Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Local History, A Little Bit More – Dundrum Library June 17, 2010

Filed under: Art works,Artists,Birds,Ireland,Knitting,Libraries,Local history — Janet @ 9:54 pm

Having written about St. Nahi’s Church here in Dundrum and referred to the Dundrum Library just behind it, I’ll add some information today about the library.  I discovered a book with lovely paintings and informative text about some of the features in our Dundrum/Stillorgan/Rathfarnham area.  The paintings are by Olivia Hayes and the text by the late Christoper Ryan.  On the cover is a painting of our Main Street here in Dundrum – the terrace of red brick houses is very distinctive.

The library in Dundrum is one of the many Carnegie libraries scattered around Ireland, and to be found in other countries as well. 

According to the Christopher Ryan’s text, Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland in 1835.  He emigrated to the U.S. where his first job was as a bobbin winder in a cotton factory.  By the time he was age 50 he had his own steel works and was becoming increasingly wealthy.  During the last 18 years of his life, Carnegie sponsored the building 2,811 libraries – 660 of these were in the British Isles.  There are several in the greater Dublin area.  The Dundrum Library was opened in August 1914 by the then Lord Chancellor. 

In the early years the library was also used as an entertainment centre.  The upper floor had a stage and a kitchen and was a popular venue for concerts , plays, dances, and sales-of-work.

When we came to Dundrum in the late 1960’s the library was closed and if I remember correctly it did not open until the late ’70’s.  It is now an excellent community resource, no longer for plays and entertainment, but it houses an excellent collection of books and reference material.  And it also has computers for community use.  It also hosts activity groups for different interests in the community – e.g. a reading group, a Scrabble Club, Cupla Focla – an Irish conversation group.  And I think I also read about a knitting group meeting there.

As to my knitting – here’s a photo labelled Still Life – Knitting, Watering Can, and Cat

  the knitting is my current work-in-progress, another blanket

In this spell of very nice weather I have to provide a chair for my cat to be beside me in the garden – and another chair for my cup of tea

The bird life in the garden these days is wonderful.  I have watched a number of birds gathering material for nest building in nearby shrubs or trees.

This isn’t the best of photos but this is a very friendly robin who hovered around us as we had coffee this morning in the garden of friends.  I wouldn’t have known it was a robin except that our hostess told us so – it was newly fledged so it did not have the characteristic red breast.  It reminded me of what I would imagine a baby thrush to look like with a brownish speckled breast.


7 Responses to “Local History, A Little Bit More – Dundrum Library”

  1. Máire Ní Neachtain Says:

    I think that Dundrum Library re-opened in 1973 or 74….I joined Dublin Co. Council as a library assistant in 1976, at Christmas, and my second posting, In February 77 was for 2 months to Dundrum to re- register the 3,000 people who signed up three years previously in the first two months. It was such a busy library that the regular staff were too busy to write tickets. Remember the little tickets back then, where the ticket from the book was tucked into the user’s card? 3 for adults, 2 for chiildren….I used to write an average of 70 sets of tickets a day, and then file away the application forms. A terrible job!!

    • Brian Says:

      Hi Maire, Im a radio student and im thinking of making a documentary about Dundrum Library. The project is in its very early stage but I was just wandering if my project gets up of the ground would you be able to help me out about the background on the Library. My email is nicepint@gmail.com. Many Thanks Brian

  2. Joanna Says:

    Great bird pictures! I thought it was a thrush too. The American robin, no relation, is actually a thrush, but I am sure you know that.

  3. Joanna Says:

    We had tickets when we lived in Ireland. Rebecca was eight, and we had to select books that the whole family would enjoy. Read quite a bit of Mark Twain and Perry Mason, and I recall that we all read National Velvet. Then Dennis and I found alternative sources of books, and let Rebecca use all of our family tickets.

  4. Susan Says:

    Hi Janet, I thought you might be interested in the Carnegie Library in Seattle. Here is a link with some more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballard_Carnegie_Library
    I love this building. It’s near Majestic Bay on Market Street. Have you ever noticed it on your walks? I think it’s beautiful. It’s a French restaurant now and James and I have talked about eating there sometime. Maybe you’d like to join us 🙂

    I too think those are beautiful photos of the birds. And what a life for Slinky. Love the chair set up in the garden!

  5. harry Says:

    bueatiful birds the gardis is truly spectacular

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