Saturday, 30 July 2011

Orkney feasts

With memories of the Tall Ships and Shopping Week slowly fading and more than a week before the Dounby Show  there is time to catch our breath and consider the other pleasures of summer.

The weather may be somewhat temperamental but even if barbecues end up indoors, and picnics involve woolly hats and waterproofs, this is the time to enjoy Orkney produce at its best. Whether you need inspiration, are looking for new ways to cook old favourites, or are in search of the definitive recipe for bere bannocks or clootie dumpling then our selection of Orkney cook books is bound to have what you're looking for.

In our quest to promote the importance of public libraries we are not above bribing you with food - we have been known to tempt unsuspecting passers-by into the library on the promise of a certain staff member's famous meringues!

We would love to hear your favorite recipes using local produce - we might even have a shot at making them and share the results with you if they are suitably mouthwatering.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Stromness Shopping Week & fishernet

After the excitement of the Tall Ships visit, the 63rd annual Stromness Shopping Week is now in full swing. With lots of events, attractions and activities to keep the whole family amused all we need to make the week complete is the sun to keep shining - or at least the rain to stay away!

Should you find yourself exhausted after watching the Round the Town Race, or needing a moment of calm after the tension of the Doughnut Eating Contest, or suffering from eye strain trying to spot the Odd Man Out in all the shop windows, then do pop in by the Library for a rest from the festivities and a chance to catch our special display as part of the fishernet project.

Put together by Stromness-based environmental consultants, Aquatera, the Stromness fishernet event began with the arrival of the Tall Ships and continues throughout Shopping Week, with an exhibition based at the College of Maritime Studies (Navigation School), Stromness and a programme of events including trips in an Orkney yole, story telling and a Fishing Heritage Walk around the town.

Also available is the Stromness fishing heritage trail leaflet which provides a walking guide to the buildings, piers and places with links to fishing heritage along the street in Stromness. These leaflets are available at the library where you will also find a display with information on Orkney's traditional boat designs, seafaring folklore and legends and a selection of books about fishing and the sea.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Author of the month

Every month we like to choose a different author and create a small display of a selection of their titles with a short biography. This month's author is Irène Némirovsky a Jewish novelist and biographer born in the Ukraine, who lived and worked in France. Although recognized as a major author, the Nazi occupation of France put an end to her publishing career and on July 13, 1942,  Némirovsky (then 39) was arrested as a "stateless person of Jewish descent" by French police under the regulations of the German occupation and subsequently sent to Auschwitz where she died a month later.

Némirovsky is now best known as the author of Suite Française an unfinished work made up of two novellas portraying life in France between June 4, 1940 and July 1, 1941, the period during which the Nazis occupied Paris. Written during the period it describes, Suite Française  is considered to be a remarkable literary accomplishment - Némirovsky manages to evoke the domestic reality and personal trials of the ordinary French citizens during the occupation with considered reflection, while she herself was living through the same turmoil.

The story of how Suite Française  came to be published is also remarkable. The notebook containing the manuscript, which Némirovsky had managed to pass to her oldest daughter Denise, before her arrest, remained unread for fifty years as Denise believed  it was a journal or diary of her mother's, which would be too painful to read.  However, in the late 1990s, having made arrangements to donate her mother's papers to a French archive Denise decided to examine the notebook first. Upon discovering what it contained, she instead had it published in France, where it became a bestseller in 2004.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Stromness Hometown

Young people with an interest in Stromness and its history are invited to get involved in an exciting new project running throughout the summer.

The Stromness Hometown project is looking for young folk interested in recording interviews, script-writing, sounnd editing, photography, research, blogging, and who are up for a creative challenge, to build a soundscape of the town.

During a series of drop-in workshops, running on Saturdays from July to September 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm, the project aims to develop and produce an audio guide to Stromness, which folk can listen to as they walk through the street.

The project launch takes place on Saturday 2nd July, at the Maritime Studies College (aka the Nav School ) on the pier behind Argos,  from 11am-1pm. The organisers stress that everyone's input is welcome, whether you can come along for one day or all of the days, so don't worry if you are going to be away for some of the dates.

For more information you can find Stromness Hometown on facebook.