Monday, February 2, 2015

Case Study No. 1813: Sheila, the head librarian at Inchicore Library

Susan - The Secret Librarian
A short ghost story, set in Inchicore Library.

Susan contacted us with her short ghost story set in Inchicore Library and we thought it was very sweet, as it reminded us of the excitement we felt when a whole new world was opened up to us, the first time we stepped foot in a Library.
Tags: Inchicore Library Storymap Unesco City Of Literature Dublin Stories Dublin short stories Dublin Literature
Added: 11 months ago
From: StorymapDublin
Views: 305

[scene opens with a woman standing in the Inchicore Library (Dublin), speaking directly to the camera]
SUSAN: Hi, today I'm going to read "The Secret Librarian." It's based in Inchicore Library. As a child, seven years old which was quite a long time ago, I spent every summer holiday in my gram's at Mont Brand, and I'd walk the short distance down here. Pick up two books, "Bobby Brewster", "Misses Pepperpot", Enid Blyton, and then onto C.S. Lewis. Bring them home, read them, come back the next day to pick up another two.
[cut to a shot of a man shelving some books]
SUSAN: [in voice over] It's a place I have very fond memories of, and obviously started me on my road to writing.
[cut back to Susan, as she reads from a piece of paper]
SUSAN: "Secret Librarian. Sheila, the head librarian at Inchicore Library, smiled as she overheard the whispered words. 'Well done, Shannon. I'm so proud of you.' Shannon catches her mother's hand, then realizing that at ten she's too big for this, slips her hand back out and holds her two library books close to her chest."
[cut to another shot of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "Mother and daughter pushed to the green half-door, dividing the adult and childrens' sections, out through the front door and down the steps, into the remaining rays of the summer evening. Sheila checks her watch, humming softly as she begins her daily ritual. She tidies up the scattered books, beginning with the oversized, which she houses comfortably in the colored square blocks in the middle of the floor."
[cut to another shot of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "Then, she moves onto the shelves around the back walls ... "
[cut to a shot of a woman browsing the stacks in another part of the library]
SUSAN: [in voice over] "Her favorite part of the library."
[cut back to a shot of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "Shannon had been coming to the library every week since Christmas. She'd first arrived with her mother, and signed her name carefully at the end of the application form to get a library card. Sheila could see that Shannon found the first few visits daunting. Her mother Debbie, a young friendly woman ... "
[cut to a closeup of one of the bookshelves]
SUSAN: [in voice over] "Had asked Sheila for help in picking out suitable books for Shannon, who found reading a chore."
[cut to a closeup of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "They had walked around the aisles, as Sheila pointed out the different sections. Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling. She wanted to make it enjoyable, and not overwhelm her with too much choice. From then on, every Wednesday afternoon, Shannon like many others before her, would skip up the well-worn steps and into the cool shade of the library. Sheila had encouraged the child to sit in the corner, at the back of the library, in the old blue chair with the fabric nearly worn away in places."
[cut to a shot of the childrens' section]
SUSAN: [in voice over] "It was in a quiet corner where, in Sheila's opinion, some of the best books lived."
[cut to another shot of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "She sniffed the strong scent of lavender emanating from the corner, as she thought back to her own childhood. From the age of seven, spending holidays at her grams', she'd walk the short distance to the library every day to pick two books. She'd browse the shelves, flicking through the hardback books covered in clear plastic, with the well-worn yellowing pages."
[cut to a closeup of one of the bookshelves]
SUSAN: [in voice over] "She remembered H.E. Todd's 'Bobby Brewster' books. Bobby, with the hair at the back of his head that always stuck up. Where Bobby had adventures with talking torches ... "
[cut back to a closeup of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "Or kites that could send messages up and down the string. She's moved on to "Misses Pepperpot," with her lined skirts and black hair held up in a bun. Who shrank at the most inappropriate times, often having to ride her black cat home in time for tea. Then came the Enid Blyton adventure stories, ranging from faeries, goblins, and talking rabbits to the Secret Seven and the Famous Five. Followed by her all-time favorite, C.S. Lewis' 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.'"
[cut to another shot of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "Days spent skimming the pages to see what would happen next, and talking about the adventures with her pal Emily, who was always at the library, in this very corner, no matter when Sheila arrived. She'd often thought about the story Emily told her, of an American guy called Steven. He had spent a summer staying with his aunt May, and had been in the library nearly every day of his holiday. He had apparently been absolutely terrified of clowns, but loved horror books, which had encouraged Emily to read. He was the sort of man who makes you think the movement of foliage might be causing the breeze, Emily intimated. I think Molly was glad when he left. She used to put lavender twigs under my pillow to help me sleep ... "
[cut to a closeup of one of the bookshelves]
SUSAN: [in voice over] "Most likely to stop me from being so terrified of the ghosts and ghouls in the pages of the latest book I was reading, she laughed. Emily with her dark brown ringlets, long gray pinafore dress, with the white collar peeping through ... "
[cut back to a closeup of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "Was the palest girl that Sheila had ever met, but she was also one of the nicest. They would sit and whisper quietly over the stories they had read. They both had an insatiable appetite for books, especially mysteries and horror. Emily had explained how she never went outside because of her polio, and she went to great pains to keep her braced right leg covered by her lined petticoat. That was why she read so much. She'd once boasted that she'd read just about every book in the library. Well, in the childrens' section, anyway. Sheila had arrived at the library on numerous occasions to see Emily speaking quietly with other readers. She had first felt a stab of jealousy."
[cut to another shot of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "Emily explained that she tried to help younger children who had problems reading. To pick the right book for them, so they'd learn to read and enjoy books more. Sheila and Emily had a special bond, their passion for books bringing them together."
[cut to a shot of another part of the library]
SUSAN: [in voice over] "And it had actually been the stimulus to encourage Sheila to study English and history in Trinity College."
[cut to a shot of another part of the library]
SUSAN: [in voice over] "Sheila's grandmother had died when she was fifteen ... "
[cut to another shot of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "So holidays were spent home from then on, on the other side of the levee."
[cut to a closeup of Susan reading]
SUSAN: "It had been years later before she returned to Inchicore Library. She'd seen Emily only once, still in the same corner and still wearing the same clothes. She hadn't aged a day. 'Well done, Emily. You've done great work with Shannon,' Sheila whispered. 'Her reading is coming on in leaps and bounds.' The scent of lavender became stronger, and Sheila smiled as she finished tidying up the books and locking up the library for the night. 'See you tomorrow,' she called, as she took a copy of Stephen King's 'It' under her arm and headed out through the green half-door."

