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Growing Imaginations

Growing Imaginations Sensory Books in a Bag. 

This project involves the provision of a new service by Cork City Libraries to people we support  with intellectual disability of moderate, severe and profound levels. It involves the creation of sensory tactile books that can be used by people with profound intellectual disability. The sensory components of the book are all stored in specifically designed bag .The stories for the books are inspired by the adults themselves with help from their care workers and Cork writer Kevin Doyle thus ensuring that the books are subject appropriate.  The components for the books are made by groups of adults with intellectual disability with the help of artists from Cork Textile Network. The venue for all workshops is the Bishopstown Library where this new service is being piloted with a view to roll out in all seven library locations.  The video clip below shows the launch of these Books in A Bag in Bishopstown Library. With Presentation of merit certifices to all those involved by Lord Mayor Councillor Chris O'Leary , City Librarian, Liam Ronayne , and Executive Librarian Breda Hassett.

The books which are now available may be borrowed by arrangement with Bishopstown Library for a month at a time by groups or individuals.

The books may also be used on site in Bishopstown Library in one of the community rooms by groups by prior arrangement.

If you wish to borrow a book please contact Paul O'Regan in Bishopstown Library (021/4924959) or to arrange a group visit please contact Fionuala Ronan (021/4924953).                  

The Sensory Books in a Bag project is sponsored by Bishopstown Credit Union, Spec Savers Wilton, The Wilton Shopping Centre and Cork City Council.


Growing Imaginations

Overview of the Growing Imaginations project in Bishopstown Library

Floris and Her Dog

A Cork City Libraries 'Book in a Bag,' brought to life in play format by the actors from QDS, Hub, Cope Foundation and their project leader Paula O’Keeffe.



Growing Imaginations Bishopstown Library December 2016




 Growing Imaginations Bishopstown Library December 2015



Growing Imaginations 2015 'In the Bag'


  Growing Imaginations Poster 2015

 Please click for pdf of Growing Imaginations 2015 ‌


The 'In the Bag' Sensory Books were launched on 3 December 2015 by Ardmheara Chris O'Leary.  A lively morning full

of laughter and music was had by all. 


 Growing Imaginations Launch of 'In the Bag' & Certificates to the Participants 


Growing Imaginations 2015 H Growing Imaginations 2015 J Growing Imaginations 2015 D Growing Imaginations 2015 C  Growing Imaginations 2015 E 

 Ardmheara Chris O'Leary presenting some of the participants of

'In the Bag' with Merit Certificates

Growing Imaginations 2015 G Growing Imaginations 2015 I Growing Imaginations 2015 A Growing Imaginations 2015 F


Growing Imaginations 2014

Growing Imaginations 2014 Book


Growing Imaginations 2013

Growing Imagination 1-3 Photobook 2013‌‌


 The Growing Imaginations project first began in January 2012 and was initiated by Breda Hassett, Executive Librarian, to encourage adults with special needs and their carers to use the Bishopstown library. Groups of adults from the John Bermingham Day Centre, COPE and from Brook Day centre LOTA were invited to attend art therapy sessions run by the library with the help of Sara O’Hara and Vicky Tammadge from the Cork Textile Network. The work was then mounted on an eight foot tree which is permanently placed in the foyer of Bishopstown library representing the project. The symbol of the tree was chosen as it signifies the hidden artistic talent that is latent in everyone and which may blossom when given the opportunity to grow and develop.

The groups also created tactile books representing their experiences which are on display and can be revisited by the clients when they visit the library. Currently 5 books have been created. Some of those who attended the workshops were encouraged to borrow books and have been in receipt of merit certificates .The project has grown in success and has been sponsored by Bishopstown Credit Union, Porters Newsagents Wilton and Wilton Shopping Centre.

The work created in each work shop series is celebrated with a launch party for all those who have participated with the aid of the wonderful John Bermingham Day Centre Choir. Some of the teens in the Bishopstown Teen writing group were inspired to write a book of poetry about the project entitled There is a Tree in the Middle of Bishopstown Library. Joe Sweeney from the Wilton Writers group also took pen to paper about the wonderful tactile books created and wrote a poem Book of Dreams.

2015 saw the introduction of a new service called Growing Imaginations Sensory Books in a Bag providing Sensory books inspired and made by adults with intellectual disability for adults with intellectual disability.