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.

Bookbug’s Library Challenge re-launch

Bookbug’s Library Challenge is a fun way to encourage young children to explore and enjoy their local library.

Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

As a result of the feedback from consultation, a few changes are being introduced to the materials we use to support the program. What better excuse for some Bookbug fun? Children from 2 local nursery classes came to Oxgangs Library to celebrate the changes.

We were delighted to have author/illustrator Alison Murray, who shared stories, songs and activities with us and each of the children also got a gift of a mini bookbug!

Alison Murray and the Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

Alison Murray and the Bookbug Library Challenge at Oxgangs Library

Bookbug’s Library Challenge runs in all libraries in Edinburgh. Talk to staff at your local library for more information.

Happy Read an eBook Day!

Today is the third annual International Read an eBook Day and you’re all invited to take part!  Read an eBook Day is a yearly celebration of modern story telling. It’s a day dedicated to promoting the convenience, capability and excitement that digital reading provides.

RAEBD---Social media image 2_504x504OverDrive, our eBook supplier, are encouraging people to use the hashtag #eBookLove today on social media to be entered into the  chance of winning a free tablet.

Visit the Read an eBook Day website for more information. There you’ll find reading recommendations, links to social media posts, a place to share what you’re reading and even interviews with authors who are participating in Read an eBook Day.

Show your #eBookLove all day long and join us in celebrating the ability to read anytime, anywhere!

Green fingers needed for annual writing competition

Young entrants in the Green Pencil Award will explore the competition’s theme, Scotland’s Glorious Gardens.

Last week children’s author Vivien French joined pupils form Preston Street Primary School  for a special writing workshop in Princes Street Gardens to launch the competition.


Image of Princes Street Gadrens

Amelie Colgrave, age 10, and Vivien French, author, admire the view in Princes Street Gardens

Children, who must be p4 to p7, can write a poem or story, which could focus on anything from a memorable visit to a Scottish garden like the Royal Botanic Gardens or a creative depiction of what the ideal Scottish garden would look and smell like.

Culture Convener, Councillor Richard Lewis, said: “This is a popular and engaging competition for budding writers across the city, and always produces many creative and compelling entries from young people.

This year’s theme should also inspire more visits to our fantastic range of parks and green spaces so I look forward to reading the creative writing to result from it.”

Image of children

Councillor Richard Lewis and children’s author Vivien French with pupils from Preston Street Primary School.


Find out how to enter the Green Pencil Award and inspiration for your poems from this library booklist 

The closing date is Friday, 14 October, with an awards ceremony to be held at the Central Library in late November.



Get Them Learning Online!

Recent research by the National Literacy Trust into technology and reading suggests that alongside books technology can play an important role for children in supporting early communication, language and literacy.

Edinburgh Libraries has got a brilliant range of online resources for children and teens to help them do just that! They are all available to use from home or the library. So get them started on –

  • OverDrive Kids & Teens – an ebook and audiobook site just for kids, filled with a fantastic array of titles and authors. Favourites include ebooks by Roald Dahl and the Harry Potter audiobooks read by Stephen Fry. As well as using a website version of OverDrive you can also use a range of easy-to-use apps.
  • GridClub – set them loose on this huge website with over 500 fun educational activities. Covering activities for children aged 5-12 years you’ll find lots of material on English, but also maths, science, history, languages, geography, health, art, music and more.
  • Spellzone – provides a full online course to improve your grammar and spelling and is suitable for ages 10 and above. Spellzone can also support pupils who are dyslexic or for whom English isn’t their first language.

If they need some support with maths as well get the best online help from –

  •  Mathletics – access the world’s most used mathematics website covering all aspects of maths with 1000 different learning activities for students aged 5 up to adults. Register your child at their Scottish school level so they are getting work at exactly the right level for them. As well as a huge variety of fun but educational maths activities, learners can also compete against others from all over the world in live maths games of speed and skills.

Five more reasons to use Zinio

PrintZinio our fantastic free emagazine service has got even better! We’ve added the following new titles:


Family Circle

Lonely Planet Traveller (on shortly!)

Mother and Baby

Top Sante

This brings the number of titles you can download up to 117 – including favourites such as Hello!, New Scientist, Amateur Photographer and BBC Good Food.

The full list of titles, along with instructions on how to set up your account, is on our Zinio page.