020

Win an iPad in Europe Direct Soapbox Competition

This year’s Europe Direct Annual Soapbox Competition may look a little different to previous years, but we still have the same fantastic prize of an iPad and the chance to compete in the National Final

Dungeons and Dragons

Diary of an Online DnD Session with Fingal Libraries

Marc from Blanchardstown Library takes us through the first 2 online DnD sessions run by Fingal Libraries recently – one for juniors and one for adults

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MOTHER, MOTHER: READING 'THE DISQUIETING MUSES' BY SYLVIA PLATH

Poet Máighréad Medbh from Swords Library offers her response to Sylvia Plath’s poem, The Disquieting Muses, inspired by Giorgio de Chirico’s painting of the same name.

Pumpkins and Candles

Tips for Celebrating Halloween 2020

The current restrictions mean that this year’s Halloween celebrations will have to be a little bit different. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy many of the fantastic traditions of All Hallows Eve

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Fantastic Books to Check Out this Autumn

As the autumn leaves fall and the days get shorter, we find ourselves gravitating towards the tea and blankets a little bit earlier in the evenings! What better way to make the most of the changing season than by wrapping up with a nice, atmospheric book? We can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly autumn night.

The choice

Book Review: The Choice by Edith Eger

In a remarkable and moving memoir Edith Eger recounts how she was sent to the infamous concentration camp in 1944 and survived to become an internationally acclaimed psychologist. Fergus from Donabate Library reviews one of the most-borrowed books on our shelves.

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Fingal Libraries Digital Poetry Project to be Launched on Culture Night

Soundings from the Shelves was created by our team as a way to present the poetry we have on our shelves, through digital recordings.

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Fingal Libraries Blog Archive

You can access previous Libraries Blogs here.