This week I have been to a number of the libraries in Kildare and a couple of the schools – and have once again been struck by their value. For example while I was with a group of schoolchildren in one part of Newbridge Library a group from a nearby Nursing Home were in another room watching movies. And as I left Celbridge Library a Patchwork and Knitting Group arrive to occupy the room I had just left. During the past few days I have travelled from a library in a small church (Castledermot) to a state of the art library (Leixslip) to a library located in the beautiful old Town hall (Athy) to one that shares a building with a Spar (Kildare) and another that is in an the Main Street of Maynooth and looks tiny form the outside but opens up into a wonderful space with a garden to the back of it.
In each one of these libraries there are hard working, interested and creative librarians. What a resource!
And a word too about the children I have come across. Again, a wide variety of groups – numbering from twenty five up to ninety (which was an alarming thought, but they were great!) and from Fourth Class up to Sixth. What has impressed me so far is the ease with which they ask questions, the interest they show not only in my book but in reading, in Africa and in things outside their own world. I’ve been enjoying it – and next week to Meath and then to Dublin and then back to Kildare – ending up finally, on the 24th of October, in my home county of Kilkenny where I’ll be visiting Graiguenamanagh and Thomastown.