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.


Explorers at the Library: Edinburgh Art Festival families programme

This year the Edinburgh Art Festival’s Explorers families programme comes to Central Library for free weekly creative art making sessions suitable for ages 8-13. These sessions are inspired by the EAF artist commissions programme and the ‘Making of the Future’ theme. Join us weekly or drop in for a one-off session to creatively re-imagine your city.

“Tower” by Toby Patterson, Dunfermline 2014

Each session will look at a different artist and include 2D and 3D arts activities such as building a miniature bothy inspired by artist Bobby Niven, designing a modernist city after artist Toby Paterson and creating inflatable giant flower sculptures inspired by artist duo Walker and Bromwich.

All sessions will be held in the George Washington Room within the Central Library

Thu 6 July 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Walker and Bromwich
Create your own inflatable sculptures and model dragons inspired by Walker and Bromwich’s Dragon of Profit and Private Ownership.

Thu 13 July 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Bobby Niven
Design and build your own miniature bothys and dens inspired by Bobby Niven’s Palmhouse.

Thu 20 July 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Shannan Te Ao
Make musical instruments and write your own musical score inspired by Shannan Te Ao’s use of Maori songs and proverbs.

Thu 3 August 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: Toby Paterson
Make your own 3D collage of a fantasy building, drawing on Paterson’s modernist architectural influences.

Thu 10 August 2-4pm
Explorers at the Library: The Making of the Future
Design and build a miniature installation in the library, of a future Edinburgh city centre inspired by the “grandfather of town planning”, Patrick Geddes.

In celebration of the children’s work the outcomes of each workshop will be exhibited in the Children’s Library for the last week of the festival, 21-27 August.

These sessions are free and all materials are included. Booking is recommended, but not essential. To book call  0131 242 8040 or visit

Teddy bears’ sleepover at Central Library

Last week some very special guests got to spend the night in Central Children’s Library. Here’s what they got up…

When the children arrived with their teddies, they all enjoyed a storytime together.Storytime

And then they went on a bear hunt… looking for a bear…One shiny nose, two big eyes…
Oh, no, it’s a …. bear!

bear hunt

Run, run, all the way home!

But not before there’s time for some bear crafts, making teddy bear bookmarks.

8 crafts v2

And a tasty snack before bedtime.

10 snacktime

The children had one last dance with the teddies…

32 teddies to bed

… before putting the teddies to bed.
Night night Horsey
Night night Little Tiger
Night night Pilchard and night night Charly
Night night Baby and night night Sheepy
Night night Panda, sleep tight Cheeky Monkey, sweet dreams Dala, snug as a bug Bernie, don’t get lost Paddington, night night Mr Bukowski.
We’ll come and get you in the morning.

34 teddies to bed

All snuggled up for sleep…

36 bed

Ahhhh. Sweet dreams –

– but wait a second, what’s going on? The teddies have got out of bed and they’re playing cards and games…

21 cards


30 paint

and lego!

29 lego

Teddy DJ Cheeky Monkey plays the tunes.

28 monkey dj

And then it’s competition time. Who can climb the highest?

23 climbing

Who can jump the furthest?

24 furthest

Mr Bukowski takes a wander to the Lending Library to find something to read.

26 Bukowski

At last the bears are sleepy and they get ready for bed.

wash time

Finally tucked up in bed, there’s time for one last bedtime story.

12 bedtime

Night, night everyone, we can’t wait to tell the children what fun we’ve had.
14 bedtime

Morning sleepy heads… it’s breakfast time.

15 breakfast

Let’s choose some books for children to borrow from the library.

16 choosing a book

And we have to remember to tell them to join the Big Friendly Read challenge!

19 SRC

Here they are, waiting for the children to arrive to take them home.

20 home time

Bye bye teddies, come again soon!

Lari Don, Chatterbooks Champion!

Marking National Chatterbooks Week, we were delighted to welcome as our Chatterbooks Champion, Lari Don, much-loved local author and story-teller.

Lari Don Chatterbooks Champion

She engaged, encouraged and inspired her audience with tales of shape changers and mythical magic.

Chatterbooks groups offer primary school children a chance to discover more about the joy of reading, exploring new authors, and having lots of fun.

A new group is starting in Central Children’s in November, meeting the first Monday of each month, 6pm – 7pm! Contact your local library to see if there is a group for you.

Chatterbooks: helping younger readers with dyslexia

‘I like getting to pick books and showing off my acting skills! I like playing ’just a minute’ Hannah, Chatterbooks member

chat 2

Our very popular Chatterbooks Group for  P4-7 children with dyslexia meets once a month in the Central Children’s Library.

We have lots of fun with stories and words. There is always time for reading together in small groups, playing some crazy games and exploring stories together. Usually we make A LOT of noise!

Email or call 0131 242 8022 if you or someone you know would like to join us. We start up again on Tuesday 26th August, 6.00 – 7.30pm

‘I really enjoy helping with chatterbooks, it’s such a happy environment! It’s incredibly rewarding to work towards engaging the group in reading. It’s amazing to see the transition in going from struggling and disliking reading, to becoming involved and choosing books to take away and read in their free time!’ Ali, volunteer.

chat 1

‘I love chatterbooks! It’s great because I get to play and meet others who need extra time to read, like me. I like the books and hearing the stories too’. Charlotte, Chatterbooks group member.

Happy birthday to us!

On the 15th May, the new Children’s Library will have been open for 1 year.  We’ve got an amazing programme of events to celebrate our first birthday.

  • Borrow a mystery book – from the 11th May, you might find a golden envelope and win a £10 book token.
  • Guess how many books we’ve loaned in our first year! Post the entry forms in the craft room and we’ll let you know the winner after the 22nd
  • Bookbug – on Friday 15th May, Bookbug will be coming along to our usual session and there will be a present for every child attending.
  • Birthday party – on Friday 15th May 2.30-4pm. Like all good parties we’ll have juice, cake and lots of party games. We’ll even have a lucky dip for some helium balloons.

Come along and join in the fun!

Central Children’s Library closed

Due to a power outage the Central Children’s Library is temporarily closed. We’ll let you know when it reopens.