Tools out for summer!

Library users across Edinburgh can now pick up something a little different with their holiday reading. Thanks to the Edinburgh Tool Library, three libraries in the north of Edinburgh will soon host a ‘Tool Box’ – an extensive selection of tools available to borrow for an annual donation.

The Edinburgh Tool Library works exactly like a traditional library, except instead of books they have over 4000 tools to choose from. Since the Tool Library started in 2015, they have received donations of a wide range of power tools, hand tools, gardening gear and decorating kit. For the 800 members who have joined the Tool Library it has been of significant benefit to their pocket – and the planet!

The Tool Library are expanding their lending services to three libraries in the north of Edinburgh – Portobello, Piershill and Craigmillar. Each library will have its own fully equipped Tool Box, manned by a knowledgeable member of the Tool Library team ready to answer any questions you might have.

In addition to lending out tools, the Tool Library also undertakes numerous community projects, working with local people and groups to help them build the project of their dreams. Their Tools for Life programme offers mentorship opportunities to young people seeking employment. Working alongside retired professionals, participants get the chance to learn a wide range of joinery and craft skills.

The Tool Library welcomes donations of tools, used and new! They thoroughly check all tools to make sure they are in full working order before being lent out to members. They have a team of awesome volunteers and are always looking for people to join them! Whether you want to learn a new skill, or contribute one you already have, they can find a place for you in the team.

Joining the Tool Library is straightforward, and the annual membership fee is by donation – flexible depending on what you can afford. All members have access to the full range of tools and the fully-equipped wood-working workshop in Custom Lane in Leith. The Edinburgh Tool Library is a charitable organisation and any profits generated are fed back into their projects to enable them to help as many people and communities as possible.

Find the Edinburgh Tool Library at:
Portobello Library, Mondays at 4.30 – 7pm

From 15 August at Craigmillar Library, Tuesdays at 1 – 3.30pm
From 16 August at Piershill Library, Wednesdays at 4 – 6.30pm

If you have any questions, contact Anna at the Tool Library: anna@edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge has arrived!  The challenge for children aged 5-12 is to read six books over the school holidays. The theme is Animal Agents – who are investigating strange goings on in the library! Children collect stickers as they go and help crime busting creatures solve the clues to reveal the mystery!

On successfully completing the challenge, children receive a certificate and a gold medal!! There are also some excellent prizes on up for grabs this year including Dynamic Earth family passes, astronomy evenings at the Royal Observatory and Edinburgh Leisure passes, with more to be confirmed.

Pop into your local library and sign up to join in the fun. Borrow some animal agents themed books whilst you are there or any book you like. You can also find out what children’s activities will be taking place over the summer in your library whilst you are there. As well as borrowing books from the library you can even download some of our children’s ebooks and audiobooks to join in with the fun. Check out our Summer Reading Challenge collection on our OverDrive Kids site.

The Animal Agents adventure starts on the 23 June and runs until 27 August.

Seven uses for your library card besides borrowing books

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Could you be getting more from your library card?

Here are seven things that magic little piece of plastic entitles you to – and they are all wonderfully FREE:

1. Download free emagazines and newspapers with PressReader and Zinio

2. Read scholarly journals with Access to Research

3. Get help setting up a new business using the COBRA database

4. Trace your family tree with Ancestry

5. Get book recommendations from a real life librarian

6. Stream music with Naxos

7. Take a mock driving theory test with Theory Test Pro

How do you use yours?

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does using the library benefit you?

Library members and users are invited to join a focus group discussion about their use of Edinburgh Libraries, at Edinburgh Central Library on Thursday 5th November from 11 am  – 12 noon.

The group is run as part of a wider research project seeking to investigate the impact and value that public libraries have in the UK.

If you are interested in participating please call 07969 513087 or email l.appleton@napier.ac.uk

Refreshments will be served at the meeting and participants will receive a £10 Amazon voucher for taking part.

A helpful new feature on the library catalogue

We know that many of you use the handy ‘lists’ function on the library catalogue to keep a track of books you want to read, so we thought you might like to know that you can now add notes to any of the items you’ve got on your list.

lists

These notes will show up on any lists you choose to make public.

For an introduction to using lists see our previous post on ‘how to be a superborrower‘.

 

Your personal reading recommendations

“Received my recommendations today. Thanks very much, they’re really interesting and not books I’d have discovered myself. Great!” 

Want to broaden your reading horizons?

Simply fill in this form and we’ll get back to you with five unique reading suggestions.

And that’s it! What are you waiting for?

Level Up at Wester Hailes

lvlup5Level Up launched last year in Wester Hailes Library as a way to tackle low levels of reading among teenagers using the library. The library adopted an innovative approach to try to boost the reading habits among this group which tied reading into the more familiar territory of computer games.

We caught up with the level uppers at their AGM (yep, they take this seriously) as they plan the year ahead. A group of around 14 teenagers sit enthusiastically pitching ideas to Library Officer Tony Stewart for future activities and reward nights which include games tournaments, minecraft sessions to pizza nights and archery. The caveat being these must be earned through the accumulation of xp points they gain from reading.

lvlUp2Tony explains: “We brought  these two worlds together and in order to keep it as a group we made it weekly and based it around interesting activities for them to do and at the same time encourage them to take out books.  Gaining XP points as they take out books then creates a sense of achievement through reading.”

“The XP awarded to a book is based simply on how long the book is. Each list includes   5 short books/graphic novels, some of which are dyslexic friendly, and 5 longer books. This is to give those who have issues with reading the option of an easier read. Reading the shorter books means reading more books to reach the level cap but this adds to the sense of achievement in completing the level, encouraging them to try a longer book in the next.”

Like any game Level Up starts on “LvL1”. This consists of a list of 10 books, each with its own amount of XP reward. Once the player reaches the 1000 XP cap they can then move onto “LvL2” which has its own list of books and so on. Along the way the readers are given stickers to add to their reading journal to document their journey.

lvlUp4Tony says this approach has made a real difference: “We have seen higher borrowing levels in all the kids who take part and greater self-confidence and more enthusiasm for the library in general.”

“They all seem to have a feeling of ownership for the group as well which is one of the things we aimed to achieve. This has bonded the group quite tightly together.  They come to the weekly meetings now and take part in activities and now all leave with a few books tucked under their arms to get their xp points.

We have some who aren’t confident readers who are taking out books. They aren’t taking out tonnes or reading them all but even if they read a few I feel it makes a difference and we are making some progress.”

Everyone is also encouraged to share their new love of reading and discuss what they’ve been reading. This can take place during one of their weekly sessions or through a micro book review which they post to the Level Up twitter feed.  During our visit everyone is busy writing a love letter to the library, an event promoted as part of Book Week Scotland.

LevelUP Letters

Some of the boys taking part are happy to point out the benefits of the group:

Alex: I’ve been doing this for over a year. It’s great taking part in all the activities and games. I like building up my points and collecting the stickers and achievements for reading. It’s  good to come along to a group where you are rewarded for learning.

Daniel: You get different points for different books so there’s always something you can find to suit you. I’m currently on 595 xp.  I definitely take out more books now and where I never used to read much before and now sit at home and read for ages.

With the future year getting planned out so diligently it looks like Level Up has become a firm fixture in the regular events at Wester Hailes calendar and  is likely to expand out to some of the other libraries in the city.  If you are interested in taking part, ask in your local library for more details.

Follow Level Up and read reviews on twitter: @LVLUPxp