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Sligo County Library Review 2010

Improved Services & Disability Access

Improved Services and Disability Access continued to be a priority for Sligo County Libraries in 2010. 

As well as the provision of disabled toilets, directional signage, software (JAWS and ZOOMTEXT), induction loops and an increased addition of ramps for ease of access we also provided the following:
  • Additional Braille Signage fitted in selected Branch Libraries
  • Sligo Central Library:  Automatic doors have been installed in both in the hallway and at the direct point of entry to the library. 
  • Sligo Museum: The main entrance door has been automated.
  • A barrier system has been installed at the entrance to the grounds of both Sligo Central Library and Sligo Museum. A CCTV link directly to the central library main desk will allow staff to grant access to customers with disabilities. 
All of these changes were undertaken in the hope that all sections of our community feel at home and welcomed whilst using this public service.

Ballymote Community Library

Substantial work took place throughout the year in relation to the proposed new Ballymote Community Library. A suitable location on Teeling Street, Ballymote town was acquired and main contractors Rhatigans appointed to undertake the proposed fit-out. Various departments within Sligo County Council collaborated with the Library Service to ensure that all aspects of the build were closely examined and finished to the highest possible specification and standard. Once completed this fully equipped and accessible Community Library will be among the best in the country providing an extensive up-to-date Book and Audio/DVD collection, Internet and Wifi access, Local History Material and Meeting rooms. This new Community Library will be open to the public in 2011. 

New Ballymote Library 2011 

Travelling Library 2010

The Travelling Library can help to increase children and young people’s interactive participation within libraries and aims to create a temporary dynamic space with specific focus on books made by children. As an interactive response area, children who engage with the Travelling Library can contribute their own work to the Travelling Library and help us to build on the genre of books made by children, for children, and see their work travel with the Library to other locations for other children to enjoy.

Travelling Library Launch 2010 

To strengthen the Travelling Library programme and as a facility through which to build resources throughout Ireland, Kids’ Own delivered professional development to Librarians to provide guidance for engaging children with books and book-making activity. As part of a new tour, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Kids’ Own delivered a workshop to the Librarians involved in this programme. This took place in Sligo Library on Monday 14th June, and co-incided with the launch of the project which took place later in the day.

The launch of ‘Ding Dong, Right or Wrong?’ by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews 
The launch of ‘Ding Dong, Right or Wrong?’ by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Barry Andrews

Writer-in-Residence 2010

Mr. Brian Leyden, successful author, was nominated once again as Sligo County Library’s second Writer-in-Residence. Writers ‘workshops were fully subscribed under the guidance of Brian and were deemed successful for all interested parties. 

A number of specific events were held during the residency of writer Mr. Brian Leyden in 2010. 
  • A lunchtime poetry reading was held in Sligo Central Library on Thursday October 7th 2010 to celebrate All Ireland Poetry Day.  Readings were given by Mr. MacDara Woods, Mr. Dermot Healy and Ms. Mary Branley. 
  • Mr. Bernard MacLaverty gave a reading in Sligo Central Library in July 2010. 
  • Second year Summerhill students completed a writing workshop with Brian which was followed up with an Illustration workshop in July.
  • Brian was also involved with CLASP Active Age Writing Group and held a number of editing workshops in relation to a book of reminiscence they were working on.  He also held a number of one-on-one meetings with individual writers from around the county.  
  • He was invited to perform the opening ceremony at the launch of Cormac O’Leary’s exhibition ‘Light Years – New and Selected Artworks’ at the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo and launch Barry Feely’s book entitled ‘Great Characters- Story of Wit and Laughter’ in November 2010. 
  • St. Angela’s College Sligo commissioned Brian to compose a poem to commemorate the 275th anniversary of the founding of the Ursuline Order at a ceremony in November 2010

He also undertook two main projects;
  • The collection of material for the Cathach Electronic Journal: Volume II
  • The Secondary Schools Prose and Poetry Competition

The Cathach 

 The Cathach is an online literary magazine, published by Sligo County Libraries, with the aim of showcasing quality new writing in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. While honouring the literary traditions of Sligo and the Northwest, The Cathach features work from both new and established writers in Sligo and throughout Ireland. At a time when many smaller literary magazines are facing difficulties, it aims to provide a vital outlet for the best contemporary writing, making exciting new work freely available to a vast online readership around the world. This journal is part of the continuing support for Literature of Sligo County Library, without which it would not exist. 

