Monday, July 19, 2010

Edinburgh Central Library

Today we went to the Edinburgh Central Library. The library currently has around 850,000 items and was set up as part of an endowment by Andrew Carnegie. One fun fact, all Carnegie libraries have above their entrance the words "let there be light". About a year ago, an emphasis was placed on developing a virtual library and the librarians talked at length about that effort. Currently, there are still several items that can be searched on a card catalog, although most of the materials can be searched for on the library's OPAC. As part of their virtual library, the library has also scanned and uploaded many images pertaining to Edinburgh history, including many images from the early nineteenth century. This image library can be found at the Capital Collections website.

Another interesting aspect the librarians discussed was their reader development programs (what we in the states would call reader's adisory). Some of the initiatives for reader development include author events where local or national authors come to speak at the library. In addition, the reader development librarians work with local readers' groups and book clubs, and organize volunteers to read at seniors' centers.

After the library tours, a classmate and I found a yarn store, which had an excellent selection of Scottish yarns (I only bought two skeins). The rest of the evening was pretty low-key; back in Dalkeith, we explored the area around the palace where there are several trails that go through the woods. It was really pretty, albeit a bit muddy.

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