Monday, July 26, 2010

Central Library at Edinburgh

Our tour at the Central Library at Edinburgh was filled with information about the different departments within the library. First, Allison presented information about the Library Development of Digitization (Digital Library). The Virtual Library was developed only a year ago. It provides 24/7 availability and brings e-services together. Their upcoming project are downloadable e-books. The library has discovered that patrons are wanting more online resources, rather than searching through the reference section. Your Edinburgh is a community website on the library's main page. The focus is providing information that people really need. The webpage also has a photo collection, which consists of 3,500 photographs. The Images of Edinburgh shows how the city has changed over the years. 2,000 patrons are subscribed to the e-newsletter. This is a great tool for patrons to know what is going on in the library. The library also has a Wordpress blog, Tales of One City, which promotes the library. They post daily. Twitter is also a very effective way of communicating and monitoring what patrons say about the library.

Annie Bell and Colin discussed the Reader Development department. The purpose of this department is engaging with readers, and learning how to expound their reading and library experience. They have author events. Author events are usually once a month, between 150-180 people attend, and the writers are generally Scottish. "Crime in the City" was a crime themed author month where different crime authors went around the city, promoting their books. Reading groups are very popular within the 26branches of the library at Edinburgh. There are over 100 reading groups, but most are private. Another program that has been implemented is Read A Loud, which consists of reading poetry and showing photos to the elderly. There are 5 care homes in Edinburgh that participate.

Karen talked about conservation and special collections. The collection dates back from the 15th century to present. Their preservation is usually done outside the library by conservators. The trouble with conservation is money. It costs 500£ to de-acidify a book. Karen's advice is to always justify your decisions when it comes to conserving.

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