Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Central Library of Edinburgh

The Central Library of Edinburgh is housed in a Victorian building dating to the 1880s.  The library itself was opened in 1890, and is a Carnegie Library.  The library is one of over twenty public libraries within the city of Edinburgh.  The library served as a ration book distribution site during World War II, as well as an order distribution point for the volunteer fire brigade. 
     The library uses the Library of Congress classification system with modifications to fit their audience.  The building has been adapted to fit modern demands, including the adding power outlets, Wi-Fi and other technological requirements.  The majority of the library collections are housed within the central area, however, there separate sections for music, teens, and an art library located on an upper floor.  Reference materials are located within the original reading room.
     Adjoining the library is the new renovated children's library.  The building housing the children's collection was a former bank, which was purchased in the 1950s and only recently renovated for the collections.  The children's library offers several programs to encourage developing reading skills in children, such as the BookBug programs aimed at children under five.  The library has also started initiative to engage children with reading disabilities, and are known for their efforts in starting reading groups and programs for children with dyslexia.  Books for the children's library are centrally ordered.
      Following our tour the Central Library, we were treated to a presentation by Jim Thompson about the library and its initiatives.  Perhaps the most interesting thing discussed was the library's creation of the Our Town software.  The software allows the user to view the changing of a given area via a photographic timeline.  The library was also the first library system to develop an app with full access to library collections and information.  The newest libraries being added to the Edinburgh system are housed within community hubs; a collection of community and cultural resources housed within the same building to save costs and space.  Due to the high number of branches within the city, residents are never more than a mile and half from a library.  The library system also operates mobile libraries, prison libraries, and hospital libraries.  The library system has a number of outreach programs geared towards bring people into the library and helping residents improve skills, such as Library 4U aimed at teaching job and social skills to patrons under 25.

No comments:

Post a Comment