Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Edinburgh Central Library

Today we visited the Edinburgh Central Library. This is one of the best public libraries I have ever been to! They had all kinds of great programs in place for their patrons. The building was also interesting because each of the different departments were separated by staircases off of a main lobby.

When we got to the library, we took a tour of the building and all of the different departments. First, we got to see the reference library. This department is not a lending library. They also still use a card catalog for older books, which was interesting to see! We also got to see the art library, which has some very cool books in it. Some of the books are considered works of art themselves. One of them was covered in fur! The library also has a music section. This department has a piano patrons can use to work on their music.

We also toured the children's library. I was particularly interested in this section, because I would like to work in a children's library some day. They had just finished remodeling this section and it was beautiful! The shelves were all white, but there were splashes of color inside some round reading nooks. I would love to have a reading room like that in my house! They also had a separate room for infants and toddlers. This room had a huge bookcase in the wall that looked like a tree! It also had large murals of children's book characters, such as Abigail the giraffe. There was an arts and crafts room for children and parents to use, in which they offered craft sessions. They also had a teen area in the music department. There was a small bookshelf of teen books and some couches and tables for them to use.
The children's library

The tree bookcase

At the end of the tour, we were served tea and cookies while we listened to a presentation by Jim Thompson about strategies the library is employing to bring in patrons. Some of these programs include a smartphone app, that allows patrons to manage their loans. They also have an interactive map online that tells the history behind local landmarks, and superimposes old pictures and new pictures, so patrons can see how the city has changed. They also have reading groups for children and adults.

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