Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We have added some great new BBC magazines to our collection on Zinio Digital Magazine Collection. 

Zinio Digital Magazine collection is available through dlr Libraries website  for our users to browse and download. Over 50 titles are available covering everything from food to computers, to music and art. Titles include 'Marie Claire', 'New Scientist', 'Ideal Home' and many more. We have now added some new BBC Magazines. 

BBC Easycook   
BBC Good Food Magazine   
BBC History Magazine   
BBC Music   
BBC Top Gear Magazine   
BBC Wildlife Magazine   
Countryfile Magazine   
Gardeners' World   
Sky at Night  

To access the magazines just log onto http://libraries.dlrcoco.ie/online-library/read-magazines-online  and using your library card number and pin you can read and browse a wide variety of the latest editions.
Last month the three most popular titles were HELLO, New Scientist, and Good Housekeeping UK

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Summer Reading Buzz 2014!


Prizegiving Ceremony for the Summer Reading Buzz 2014. Held in Deansgrange Library on Saturday 18th October. 3 winners were picked from each branch library. These 24 children were brought together in Deansgrange Library to celebrate and we also had an overall draw for fabulous prizes of a tablet, ipod touch and a digital camera. We had a huge response to this popular reading initiative this year. We had over 1,000 children sign up for the Summer Buzz and more than 15,000 items read over the Summer months. Well done to each and every child who partook! We are already looking forward to the Summer Buzz 2015!!
Photo credits: Peter Cavanagh Photography

Monday, October 20, 2014

dlr Libraries will be closed from Saturday 25th October 2014 to Monday 27th October 2014 inclusive. All libraries will open again on Tuesday 28th October 2014.
Dun Laoghaire library (DRL Lexicon) @ OHD. 
Posted on 
This is the biggest public building project undertaken in the DLR area for over a hundred years. The library, with its children’s reading and art rooms, meeting areas, café and a small theatre, all housed in one huge wedge shaped building, is perched on an extraordinary site.
I’m just a simple art historian- not an architectural critic at all- happy enough speaking about historic architecture from the medieval period up to about the 1950s, but badly out of my depth on contemporary architecture. So I won’t try. Far better anyway to let this amazing new building speak for itself.   Whatever about external consideration, this new library triumphs as a piece of architectural design.
Savour, and behold, the new DRL lexicon public library…
DRL Lexicon public library 15
Along with smaller more intimate reading,  study and meeting spaces,  in many parts of this building is a great sense of scale and of spectacle. 
DRL Lexicon public library 2
the entire landscape around the library has been reshaped and re-landscaped.  The hope is that this will provide a new route through the town and towards the seaside and the adjoining park.
DRL Lexicon public library3
DRL Lexicon public library 4
Senior architect for DLR, Bob Hannan, shows visitors around today.
DRL Lexicon public library 5DRL Lexicon public library 6
Obviously in public buildings, durability of materials is a key concern. It’s early days, but aesthetically at least the mix of warm timbers and concrete is highly successful. 
DRL Lexicon public library 8
I loved the see-through views and the reveals of different angles and views.
DRL Lexicon public library 9
DRL Lexicon public library 10
DRL Lexicon public library 11
In such a favoured location, framing the amazing views around the town and the coast was naturally a priority, while at the same time keeping enough space for the many thousands of books and for reading spaces.   Again, the architects seem to have got the balance right.  Here, below,  looking SE, towards Sandycove and the iconic 40 Foot
DRL Lexicon public library 7

DRL Lexicon public library 12
Regular readers of this blog will already know of a general enthusiasm for maps.  No surprise then, even in a building full of wonderful details and materials, this map in poured, molded concrete, of DL harbo,r was a special pleasure today.
DRL Lexicon public library 13
DRL Lexicon public library 14
DRL Lexicon public library 16
DRL Lexicon public library 17
Above;  a deeply, deeply unsuccessful attempt to use the panorama view on a smartphone, to capture the real panorama around DL harbour and some of the library itself. 
Below:  the library also houses within its huge interior,  a small theatre, with retractable, flexible seating (above, left) for 80-90 people.
DRL Lexicon public library 18
Below: there are also exhibition spaces.  Below, art by Wendy Judge, and below that, by Gary Coyle.
DRL Lexicon public library 19
DRL Lexicon public library 20
Above, notes books, from artist Gary Coyle, documenting is daily swims in the nearby 40 Foot.
Below: this house below will be converted into craft studios and craft exhibition and retail space.  The house also has a symbolic importance.  It is fro this building that Marconi sent his first telegraph signals.  
DRL Lexicon public library 21
Below, the cafe, looking out onto the same lawn.
DRL Lexicon public library 22
Well done to  the design team at DRL and well done OHD for coordinating such amazing events together again this year.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Making children's books more diverse: what you can do

