Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Library Update

This is the latest update from our Librarian, Mr McConville:-

With our strong reading ethos the Library has been concerned for a while at the narrow options available for those among us with reading issues. After consulting with the English department (thanks to Mr Jameson and Ms Smith) and Learning Support (likewise Ms McEneaney) we decided to provide a selection of books from the Barrington Stoke gr8reads series.

Barrington Stoke specialise in books for people with dyslexia or other reading difficulties. Physically the books are printed on off-white or ivory paper with generous line spacing, and use a font that has been specifically designed to reduce distraction. Most importantly the subject matter is not simplified or patronising, but is age appropriate; the short, punchy stories range from humour (Theresa Brerslin’s Alligator) through fantasy adventure (Alien and Alien Betrayal) to the gritty urban realism of teen gangs (Blade, Snapshot), human trafficking (China Girl) and dysfunctional lives (Come on, Danny). First reports are positive, and it looks like we will be revisiting the Barrington Stoke catalogue for further titles.

World Book Day was held on 3 March this year. As well as our well-established Favourite Book survey (thanks as always to the English department) the Library provided a Junior crossword puzzle and Senior “Dewey Tale” quiz. €10 book tokens will be distributed shortly to our lucky randomly-selected winners.

As for St Columba’s favourite book this year, 147 votes were returned, listing 101 individual authors and 115 separate book titles, a testament once again to the broad and vigorous reading tradition in the school. Our top choices were How Many Miles to Babylon? by Jennifer Johnston and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, both with 4 votes each. Then with 3 votes each came Class A, The Recruit and Mad Dogs, all by the supremely popular Cherub author Robert Muchamore, Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, and Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant. As for our favourite author, yes it’s that man again, Robert Muchamore, with a whopping 14 votes, followed by Michael Morpurgo with 5 votes, Jennifer Johnston and Suzanne Collins with 4 votes, and Malorie Blackman, Derek Landy, Jodi Picoult and Morris Gleitzman, all with 3 votes.

The annual 5th Form Library Quiz is always good fun. This year it was held on Thursday 17 February in Muckross Park, Ranelagh. Eighteen schools took part in the brain-fest which was won by Alexandra College. Our team of Lorcan Maule, Lingfan Gao, Patrick Tice, Rosie Agnew and Ciara Conway did “reasonably well”, finishing in the middle orders.

They enjoyed the refreshments supplied, as did our supporters Oyinda Onabanjo and Leonard Dihlmann. The gracious and humorous Paul Howard—Ross O’Carroll-Kelly’s author—was the celebrity quizmaster, and signed the Library’s copy of The Oh My God Delusion as well as posing for a photograph with the team.

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