Thursday 18th September is “Read an eBook Day”

Overdrive, our eBook provider, have decreed this Thursday (18th September) Read an eBook Day.

eBook Day Carousel 540 x 242

Obviously there are other things going on that day as well but hey, we’re not going to pass up any chance to spread the word about our library eBooks service, especially when there are Nexus tablets to be won EVERY SINGLE HOUR.

To be in with a chance of winning one all you need to do is share your e-reading experience on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #eBookDay or commenting directly at

Good luck!

If you’d like to know more about borrowing eBooks and audiobooks from the library visit our Overdrive pages.

You can also give us a call 0131 242 8047 or email with any questions or queries and we’ll have you up and running in no time.

Beer, banking and biscuits…

… or, should that be pottery, papermaking and publishing?

Edinburgh is renowned for many things and our latest story on Our Town Stories gives a potted history of some the city’s well-known (and lesser-known) industries, some of which still survive today.

Portobello Paper Mill

Diary of a Wimpy Kid giveaway

You can pick up a FREE copy of Jeff Kinney’s hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid in the following libraries tomorrow:

Wester Hailes, Ratho, Moredun, Fountainbridge and Kirkliston.

(You can pick up a FREE copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid in other libraries as well, only difference is that you have to bring that one back after three weeks!)

The giveaway is part of the Just Read campaign which you might have read about on social media or seen on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. It’s all about encouraging parents to spend ten minutes reading with their children every day.

A report by Read On. Get On. revealed hundreds of thousands of kids are leaving school without adequate reading skills and that one in seven children aged 8 – 11 years does not own a book of their own at home. Millions of children are readers because of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Jeff Kinney’s work is perfect for turning reluctant readers on to books. With 50% words and 50% cartoons, the books are 100% hilarious and children agree – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck was voted by children as ‘Favourite Book’ in the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

As well as the giveaway, children who visit the libraries on 13th September will be able to enjoy other events on the day:

Author Jonathan Meres brings his unique brand of hilarity to Fountainbridge Library’s special hour-long event – the fun starts at 2pm.

Kirkliston Library is hosting a Wimpy Kid Party for ages 7-12 years from 2.00pm-4.00pm. Design your own Wimpy Kid book cover, make a badge to take home, and play our new Wimpy Kid board game!

Moredun Library are hosting a Diary of a Wimpy Kid fun day from 2pm – 3.30pm. There will be different activities for all ages to join in with: create your own character clay head, badge making, Diary of a Wimpy kid mask making and painting, plus a special Diary of a Wimpy kid treasure hunt around the library!

Ratho Library will be having a visit from author Jonathan Meres at 11am (busy man!), and afterwards we’ll be making reading diaries together.

Wester Hailes Library will be hosting author Janis Mackay at 2.30pm and then making a reading diary.

Portobello Book Festival 2014

Hats off to the organisers of the Portobello Book Festival. Once more they’ve done themselves proud.

Among the many authors appearing this year are Jenni Fagan (The Panopticon), Catriona McPherson (the Dandy Gilver series) Angela Jackson (The Emergence of Judy Taylor), Vicki Jarrett (Nothing is heavy), Meaghan Delahunt (To the island) and Isla Dewar (Women Talking Dirty).

There’s also performance poetry, writers workshops, an introduction to book design, and sessions on knitting, Walter Scott, John Muir and understanding dementia.

Sounds good doesn’t it? View the complete programme then get yourself down to Portobello Library to collect your free tickets.

The festival runs from 3rd – 5th October and is dedicated to the memory of Heather Neal: colleague, reader and friend of Portobello Book Festival.

Tom Palmer scores at Edinburgh Central Library

‘Just to say many thanks for the evening with Tom Palmer last night. My husband took my son and two friends and they all really enjoyed it and had to be persuaded to stop reading last night.’


Just the response we were hoping for, and perhaps what we come to expect from the enthusiasm and empathy Tom Palmer always brings to his sessions with children for whom reading is often a struggle.

This time Tom was focusing on his book ‘ Over the Line’ published by dyslexia friendly experts, Barrington Stoke, which is based on the true story of Jack Cock who played professional football for Huddersfield Town before signing up to fight in World War One.

That he scored England’s first international goal after the end of the war doesn’t give too much of the plot away – it is a gripping story that captures the horrors and emotions of the war, accurate and sensitive to the real men who fought in the trenches, reminding young readers of the links between past and present.

Tom captured everyone’s’ attention with the ‘real life’ war sign- up papers of Jack, war photos of the Football Battalion and cigarette cards featuring characters in the book.- and of course, his ‘reading goal challenge’ that involved all participants kicking a soft ball around the bookshelves after answering some topical sport and story questions! Top scores again, Tom, for an inspiring evening!

Burke & Hare’s Edinburgh

Find out how two Irish men became Scotland’s most notorious serial killers in the latest tale from Our Town Stories.

Burke & Hare: The Westport Murderers takes you through the gory story of how opportunism and the thirst for medical knowledge conspired to create crimes that scandalised a nation.

21676 Execution of  William Burke

The story is illustrated with a fascinating range of images of Burke and Hare, their accomplices, victims and the scenes of the crimes.

World War One training trenches

A week after war was declared on August 4th 1914, the ‘Your King and Country Need You’ slogan was released to recruit men to Kitchener’s army.  Tens of thousands of men responded and were trained for war. Many more would be conscripted to the cause as the months and years drew on.

Just outside the boundary of Dreghorn Barracks, in verdant woodland lies a hidden reminder of the soldiers who joined the conflict and the lives lost. A small network of neglected World War One training trenches can be discovered by the amateur archaeologist amongst the overgrowth. It is often assumed that allied troops were ill-prepared for the trench warfare of World War One but in fact, remains of military practice trenches like these exist all over the UK.

World War One training trench

It is thought that live ammunition would have been thrown and fired down the embankment from Dreghorn Barracks’ grounds towards the men taking cover in the trenches. It was an attempt to equip the troops for their imminent departure for the Front, though undoubtedly they could not have been prepared for the full horrors of trench warfare.

View more pictures of the trenches on Capital Collections.

You can find out much more about World War One practice trenches as well as other physical markers on Britain’s landscape remaining from the conflict from The Home Front Legacy project.