In 1922 Dr Ernest Savage took over as principal librarian and transformed the service in almost every aspect. He introduced direct access to the books for the public (something previously forbidden). The Library of Congress Classification system was introduced and the specialist departments of Music and Fine Art were established.
Other branches continued to appear across the city with Leith opening in 1932, Colinton in 1934 and Corstorphine 1936.
Libraries took to the roads with the introduction of the first mobile service in Scotland in 1949 serving areas without permanent library buildings.
The reach of the library also increased with the introduction of a housebound service in 1964 through cooperation with WRVS volunteers. A library link service was launched in 1992 providing transport to and from the library for users who, due to physical constraints, would be otherwise unable to visit.
Over the years the library service has maintained an archive of its own history and development. Numerous photographs depict the staff at work and also off duty. Plans, drawings and staff registers all help paint a vivid image of the libraries’ history.