Thursday, August 11, 2011

Central Public Library- Edinburgh

The libraries in Edinburgh treat us so very well! After a fantastic visit at the NRS, we headed to the Central Public Library in Edinburgh. I’ve found that I enjoy visiting the public libraries most of all because I find that I would love to work most in a public library or school library setting. After all the visits to the archives, I found it so refreshing to visit a public library! We first learned about the different sections of the library: digital information services, reader development,  computer literacy, and library promotion. With digital information we learned about the Edinburgh Library Online service, YourLibrary, the outreach using social media platforms like facebook and twitter, support and help plasma screens in the lobby and around the building, and mobile apps for iPhone and Android. The library also offers services to encourage library use, such as prep for driver’s tests, free genealogy searches, and Library2Go, which promotes audio book mp3 downloads and ebooks for users. The library has the goal of providing 24/7 online library service to users in addition to the physical library, or instead of the library, for some users.
The library also works for reader development; the library hosts author events, book groups, displays and collaborations with stores and companies, and City of Literature events, which promote literature in Edinburgh. They also partner with literary organizations such as, the Scottish Book Trust, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and the Edinburgh Book Festival, to name a few. The goal is to get people to read more and more variably. Next, we heard about what the library does in terms of Computer Literacy and literacy and numeracy for adults. Central Public Library offers LearnIT which offers informational seminars on the basics of using computers. ITBuddies is another service offered that allows volunteers to help master basic computer skills in one-on-one situations.  The library also aids those adults that are non-native English speakers or those who never really learned how to read by offering book challenges to encourage reluctant readers and Adult Education classes(coming in September).
The Central Public Library greatly encouraged me with the passion they have in staying up to date and working to meet the needs of their users. I was so impressed with their services offered and the staff that were so willing to assist us as we toured and learned more about the workings of the library.

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