A week in art space

The space art shuttle has blasted off from Central Library but for a week during half-term, we enjoyed a fun-packed week of space art and craft creating flying rockets, making craters and galaxies, designing planets with collage, and painting and sticking with glitter!

Thanks to all our space artists who came along with their parents and carers for family fun and to our space librarians who led these workshops.

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This event formed part of Edinburgh City Libraries’ celebration of the annual UK Big Draw held during October each year, promoting drawing for all and its facility for changing lives and stimulating creativity. This year’s theme was ‘The STEAM Powered Big Draw’, with a focus on bringing together Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths in school curricula worldwide.

Jeffery Archer launches new book in Edinburgh

Join Jeffrey Archer who launches his new book ‘This Was a Man’ as part of the
the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Booked! programme this November.

Photograph of Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer

The publication of this, the seventh and final instalment in his epic number-one bestselling Clifton Chronicles, will bring to a thrilling conclusion the spellbinding series which has captivated readers since 2011.

Archer will be in conversation about the new release, the series, and his life and career with journalist Ruth Wishart at the Usher Hall at 7.00pm on Wednesday 9 November.

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “Jeffrey Archer spoke at the very first Edinburgh International Book Festival, back in 1983 and it seemed appropriate to invite him back to Edinburgh to close his latest epic series as we approach the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a world leading Festival city.

With the support of City of Edinburgh Libraries, the Book Festival is inviting members of local reading and community groups who have never previously attended an Edinburgh International Book Festival event to come and hear Jeffrey speak, encouraging more people to develop a love of books and reading by bringing them together with an international bestseller for the first time.

This event is part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Booked! programme, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Tickets priced £12 and £10 for concessions are on sale from the Usher Hall.

Psst! Top author events for Book Week Scotland

Not one, but two very special author events are coming to Central Library for Book Week Scotland.

On Wednesday 23 November at 6.30pm, the Faber Crime Panel  who have been touring Scotland reach Edinburgh. Come and see Doug Johnstone, Rod Reynolds and Sarah Ward in conversation about their latest novels before they open the floor to audience questions.


meet_maggie_03And then on the evening of Friday 25 November, bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell comes to the Reference Library to chat about her seven fabulous books, including Instructions for a Heatwave (shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award) and her most recent smash, This Must Be the Place.

Don’t miss the chance to hear from this compelling Edinburgh author. Tickets will go fast!



Join in with the Big Library Read

blr-fb-cover-no-ctaThe next OverDrive Big Library Read is kicking off on 13th October, and its a Young Adult title this time – the #1 New York Times bestseller This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. There will be unlimited access to this ebook from 13th – 27th October so get online and download it!

The story features an American high school shooting told from four perspectives over the course of 54 harrowing minutes. The students of a fictional high school struggle to both survive and understand why one boy started shooting at 10:00 am. The author provides a unique look into what it’s like to experience a school shooting through the eyes of students. It confronts this subject realistically but without graphic depictions of the violence the students experience.

There is a discussion board available for readers to post their thoughts and there will also be a podcast with the author. Instruction sheets are available online to help you get started with OverDrive. Why not encourage your friends and family to download it too and host your own book club evening.

Scars on the City

Scars on the City: Edinburgh in World War One was an exhibition that ran from February to June 2015 at the Museum of Edinburgh. The exhibition drew on Edinburgh Museums & Galleries’ extensive wartime collections to explore the everyday lives of Edinburgh people during the War. Objects like shrapnel from a zeppelin raid, soldiers’ knitted socks and a Red Cross nurse doll were displayed to help transport visitors to a time of terror, hardship and, sometimes, adventure.

Doll: Red Cross nurse of World War 1

Doll: Red Cross nurse of World War 1

The exhibition’s curator, Vicky Garrington, says that the wartime toys and games from the Museum of Childhood were a big hit with visitors:

“People were surprised to find out how clued up young people were about the details of the War. Cigarette cards taught them about ranks, army signals and artillery, while board games challenged them to evade mines and bombs en route to Berlin!”

Board game from World War 1: To Berlin

Board game from World War 1: To Berlin

Meanwhile, shrapnel from bombs dropped by German zeppelins bring home the reality of the first war to be fought not just overseas, but on the Home Front.

The quirky and poignant objects from the exhibition are now available to view on Capital Collections, together with the stories that bring them to life.

Win the chance to see the Moromasa Handscroll!

This is your chance to win one of four pairs of tickets to attend a private viewing of the
Moromasa Handscroll on Thursday 27th Oct 2016 at 6.30pm in Central Library.

This unique painted scroll has undergone 2 years of intensive conservation, funded by the Sumitomo Foundation.


To see the amazing results of this work, and to enjoy an evening of art, entertainment and light refreshments, just answer this rather tricky question:

Which organisation funded the conservation work on the scroll?

E-mail your answer to libraries.specialcollections@edinburgh.gov.uk by 20th October including your library membership card number.

You must be a library member and aged 18+ to enter. Only one entry per library card is permitted. The winners will be notified by email by 21st Oct 2016.

Good luck!

Dr Poem on call on National Poetry Day

To celebrate National Poetry Day on Thursday, Dr Poem came to Central Library dispensing a little bit of poetry to our readers. Poems were prescribed to patients according to their mood.


We also collected comments from the patients:

Poems help me get through life


To do…get the messages

Read a poem


Remember the poem

Create the feeling

Life is good!


The rain in Wells

Runs mainly into drains

Unlike the rain in Spain

Which drains into the wells


Get the messages



To make potage!


A wonderful idea


Words to make the world a better place


Our Doctors consulted the fantastic Scottish Poetry Library website for help with prescribing the right poem remedy.