Saturday, August 28, 2010

Central Library, Edinburgh - 07/19/10

This library, located close to the Royal Mile, is quite large. It stores more than 850,000 items including books, periodicals, cd's, and audiobooks. Aside from the main library there is a fine art library that houses information on art, design, and photography to name a few. There is also a reference library, the central lending library, a learning centre where computers are available to patrons, and a resource centre for diabled people. The library has developed an online site for the community where local events, activities, and web resources can be located. Also information on health services, education, and advice support groups are found here.

The Edinburgh Room has a collection of over 200,000 items that deal with the history and life of Edinburgh. You are not able to check this material out of the library, as it is reference only, but access at the library is available. Proof of identification is all that is needed for viewing rare items. The collections include several biographies including Alexander Graham Bell. Manuscripts include letters, diaries, minutes, and recollections of various Edinburgh residents. There are also maps of the city that date from the 16th century to current times and literature that includes works by Arthur Conan Doyle, JK Rowling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Walter Scott. There is information on newpapers, religion, and theatre, as well as an image collection. The Scottish Library contains information on Scottish lineage, and there is a heritage website that includes the heritage image collection. Any and all information on Scotland in general can be found in this portion of the library as well.

For preservation the librarians try to keep the climate stable. The use acid-free papers and boxes, and any conservation measures are done outside, as opposed to in-house. Typically, spines that have been damaged are redone in a style and color close to the original.

The staff are trying to raise the profile of the library and have created a newletter to which 2,000 people subscribe. There is also a blog, "Tales of Once City" and they try to post daily. Twitter is also used and a "mystery photo" which is posted gets a large response from the community. Author events are scheduled, they try to have one event every month, from both emerging and distinguished authors. There are also many reader groups affiliated with the library.

Interesting link from libraries web page:

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