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 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.

The Sitooterie Garden Journals

In early 2012, in the Sitooterie overlooking her Colony flat garden at Slateford, artist Mary Archibald started keeping a journal of the daily activity. Rising early each morning, she witnessed the garden come alive with birds, insects and animals.

Mary has continued her journal every day, observing the growing plants and wildlife that visit the space. The pages record Mary’s daily musings and sketches on life in her garden and through them we also get to know the regular visitors and their habits, favourite foods and places.

The first 5 journals on Capital Collections span February 2012 to October 2015 but Mary continues to date to document the natural world on her doorstep.

‘I wake to a splash of red in the garden and the poppies have started opening…
Lots of starlings again…
The babies are really funny, quite bemused looking as if they are wondering what it is all about… then remember it is about food and squawk at their parent…’

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 31st May - 2nd June 2012

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 31st May – 2nd June 2012

‘I hope the temperature goes up soon as the sunflowers are almost ready to be planted in the ground…
Great stooshie in the sky… Sparrowhawk, it floated around for ages being chased by a very brave blackbird…
Tiny tadpoles just beginning to wriggle in their spawn like little live commas…
Mouse breakfast: Focaccia
Close up the pigeons are very beautiful…’

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 26th - 29th April 2013

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 26th – 29th April 2013

‘There’s a frog croaking in the pond … a contented croak like a cat purring …
And Robbie is bathing in the birdbath.
The garden is full of sunflowers.’

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 30th September 2014

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 30th September 2014

‘5 frogs in the pond this morning and very happy they will be as it’s not too cold but very wet!
The temperature is up and down like a yo-yo these days.
The frogs are back under their duvet this morning…
Tulips from Lidl’s. More beautiful now almost gone.’

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 25th - 27th February 2015

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 25th – 27th February 2015

‘Bees buzz everywhere…
Lots of honey bees… They love the Tropeleum and the Foxgloves… disappearing completely inside each Foxglove flower… then backing out tail first…’

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 11th - 12th July 2015

Sitooterie Garden Journal entry for 11th – 12th July 2015

The diaries are a wonderful all-year round record of flora and fauna in an Edinburgh urban garden. Browse each Sitooterie Garden Journal on Capital Collections:

Sitooterie Garden Journal 1

Sitooterie Garden Journal 2

Sitooterie Garden Journal 3

Sitooterie Garden Journal 4

Sitooterie Garden Journal 5

With huge thanks to Mary Archibald for sharing her journals with us.

Join us in deep space for this year’s Big Draw Family Art Workshops!

Dock into our space station on the Mezzanine floor of Central Library for a fun-packed afternoon of art suitable for all the family everyday from 2.00 to 4.00pm on 17 – 21 October.


Imagine what equipment we’ll need in our space station and help us create with recycled materials. What will our food, clothing, flight tools, and spacesuits be like? What can we see from our space station? Come and make the planets, stars and alien spaceships that we’ll see from our space station.

No need to book – just drop in. Space coffee, tea and biscuits are provided.

The event forms 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 is ‘The STEAM Powered Big Draw’, with a focus on bringing together Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths in school curricula worldwide.