The library year: ten highlights of 2012

2012 wasn’t just about the Olympics, the Jubilee and the “salt and sauce” final. As the year draws to a close let’s take a look back at some highlights of the year in libraries. We could have included many more but decided to limit it to ten. So apologies if we missed out your favourite – and if we did let us know!

10. Love in a library

There you are, browsing the shelves, minding your own business, when the bloke standing along from you suddenly bursts into song. Then, instead of politely asking him to be quiet, a member of staff joins in.

Love in a libraryVisitors to several libraries were bemused, beguiled and totally taken with the ‘Love in  a library‘ series of guerilla operas that broke out in libraries as part of Edinburgh International Festival’s outreach programme.

9. Celebrating twenty years of a lifeline service

Launched in Muirhouse Library in 1992, Library Link provides transport to and from the library for users who would be otherwise unable to visit. Over the years the service has gone from strength to strength and now covers libraries across the city. In October regulars celebrated Library Link’s 20th birthday with parties.

8. Edinburgh Reads. And reads and reads and reads

From rising stars like Jenni Fagan to established names like Liz Lochhead, Alistair Darling and Maggie O’Farrell, this was a vintage year of free ‘Edinburgh Reads’ author events. Next year’s events kick off with a visit from former first Minister Henry McLeish on 17th January.

7. Knitting

These authors weren’t the only ones spinning yarns this year. A few years ago who would have predicted the explosion in popularity of knitting?

The Woolympians

These Woolympians, created by Sighthill Library’s Knit and Natter group, took Facebook by storm during the summer. Later on in the year Wester Hailes Library’s knitters made woolly hats for troops serving in Afghanistan, a great example of libraries’ place at the heart of communities

6. Art

Our ongoing commitment to supporting local artists bore fruit with the Inspired Library exhibition and accompanying ebook, and Central Library was the venue for a remarkable ‘A room with our view‘ installation put together by some of the city’s most talented young artists and writers.

A room with our view

5. Kenny Logan on Dyslexia

If you haven’t done so already take a look at this video of former rugby star Kenny Logan talking humbly and honestly about his experiences with Dyslexia, filmed at Drumbrae Library back in February. Powerful and moving.

4. Jonathan Meres

The brilliant Jonathan Meres won himself many new fans when he came up to launch the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge.

A perfect choice to get another reading-packed summer off to an absolute flier.

3. Winning the Library of the Year award

Yeah, we know. We’ve probably mentioned this before.

2. Two brand new libraries

The year started, and ended, with two brand new libraries opening in Drumbrae and Craigmillar. The speed with which these libraries have become focal points of their neighbourhoods is evidence of the hugely important role we have to play in building and supporting communities.

1. YOU

This city is full of people who are passionate about their libraries and feel a real sense of ownership and pride in them. Any success we’ve had is down to the fact that there are so many of you who totally believe in how important libraries are, and the enthusiasm you’ve demonstrated by supporting us in so many different ways.

So to everyone who borrowed, visited, joined, used, made a suggestion, or spread the word about libraries this year, a great big thank you.

Here’s to next year!

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