McDonald Road Library temporary closure

McDonald Road Library will be closed for essential building work from 13th July, re-opening on Monday 27th July.
A mobile library service will be provided on Monday,Tuesday, Friday and Saturday whilst the Library is closed.

 

The story of Edinburgh Libraries. Part 3 of 3

From one public library in 1890 there are now 28 branches across the city each providing an important service to the community. As well as providing access to information, libraries soon became places to gather and attend events.

Edinburgh’s newest libraries at Drumbrae and Craigmillar have developed this idea with the library housed in a community hub where members of the community can also access other council services.

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Drumbrae Library Hub

Craigmillar Library

East Neighbourhood Centre and Craigmillar Library

There’s always been more to the library than books on shelves. In Edinburgh, libraries have played host to some great events and celebrations over the years.  The recent development of Edinburgh Reads has seen numerous author events take place across the city.

Story hour at McDonald Road Library

Story hour at McDonald Road Library, 1962

 

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Ian Rankin and Jeffery Deaver at an Edinburgh Reads event

On opening the library’s catalogue was listed in books. Technology has come a long way since then.  Computerisation came in 1974 when Central Fiction began lending through an offline system. Public internet access was introduced in 1998 and now all libraries have WiFi. Readers can also access services through a mobile app and a growing collection of electronic resources and e-books are accessible online and through mobile devices.

Public access internet launch in Central Library

Public access internet launch in Central Library

Brodie's Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh

Brodie’s Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. Reproduction of Bruce J. Home pencil drawing from ‘Old Houses in Edinburgh’. One of the many treasures you can find on Capital Collections.

Over the years, a number of donations have helped shape the special collections held by Edinburgh Libraries. Particular highlights of this collection include the Henry Dyer Collection of Japanese woodblock prints, woodblock printed volumes and painted scrolls; the personal items bequeathed by Charles Boog Watson. Robert Butchart and Thomas Ross as well as an extensive collection of early photography documenting Victorian Edinburgh.

Many of these items form the backbone of Capital Collections, our online image database.

Find out how much you know about Edinburgh Libraries with this quick, fun quiz

masthead quiz

 

The story of Edinburgh Libraries. Part 1 of 3

Original Architectural Drawing of Central Library

Original Architectural Drawing of Central Library

On 9 June 1890 the doors to the first public library in Edinburgh opened to the public.

In the run up to our 125th anniversary we’ll take a look at some of the significant developments which have taken place over that time.

Andrew Carnegie layse the foundation stone of the Edinburgh Free Library

Andrew Carnegie lays the foundation stone of the Edinburgh Free Library

Edinburgh was the last Scottish city to adopt the Public Libraries Act doing so in 1886 when Andrew Carnegie donated £50,000 to the city to build a free library. Building commenced in 1887 and was completed in 1890. The building was designed by architect George Washington Browne in a French Renaissance style.

‘Let there be light’ is carved above the entrance; something Carnegie insisted should appear on all libraries he funded. Other notable features on the building’s facade include three large roundels depicting the coat of arms of the City of Edinburgh, the arms of Scotland and the royal arms. Nine small square reliefs run along the building relating to the history of printing in Scotland.

One of nine small square reliefs on the exterior of Edinburgh Central Library

One of nine small square reliefs on the exterior of Edinburgh Central Library

The library opened with three departments: Reference, Lending and the Newsroom. Hew Morrison was appointed principal librarian in 1887. In his 34 years in post he was responsible for developing central library and five branch libraries.  A bequest of £50,000 from publisher Thomas Nelson in 1891 funded the development of branches at Dundee Street (1897), Stockbridge (1900), McDonald Road (1904) and St Leonards (1914). Morningside opened in 1905.

McDonald Road Library in 1912

McDonald Road Library in 1912

 

Find out how much you know about Edinburgh Libraries with this quick, fun quiz

masthead quiz

Last minute Animation Studio for younger animators at McDonald Road Library

animation studio in action

Since February we’ve been running an #artcore Animation Studio for teenagers with Red Kite.

Young people from all around Edinburgh have been coming together and bringing their stories and designs to life with expert guidance from animators from Red Kite, Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh College.

As a treat for our younger audience Red Kite will hold an Animation Studio for aspiring animators aged 5-12 next Thursday and Friday at McDonald Road Library.

The studio runs over two days, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th April from 11.30am-1.30pm at McDonald Road Library, 2-4 McDonald Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4L.

The studio is free and all equipment is provided, just bring your imagination!

Contact Fiona@redkite-animation.com to sign up.

McDonald Road Library temporary closure

McDonald Road Librarywill be closed from tomorrow (Monday 23 March) to Thursday 26 March (inclusive) for essential building work.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Borrow a human!

Next Monday from 5.00 – 7.00pm McDonald Road Library hosts a Human Library, in association with LGBT History Month.

Learn about living history through the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people contributing to the richness of cultural diversity in Scotland – please come and interview a LGBT ‘human book’.

All welcome!

For more information email nigel.chipps@lgbtyouth.org.uk or call 0131 555 3940

Learning English and making friends: Tomasz’s story

Hi. My name is Tomasz and I am from Poland. I work in hospitality.

Although I attended college to study English and I have been trying to meet as many native speakers as possible I have not felt satisfied with progress of my English. I was simply not confident. Native speakers talking to me with full speed often made me feel uncomfortable. I did not understand everything they were telling me and often I felt embarrassed to ask for explanation or even repeating.

Then Tomasz joined one of our Chatabout ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Reading Groups. 

Discovering that I am able to read a whole book in English changed things  a lot. Well, books we read at Chatabout group are written in a  simple language, are not too thick, neither scientific. But all in all I read books in English not in my native language, and this is a fact. And even more importantly,  I can talk afterwards about it in English too. The book and discussion are adjusted to our level of English but it builds my self-esteem greatly.

The social aspect is also important

At our monthly meetings we not only chat about a book but also there is a space to learn new words and we are encouraged to ask for meanings of  the difficult ones.

In a friendly atmosphere we also find  time to talk about any interesting topic, and to share our views. For me it is like meetings with friends, a lot of fun and I am assured I will always learn something new and have a great time.

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Thansk to Tomasz for sharing his story.

There are three Chatabout Reading Groups where you are most welcome to join us and improve your English, gain confidence and meet new friends: at Fountainbridge Library on the second Tuesday morning of each month, at McDonald Road Library, on the last Thursday morning of each month, and a new group starting at the Central Library, meeting the first Wednesday afternoon of each month. The groups are ideal for those learning English at Intermediate Level. To find out more details please contact Wendy.pearson@edinburgh.gov.uk

esol chatabout