The James Joyce Library is named after world renowned writer James Joyce, who attended Clongowes from 1888-1891. Officially opened by his nephew, Mr Ken Monaghan in 2009, the Library is an inclusive space with programmes and events designed to inspire an interest and passion for reading.
The library, which is staffed by a fulltime librarian, has become a dynamic space for learning and serves multiple purposes including reading for pleasure, study and co-operative learning as well as being a venue for school events and activities. It has more than 9,000 titles including fiction, non-fiction books and magazines, with a further 1,000 audio and e-books.
Reading for pleasure is strongly encouraged in Clongowes and fiction in particular is emphasised. Stepping into someone else’s life through story fosters an understanding of how others live and how circumstances and culture will affect their choices and actions. The library has developed an empathy theme: ‘Step into someone else’s story, walk in their shoes’ which echoes the Jesuit ethos of ‘men for others’.
The library hosts a range of activities throughout the year including book clubs, reading challenges, book character dress up days, author visits and storytelling events. The role of the James Joyce Library in Clongowes has been acknowledged through the awarding of ‘Wellread’ recognition to the school by the PDST in June 2016 for creating a reading community.