Dyslexia Chatterbooks celebrates another year

Our Chatterbooks group for youngsters with dyslexia recently had its annual knees up celebrations and the ‘special guest’ Mr Bookbug caused a stir when he arrived to present certificates and yearbooks to each member.


Parents and siblings enjoyed stories, songs, drama and games giving them a taste of what the group gets up to on a monthly basis!

The group meets in the Central Children’s Library on the last Tuesday of each month and is for children from Primary 4 upwards.

To cater for those moving up to senior school a new group has recently started, REDit! Senior 1-3 pupils with dyslexia are welcome.

We meet on the second Tuesday of each month, on the Mezzanine, Central Library. If you are interested in finding out more about either of these popular groups, please contact wendy.pearson@edinburgh.gov.uk

“No one feels judged on their opinion.” Conversation and cake with Morningside Library’s Book Group

IMG_4950The reading experience is something we take very seriously in Edinburgh Libraries, and one of the most successful methods of promoting the joy of reading  is through book groups.

There are dozens of book groups meeting in libraries across Edinburgh. These include specialist groups for teens, dyslexic readers, sci-fi fans and a group concentrating specifically on contemporary European Literature.

With  National Reading Group Day (20th June) fast approaching we visited one of our groups to join in the discussion on The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver


The group have been meeting at Morningside Library for a couple of years now and everyone was quick to point out the benefits. Martha, a first time book-grouper tells us:

“I’ve been really impressed by the level of conversation and all the different ideas which are brought to the group. Even if you have read a book you didn’t like so much, usually, following a discussion you want to read it again.

Also, books you may have rejected before you are now pushed to have an opinion on and think more carefully about them.”

Katrina agrees: “I think it adds more enjoyment to the book to think about in that way. The group is quite good in that no-one feels judged on their opinion. It is quite relaxed and open and easy to make conversation about the books.”


While  they enjoy tea and generous slices of birthday cake everyone agrees that the social aspect is a key thing for them.

Katrina tells us “it’s a regular group so we’ve all got to know each other pretty well. We’ve started meeting for coffees outwith the group. It’s a good way to reduce isolation for some people and an opportunity to make new friends”.

Do you run a book group? If so, you can borrow up to 15 copies of a title for your group – and with over 250 titles to choose from, you should find something to suit.

And if you want to find out more about book groups in your area visit Reading Groups for Everyone.

Summer ebooks for younger readers!

Adults aren’t the only readers getting unrestricted access to particular ebook titles this summer. The following two titles are available for younger readers to download – free – until 9th July.

Why not suggest your children host their own book group to chat about the book they’ve read?

New Picture (1)

For teens: Fat Boy Chronicles by Diane Lang.  A thought-provoking novel based on a true story which brings to life the pain and isolation felt by many overweight teenagers as they try to find their way in a world obsessed with outward beauty.

51-bvF5OkYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The children’s title is Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky by Sandra Dallas which details a dark period in American history when Japanese Americans were interned after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

Both titles are available from the OverDrive Kids & Teen site

It’s a mystery

The next OverDrive Big Library Read will be Eyes on You – a breathless and terrifying psychological thriller full of twists that will leave readers guessing until the final pages!

EyesOnYou_AvailableAsE-ARobin Trainer, a television show host and bestselling author discovers that her success has come with danger and an adversary with a dark agenda. This book is sure to have you reading late into the night as Robin desperately tries to unmask her enemy before it’s too late!

This title will be available as both an ebook and an audiobook from Tuesday until 23rd June on OverDrive. Both versions are multi-access so unlike other titles there’s no restriction to the number of users who can borrow them.

Portobello’s award-winning teenage book group

Congratulations to Portobello Teenage Book Group for their 2015 Adult Learners’ Achievement Award in the Young Adults Category.

The award ceremony was held in the City Chambers on Wednesday May 20th and thanks to Alex and Skye for attending to accept the award on the groups’ behalf.


The judges for the award said “The quotes from the learners about the impact of their learning were particularly powerful and the panel were very impressed”

Portobello Teenage Book group was founded in 2003 and is one of the longest running book groups in Edinburgh City Libraries. There are currently 14 members in S5 and S6 and they meet monthly during term time.

Although the focus of the group is around books, it’s also been a very effective forum to discuss and debate a wide range of social topics in an informal and non judgemental atmosphere. The members of the group choose the books for discussion which range from popular young adult fiction through to literary classics.

Our newest book group takes reading to another dimension

sci fi book group

‘Alternate Fiction’ is a new book group dedicated to sci-fi, horror, fantasy and graphic novels.

If you’re keen to explore far away worlds and mystical realms filled with ancient creatures and epic battles please come and join us.

Our first meeting takes place on Tuesday 12th May at 6pm at Wester Hailes Library, and we’ll meet monthly after that.

If you’d like to find out more email westerhailes.library@edinburgh.gov.uk or call 0131 529 5667


How much do you know about autism?

With the National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time coming to The Festival Theatre, we thought it would be a great idea to mark World Autism Day last week by engaging readers in a discussion about the novel.

And so last Thursday Central Library hosted ‘The Curious Incident of the Giant Book Group’.

autism awareness event

Councillor Ricky Henderson opened the event with a useful resume of council services and commitment to supporting those affected by autism.

Cerin Richardson, Learning and Participation Manager from the Festival Theatre then invited people to attempt the ‘Autism Spectrum Conditions Quiz’ which kick-started some interesting discussions among the groups present.

There are more males than females diagnosed with autism. True or false?

True! Well, actually, research suggests that the ratio of males to females diagnosed is about 4:1 although more recent research suggests that there are more females with autism than previously thought.

More than 500,000 people have autism in the UK. True or false?

Indeed that is also true:  research suggests that 1 in every 100 people has autism, and therefore, well over 500,000 have autism in the UK.

The MMR vaccination can cause autism. True or false?

Although there has been massive publicity on this topic, the weight of epidemiological evidence indicates that there is no statistically significant link between MMR vaccaine and autism…

Autism can be cured if treated early enough. True or false?

There is no cure for autism, but with the right support people can continue to learn and develop skills throughout their lives.

Cerin then went on to lead  a fascinating discussion, engaging those who had read and discussed in small groups,with invaluable input from Matthew Day, Service Coordinator at Autism Initiatives who has worked with adults on the Autism Spectrum for many years, and Amanda Wilson, whose son is on the spectrum. Amanda’s  personal experiences were very powerful and particularly appreciated by all participants.

‘ I particularly enjoyed the round table discussion and panel input, and linking the book to the play’

‘…Amanda’s account of being the mother of a boy with autism gave particular insight…’

‘I knew very little about autism at the start of the evening, but went away with much more understanding about the condition…’

Thanks to everyone who took part.