Told by Susan Condon

Camera - Tom Ryan & Tom Rowley

Sound - Andrew Flaherty

In association with
Dublin, City of Literature

(c) Storymap 2012

See more stories
at Storymap dot ie



I am delighted to have my short story, The Secret Librarian, on Storymap amongst such varied and wonderful Irish writers, poets and historians as: Paula Meehan, Eileen Casey, Roddy Doyle, Colm Keegan, Stephen James Smith, Shane MacThomáis and Paul Howard (aka Ross O'Carroll-Kelly), to name but a few.

What better way to pass your journey than by experiencing the charm of Dublin city. Storymap hosts a living world to spark your imagination - a world of stories, filmed where they happened, ranging from funny to literary; historic to places of interest and everything in-between!

You can watch The Secret Librarian here and don't forget to check out a few of my favourites on Storymap, listed below, to give you a real flavour of Dublin.

If you like them, don't keep them to yourself, share them!

A little about Storymap:

Storymap is the brainchild of two Dublin filmmakers, Andy Flaherty and Tom Rowley. Just back from working abroad, unemployed and in between film projects, the lads became annoyed with all the negative press the city was receiving. The bleak tales of recession, the gloomy accounts of unemployment and the notion that Ireland's best and brightest had emigrated was completely at odds with what the lads were experiencing being back in their hometown.

"We wanted to do something to get people as excited about the city as we were. While loads of great people have left the country, you only have to walk into any gallery, gig or any of the fantastic spoken word or comedy nights to see that Dublin is a ridiculously fun and vibrant city with wonderful characters and a flourishing art scene. We wanted to bring the charm and character that had been pushed aside by the Celtic Tiger and bring it centre stage" - Andy

The lads came up with Storymap, a web based multimedia project that revives Ireland's age-old tradition of storytelling and tries to capture the personality of Dublin city through its stories and storytellers. These stories are filmed being told where they happened and integrated into a live map to create a charming and layered collective vision of Dublin city made by the people of the city.

"Walking around the city - everyone has their own stories that they remember on certain streets, stories that flavour their personal experience of the city, that they tell on to friends. We thought it'd be exciting to pool those stories in one place, like one big pub where everyone shares their stories, creating a sense of what the city means to Dubliners. It's a simple idea, but with complex possibilities, and we're only just at the beginning of it." - Tom



The Secret Librarian
Susan Condon
Inchicore Library

Susan contacted us with her short ghost story set in Inchicore Library and we thought it was very sweet, as it reminded us of the excitement we felt when a whole new world was opened up to us, the first time we stepped foot in a Library.

More about Susan Condon
Susan is a native of Dublin, Ireland, who writes poetry and short stories. She is currently working on the final edits of her debut novel – a crime fiction thriller set in New York City.

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