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 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 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.


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

esol chatabout

Meet the author: Gordon Anthony

On March 18th McDonald Road Library hosts a visit from a remarkable author.

Registered blind, Gordon Anthony found himself with time on his hands after retiring.

With the aid of special computer software, he returned to his hobby of writing. This was a wise move.

Gordon’s debut novel, “In the Shadow of the Wall”, was published in 2010 to critical acclaim, including a four star review in The Scotsman.

Gordon then ventured into crime fiction, and has attained a worldwide following for his “Constantine Investigates” series of spoof murder mysteries.

Book online to hear Gordon talk about his latest work and his experiences as a blind author.

Don Paterson OBE at McDonald Road Library

Acclaimed Scottish poet, writer and musician Don Paterson will be speaking on the theme of ‘Journeys’ for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day (Monday 27th January).

As a sign of respect we will be asking guests to help us recreate ‘Path’ in line with the Journeys theme by writing a message, poem or quotation on a memorial brick.

Contact or call 0131 529 5636 to reserve your place at this event.

What is a Social Media Surgery?

McDonald Road Library hosts Edinburgh’s latest Social Media Surgery on Wednesday 14th August from 5.30 – 7.30pm. We caught up with James, one of the “surgeons”, to find out more

A previous surgery at McDonald Rd Library. Photo courtesy of Lilly Hunter (@lillylyle)

What are social media surgeries and who are they for?

Social Media Surgeries are informal sessions aimed at helping people make the most of the web and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They take place across the UK and are run by volunteers (the “surgeons”) offering their time and expertise to help individuals, local voluntary or community organisations, charities, clubs or societies looking for a bit of advice. They are completely free and very relaxed. You don’t need any particular skills or knowledge of using the web – our surgeons can help you whatever level you’re at.

Why are you doing this?

The web and social media sites have opened up new worlds of communication for millions of people worldwide. They are a powerful tools for campaigning, collaborating and engaging others; helping charities to spread their message, allowing volunteers to come together, and empowering citizens to become more active in their community. The surgeries aim to help more people make use of these wonderful tools – our surgeons have all found ways to use social media to improve their lives and the lives of those around them, and they want to share that!

What’s been your experiences of the surgeries you’ve attended?

Every surgery is different, and each person who comes along brings something new – whether it’s a surgeon with a great tip for a useful new website, or a patient with a challenging question that makes us all stop and think! But what they’ve all had in common is the wonderful buzz in the room – the excitement of the surgeons not knowing what they’re going to be asked next, and the genuine appreciation of the folk who come along and get all this great advice and support for free! It’s so rewarding to start with someone who knows nothing about any of this, and to have them tweeting or blogging just a hour or so later!

What if I want to be a surgeon?

The surgeries rely on the goodwill of those who come and offer their time to help others. The surgeons don’t have to be “experts” – in fact, we strongly believe there’s no such thing as a social media expert! If you think you could spare a couple of hours to come along and help someone to discover the world of social media, visit to see when our next dates are and follow the links to sign up to say you’re coming – this helps us to ensure there are enough chairs and biscuits!

Thanks James!