The Cathach cover 

All of the authors that will be included in The Cathach: Volume II have given their work freely. It has been our aim to present it here in a way that complements that generosity, and with the hope that it will lead you to further reading of their work. The second volume of The Cathach will be launched in late Spring/early summer 2011.

Schools Writing Competition

Following the continued success of the Schools Creative Writing Competition, Sligo County Library, in partnership with The Sligo Champion, ran the competition yet again in 2010. Submissions in the form of poetry and short story were invited from second level students and a large number of entries were received from a number of second level schools in the county.  All of the work was submitted anonymously to three judges, and the resulting winners were chosen.  Megan Gethin from Mercy College Sligo was chosen as the winner in the junior section while Thérese Walsh from Sligo Grammar School won the senior category.  Both students were presented with a book token and Mercy College Sligo was presented with the overall school prize of a laptop computer.


“Frontline Training” is a course taken by library staff which has shaped the practice of reader development; changing the way public libraries in Ireland and beyond engage with their customers. The Frontline course is designed to embed the reader-centered approach in the everyday thinking of staff who work directly with books and readers in public libraries. The course content, approach and technology have been shaped by a wide range of feedback from the people who use it, both as individuals and through consultative groups.

Ms. Grainne Brett-Mahon in Tubbercurry Community Library and Ms. Louise McGrath in Ballymote Library completed the 7 module Frontline programme in 2010.  To date six staff members have completed the course and another two staff members are working their way through the various modules.  All four branch libraries have staff involved in the course.

Sligo Library Service is continuing to role out this course to other staff members to further aid them in their duties to provide the highest service possible for the public to whom we serve.

Multicultural policies

Sligo Libraries are committed to multiculturalism and recognise the importance of the various non Irish national communities in our society as a whole. As such a number of implemented strategies have continued. 
  • A link from our website to the Sligo Immigrant Organisation website was established in mid 2008 to further portray our services to this section of the community. 
  • Our continuing policy of foreign title collection development, both adult and juvenile has been maintained, increasing stock throughout the year. 

Writing Groups and Book Clubs

To further encourage and promote reader development among our customers, Sligo Library Service has a number of Book Clubs and Writers groups set up in various branches. These groups promote the pleasure of reading and develop the members appreciation of literature at all levels. 

The LA Readers met for the first time on Thursday March 4th 2010 to celebrate World Book Day.  The group has 13 members (including two males) who are all staff of Sligo County Council and Sligo Borough Council.  The group meets monthly at lunch time in Sligo Central Library. Over the past year the group have read books which have been both nominated for and have won the Impac and Costa Awards, a Richard and Judy Best Read of the Year and even a Bisto Book of the Year.

Sligo County Council Bookclub 
Sligo County Council Bookclub

The bookclub featured on the inaugural Moncrief ‘100 Books to Read Before You Die’ Bookclub slot on Newstalk Radio in May 2010 and also in ‘The Irish Independent’ monthly Book Club feature in January 2011 when the group reviewed Jonathan Franzen’s latest publication ‘Freedom’.

Sligo Central Library

Central Library Book Club meets at 6.45pm on last Thursday of every month.

Catacombs Book club, Sara Book Club and the Maugherow book club are also supported by Sligo Central Library. 

Tubbercurry Community Library

Leyney writers’ group have been established a number of years now with three successful publications behind them, the latest entitled “Mondays Musings”. This group continues to meet regularly to share and discuss their latest works. 

Tubbercurry Monday Musings 
Tubbercurry "Monday Musings" 

Bookworms’ Book club meets on the second last Thursday of every month.

