Edinburgh

Central Library

In 1890, the Central Library of Scotland was started as a public library. It was in 1920 when people were able to take a book off the shelf. In 1930, the building next door was bought for an expansion. It was refurbished in 2014. It is a great source for the local community with 1,000 visitors per day. They are a leader in digital services and dealing with youth.

I was fascinated by the reference library where one-third of the collection is available. It is a two story library with staircases in every pillar. Due to the timeless classic of the room, it is used for events. I like their term “editing” instead of using “weeding” for a collection. It was interesting to learn that a famous illustrator did the murals in the children’s room. As the city of Edinburgh doesn’t have a permanent dedication of a World War I nursing memorial, the library stepped up and has a place for it at this time.

The library staff presented two videos about projects that they are doing with great interest from their patrons. The first was called “Youth Talk”. It was about outreach to youth in community to find extra projects. The Youth was involved in process from the start, with their viewpoints, involvement, and agreement. The Library was used as local hub of engagement for the project. The second was called “Digital Toy box”. It was about how to engage youth with technology. They used Minecraft to make local landmarks and a 3D printer to make them in reality. They also used events to teach coding, robotics, synth kit.

The history of New College Library at Edinburgh University is that it started as a church. In 1843, there was a split from the Church of Scotland, so they had to build a library from donations. In 1930, there was church reunification in Scotland, so the library was back with Edinburgh University.

It is a five floor Theology library with a traditional reading environment. Due to a generous donor, a rare reading room is encased in glass for their special collections. They are hoping to digitize 500 items that are unique and prior to the 1800s.

In their collection, they use reader lists to buy books. There is a mixture of classification systems due to age of the collection. For example, new items are added using the Library of Congress classification system. Since ministers have no access to e-journals, the library needs to keep print copies. Their pamphlet collection is 35,000 items from the 16th to 20th century.

 

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