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Passion for Ulster-Scots still Burns at library...

17 July 2009

Library Week returned this year, taking place from May 16th to May 22nd (The North West of the province had a second week of events, until May 29th), with the event once again being a success.

This was the 3rd time Library Week, established in 2007, had taken place, and once again saw schools throughout Northern Ireland attend readings and workshops at their local library from agency staff such as Jane Wallace and Sarah Lockhart, while musical workshops with history and language were also provided by Mark Wilson, Brendan Monaghan, David Muldrew.


“It worked well with a varied range of schools, and many teachers feeling their students enjoyed their taster of Ulster-Scots history and writing. I was pleased that many schools wanted to follow this up with more Ulster-Scots based learning in the future” said South East Development Officer Jane Wallace.


In the West of the province, excess demand meant that Library Week actually lasted for a fortnight, which was fronted in that region by Joe Lynch.


“Over the two weeks, the programme was well attended, with the extra week allowed us more room for manoeuvre in terms of setting up the programme and accommodating more schools” said Audrey Freen, who worked on the project in the West of the province.


It wasn’t just school children that were involved, as Downpatrick and Lisburn Libraries held special evening sessions, hosted by George Holmes, about the life and work of Robert Burns, allowing adults the opportunity to experience Ulster-Scots writing at first hand.


It was fitting that Burns should be the subject of the lecture, as earlier this year marked the 250th anniversary of his birth.


Ballymoney Library also hosted an evening session for adults with renowned authors Charlie Gillen, Charlie Reynolds and Wilson Burgess, with music being provided by Andy McGregor.


The event was well received, especially in the North East, where Development Officer Gary Blair observed “The enthusiastic response from primary schools throughout the region was unparalleled in my experience. The children were attentive and interested in what was being taught.


Elizabeth McLeaster, Mae Kirkpatrick and Andy McGregor, who delivered the programme to schools did a professional job, interacting well with the children”


Any groups or schools wishing to find out more about future Library Week events, or how the agency can assist them with learning materials should contact the Agency on 028 9023 1113 or email