Active retirement Bookclub meet on the last Thursday of every month.

Please contact the various Branch libraries for more details.

Sligo County Libraries: Combined Statistics of all branch libraries for the four quarters of 2010
2010 1st Quarter Issues 52,832
2010 1st Quarter Visitors 38,317
2010 1st Quarter Internet Use 4,683
2010 1st Quarter Ref/Loc History 1,386
2010 2nd Quarter Issues 48,945
2010 2nd Quarter Visitors 37,011
2010 2nd Quarter Internet Use 4,729
2010 2nd  Quarter Ref/Loc History 1,075
2010 3rd  Quarter Issues 55,458
2010 3rd Quarter Visitors 45,302
2010 3rd Quarter Internet Use 6,059
2010 3rd Quarter Ref/Loc History 1,477
2010 4th Quarter Issues 47,213
2010 4th Quarter Visitors 40,339
2010 4th Quarter Internet Use 4,992
2010 4th Quarter Ref/Loc History 1,139


January 2010

The GIY (Grow it yourself) organisation met in Sligo Central Library on Tuesday 19th January ‘10 at 7.30 pm. This Group, chaired by Niall McAlister, was formed so that organic farmers and like minded plant and vegetable enthusiasts had a forum where they could voice their opinions. It allows all to share their knowledge base with each other regarding growing your own foodstuffs.

February 2010

Tuesday 2nd February 2010 at 7pm. The GIY (Grow it Yourself) organisation met in Sligo Central Library. 

Thursday 18th February 2010 at 7pm. Eoin O’Brion launched his new book “Sinn Fein and the politics of left republicanism” in Sligo Central library. Published by Pluto Press of London, the book is a critical analysis of the past, present and future of Sinn Féin and ‘left republican’ politics. 

Thursday 25th February 2010 at 11am in Sligo Museum.
The Architecture of Feeling – Sligo Library Services Writer in Residence, Brian Leyden on the short story from Frank O Connor to Tobias Wolff.

Thursday 25th February 2010 at 7.30pm in Sligo Central Library.
From book to screen - Film maker Johnny Gogan on how books nourish cinema & Screenwriter Johnny Ferguson on adapting Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture for the screen.

March 2010

Tuesday 2nd March 2010 at 7pm. The GIY (Grow it Yourself) organisation met in Sligo Central Library. 

Thursday 4th March, 2010 at 12 noon in Sligo Central Library.
Ring of Five, author Eoin McNamee read from his latest children’s spy novel (suitable for children 10-14 years).

Thursday 4th March 2010 at 7.30pm in Sligo Central Library.
The Fulltime Writer - Eoin McNamee on being a critically acclaimed literary novelist, poet, thriller writer (as John Creed) and children's writer.

Sunday 7th March to Saturday 13th March 2010: National Tree Week
Sligo County Libraries, in conjunction with Sligo County Council's Environment Section, distributed 150 sapling trees of Irish native stock (inc Ash, Birch, Rowan and Alder) to our customers over the period of National Tree Week on a first come-first served basis.

Thursday 11th March 2010 at 12 noon in Sligo Musuem.
The Place of Literature and the Literature of Place, Sligo Library Services Writer in Residence, Brian Leyden on writers and their personal landscapes.

Thursday 11th March 2010 at 7.00 pm in Sligo Central Library.
Founding of Samaritans in Ireland: 40th Anniversary Lecture by Anthony Jordan, author of” The Good Samaritans”.

Friday 19th March 2010 at 10.30 am in Sligo Central library.
Teddy Bears Picnic: Storytelling etc as part of SO Sligo Food Festival 2010.

April 2010

The GIY (Grow it yourself) organization met in Sligo Central Library. 

Beat the Recession seminar: Forget about the ‘banksters’  - start looking out for YOURSELF! 