Authors and illustrators Alex Strick, Sean Stockdale and Ros Asquith set a couple of challenges for the next time you go to a library or bookshop – and here’s something you can do to make a difference with the ‘Everybody In’ campaign
Small child in library
Here’s a little challenge for you when you are next in a library. It might be your school or college library, or perhaps a public library or maybe even a bookshop. Anyhow, just pluck ten children’s books from the shelves – at random.

Now let’s see what you’ve got. We’re willing to bet that the majority of the leading characters in the books in front of you are white (unless you chose from the picture book section – in which case they may well be rabbits or bears!). You’ll almost certainly find more leading male characters than female (yes, even amongst the bunnies and bears). They will probably live in the UK or USA; the chances are they have a fairly conventional family structure and we’d also be willing to bet that none of the characters are disabled in any way.
So what’s wrong with that? Books need to cater for the majority, after all. But there are at least two problems with this argument. For one thing, it’s fine if you happen to be white, male and non-disabled (or a bunny or a bear) but what about all the children who are black or mixed race and those who are disabled or whose family doesn’t happen to conform to the ‘usual’ structure? Isn’t it important that they can see themselves in books, too? What about the little girl wet met last year who had never seen someone in a book who, like her, wore a hearing aid? And the boy who couldn’t find a mixed race character to dress up as for World Book Day?

Secondly, do children really only want to read about other children who are like them, anyway? Surely not – wouldn’t it be boring if everyone was the same? Books can play such a valuable role in exposing us to new ideas and experiences, allowing us to walk in other people’s shoes. They need to offer us ‘windows’ as well as ‘mirrors’.

And there’s another problem: if you leave out all those thousands of people who happen to use a wheelchair or have two mums or are from a traveller community, are you not also indirectly saying something about what society considers normal or acceptable?

The problem isn’t simply that there just aren’t enough books out there which do feature such characters. There is also the fact that where they do appear, the messages aren’t always altogether helpful. To illustrate our point, another challenge for you. Try to think of a book featuring a disabled character. Or if you can’t, how about a story featuring a stepmother. Or perhaps an orphan. Once you’ve thought of one, think about how that person is depicted. The chances are it’s less than positive. Traditionally, many books (and indeed films) show disabled characters as villains (think Captain Hook, James Bond villains with facial scars or pirates with eye patches and wooden legs), or alternatively, they could be depicted as weak and sickly (think Heidi or The Secret Garden). Likewise, fairy tales tell us that all stepmothers are wicked and children who came from unconventional family set-ups are isolated social misfits. And what about those who are just different? How about a boy who really enjoys sewing, while his step-sister combines ballet with particle physics? Or perhaps their granny prefers watching Breaking Bad to making tea?
Those are extreme examples and things are starting to change, but we’ve still got a long way to go if we are going to counter all those rather dated pictures of society. We believe that alongside all the other wondrous things – robots, aliens, gruffalos, vampires, dragons and wizards – that they have to offer, books need to show a few more images of society as it really is: diverse. We feel that there should be a place for every child and it doesn’t need to be overt – books can include all children naturally, subtly and without comment.
We feel this so strongly that we set out to do exactly that in the picture book we all worked on together (Max the Champion) where we managed to ‘casually’ include a vast range of disabled children. And of course it’s not just disability we are talking about. Ros has also successfully shown how diverse families can be in her Great Big Book of Families and offered up lots more natural inclusivity in the equally wonderful Great Big Book of Feelings,both created with Mary Hoffman. More recently,Welcome to the Family also reminds us that there are many ways to make a family.
So there is a small but growing number of diverse books out there but we’d like to see many more – and for all ages. And we would like to see the books which do feature a diverse range of characters getting the recognition they deserve. For just that reason, we’re pleased that there’s now a new initiative calling for all publishers to look at how they can make their books as inclusive as possible. It’s called ‘Everybody In’ and should pave the way to a new diverse world of books for all of us!

So come on, are you in? Tweet “I’m in” to @InclusiveMinds using the hashtag #everybodyin to show your support!