Léigh leat!

Tá an tseirbhís leabharlainne faoi bhrú sa Tuaisceart san am i láthair. Chaill a lán leabharlannaithe agus cúntóirí a bpostanna ar na mallaibh.

Faightear níos mó ná leabhair sna leabharlanna na laethanta seo: tá ríomhairí ann, tá seirbhísí priontála ann. Chomh maith le leabhair, thig leat dlúthdhioscaí agus DVD-anna a fháil ar iasacht. Is féidir cuidiú a fháil le taighde agus staidéar. Eagraíonn na leabharlanna cúrsaí oideachasúla agus imeachtaí cultúrtha. Níl riail an chiúnais ann níos mó. Sa Leabharlann Láir i nDoire, thig leat cupán caife a fháil agus comhrá a dhéanamh le do chairde. Dála an scéil, buaileann Gaeilgeoirí isteach sa chaife ansin gach Aoine ag am lóin le Gaeilge a chleachtadh- tá fáilte roimh chách.

Tá leabhair Ghaeilge sna leabharlanna uilig ar an dá thaobh den teorainn. Tá an bailiúchán i Leabharlann Bhun Cranncha thar a bheith maith. (Is féidir le ball de leabharlann i nDoire leabhair a fháil amach ó leabharlann i nDún na nGall agus a mhalairt go cruinn.) Ba mhaith liom níos mó leabhar Gaeilge a fheiceáil ar sheilfeanna na leabharlann, ach tuigim do na húdaráis leabharlann: cad is fiú leabhair a fháil isteach mura bhfuil daoine sásta iad a thógáil amach? Bíonn leisce ar fhoghlaimoirí – agus ar Ghaeilgeoirí eile- leabhair Ghaeilge a léamh. Níl sé furasta Gaeilge a léamh: caithfidh tú iarracht a dhéanamh, caithfidh tú bheith foighneach. Ní bheadh duine ar bith ábalta ‘Cogadh agus Síocháin’ a léamh i ndiaidh cúpla ceacht Rúisise. Ba chóir don fhoghlaimeoir tús a dhéanamh ar leibhéal íseal. Gabh chuig an leabharlann agus amharc thart. Faigh leabhar a bhfuil tú compordach leis. Ná bíodh náire ort leabhar do pháistí a roghnú – thig leat a lán Gaeilge a fhoghlaim óna leithéid. Má tá páiste agat atá ag déanamh Gaeilge ar scoil, amharc ar na leabhair atá aige. Tá leabhair scoile den scoth foilsithe ag an Áisaonad i mBéal Feirste, agus tá beathaisnéisí iontacha foilsithe ag an Bhord Scrúduithe sa Tuaisceart. Corraigh thú féin! Má léann tú Gaeilge, tiocfaidh biseach ar an teanga labhartha.

Read on!

The library service is under pressure in the North just now. Many librarians and assistants have lost their jobs.

You find more than books in libraries nowadays: there are computers, there are printing services. As well as books, you can borrow CD’s and DVD’s. You can get help with research and study. The libraries organise educational courses and cultural events. The rule of silence is no longer enforced. In the Central Library in Derry you can get a cup of coffee and chat with your friends. By the way, a group of Irish speakers drops into the cafe every Friday there at lunchtime to practice their Irish – everyone is welcome.

There are Irish books in all the libraries on both sides of the border. The collection in Buncrana Library is very good. (A member of a Derry library can get books out of a Donegal library and vice versa.) I would like to see more Irish books on the shelves, but I understand the library authorities: what good is it getting books in if people don’t bother taking them out? Beginners – and other speakers of Irish - are reluctant to read Irish books. Reading Irish is not easy: you have to make an effort. You must be patient. Nobody could read ‘War and Peace’ after a couple of Russian lessons. The beginner should start at a low level. Go to the library and look around. Get a book you feel comfortable with. Don’t be embarrassed about picking a children’s book - you can learn a lot from that kind of book. If you have a child learning Irish at school, look at his or her books. The Áisaonad in Belfast has published some first rate school books and the Examination Board in the North has published a marvellous series of biographies in Irish. Make an effort! If you read Irish, your spoken language will improve.