The FAS eLearning official re-launch took place on Thursday 15th April 2010 in Sligo Central Library. After a successful series of computer classes in the autumn of 2009, the constant demand by the public lead to a continuation of this service which is facilitated by the Library Service and offered by FAS.  This launch officially recognised the classes and workshops which are being scheduled for Sligo Library branches (Central Library, Tubbercurry Library and the Local Studies Library) and run by FAS co-coordinators. 

Bord Gais Energy READISCOVER your local Library week. Story telling in Sligo Central Library facilitated by Danielle Allison. 

May 2010

The GIY (Grow it yourself) organisation are meeting in Sligo Central Library. 

FAS and Sligo Libraries relaunched the popular computer classes and workshops, scheduled for Sligo Library branches as follows;
Mondays 9.45am - 11.15am & 11.15am to 12.45pm: Local Studies & Reference Library, Bridge Street, Sligo.
Wednesdays 10.00am -11.30am & Thursdays 6.00pm – 8.00pm: Central Library, Stephen Street, Sligo.

June 2010

The GIY (Grow it yourself) organisation met in Sligo Central Library.
Date: 31st May – 4th June 2010 - Anti racism week

Story telling sessions on Tuesday 1st June 2010. Sligo Central Library 10.00am – 1.00pm.

FAS and Sligo Libraries relaunched the popular computer classes and workshops and were scheduled for Sligo Library branches 

Inkwell Writers, Sligo, had a book launch of their new publication, The Lebeen Pool, in the Sligo City Hotel, Quay Street, Sligo. 

July 2010

Architectural AAI exhibition ran in Tubbercurry Community Library from Monday 26th July until Friday 20th August.

A Reading by Bernard Mac Laverty took place in Sligo Central Library. 

Bernard Mac Laverty lives in Glasgow. He has written four collections of stories and four novels, including Grace Notes which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. He has written versions of his fiction for other media – radio plays, television plays, and screenplays – and wrote and directed the short film Bye Child which recently won a BAFTA award.

FAS and Sligo Libraries relaunched the popular computer classes and workshops and were scheduled for Sligo Library branches 

August 2010

The GIY (Grow it Yourself) organisation are meeting in Sligo Central Library. 

Young Writer’s Workshop “Poetry Pleasures” for children aged 7 to 12

Susan Rowan Masters facilitated this hands-on workshop which was designed to jump-start students’ creativity through fun and lively writing exercises.

Susan Rowan Master is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers, Authors Guild, and a local writer's workshop. Along with three novels she has also published short stories and articles in a variety of publications, including Highlights for Children, Cobblestone and Alive for Young Teens. She was a national winner of the 1985 Writer's Digest Magazine Writing Competition (article category). And in 1991 she  received an Artist Fellowship, sponsored by the Fund for the Arts in Chautauqua County.

FAS and Sligo Libraries relaunched the popular computer classes and workshops and were scheduled for Sligo Library branches 

September 2010

Kids Own Publishing hosted an event to celebrate Culture Night 2010 in Sligo Central Library. There were 3 workshops where participants had a live link to an author's or illustrator's workshop.

The three authors/illustrators were:
  1. Niamh Sharkey - Workshop Number 1 from 7-7.30pm
  2. Marie Louise Fitzpatrick - Workshop Number 2 from 7.45-8.15pm
  3. Annie West - Workshop Number 3 from 8.30pm.

October 2010

Children’s Book Festival:  Three author visits were organized in conjunction with the school service:

Annie West   4th October   3 workshops throughout the day
Malachy Doyle   6th October   3 Readings throughout the day
Tom McCaughren   20th October   3 Readings throughout the day

Sligo County Library Services celebrated All Ireland Poetry Day.

A Lunchtime Poetry session took place involving Mary Branley, MacDara Woods and Dermot Healy with an introduction by Sligo Libraries Writer in Residence, Mr Brian Leyden.

Lecture by Fred Freeman on “The Songs of Robert Burns” in Sligo Central Library.

November 2010

The GIY (Grow it Yourself) organisation met in Sligo Central Library. 

FAS and Sligo Libraries relaunched the popular computer classes and workshops and were  scheduled for Sligo Library branches 

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