Yarn Bombing Ratho

Ratho residents awoke to a colourful sight last week, as the village was transformed into a woolly wonderland! Ratho Library’s guerrilla knitters have been secretly working hard for the last few months on woollen lengths of many patterns, and have created hundreds of brightly coloured pom poms.

Photograph of Yarn bomb

Ratho Yarn Bombs

The Ratho Library knitting group were helped by knitters at Sighthill Library and by many other members of the community, eventually producing enough material to create cosy trees, decorate the fences and plant a field of pom poms! Children from the village helped with the decoration, and local teenagers have agreed to keep an eye on the knitted creations, so that the efforts of our knitters can be seen by all. Ratho Gala Day, which was on Saturday 10th June, is a day where Ratho residents celebrate the fantastic spirit of community that exists in their village, and through the yarn bombing efforts, our library borrowers have played their part in ensuring that Ratho is looking it’s best for this special day.

How Dazzle designs lit up Easter

We ran Dazzle workshops over the Easter holidays in libraries across the city to see what interesting and varied patterns people would come up with for their empty ship outline.

More than 150 people took part over the holidays in events at Central, Moredun, Muirhouse, Oxgangs, Fountainbridge, Wester Hailes, Sighthill, Stockbridge, Granto, Ratho and Sighthill.   As you can see from our pictures there were a variety of techniques and approaches used by people of all ages!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The resource was really intuitive with children of all ages quickly understanding how the resource works with some people returning to libraries to have another go, improving, refining and redrafting their patterns!

Many people liked colouring-in their patterns but there were interesting experiments with collage, fantastic detailed pencil illustration and bright, vibrant painting.

Feedback said the events were “a bit different” “really interesting” “worked great as a joining-in activity” “would like to see more events for families doing a project together” and “Very welcoming staff. I liked the idea of the project. It would be great if the project was promoted in schools.”

Staff at Granton thought that having examples of different techniques was a useful way to inspire people and create varied outcomes and a member of staff at Wester Hailes used his experience as a draughtsman to design a 3D template based on the initial outline.

Wester Hailes 3d

The events were our first attempt to do some work on Dazzles with a view to doing more work with schools this term, the forthcoming commemoration for the Battle of Jutland and the unveiling of Ciara Phillips’ Dazzle Ship and close partnership with Edinburgh Art Festival supporting exciting creative activities in libraries over the summer holiday.

Huge thanks to Ellis McKenzie for designing the outline and Out of the Blueprint for RISO printing the beautiful templates, and massive thanks to all the staff in libraries who took made it possible for so many people to Dazzle up their Easter break!

If you’re interested in finding out more about Dazzle or using the resource in your school, library or after-school club contact Colm Linnane on colm.linnane@edinburgh.gov.uk or 0131-242 8121.

Dazzle the Library this Easter!

During the First World War, the artist Norman Wilkinson was stationed on minesweepers in the Mediterranean. He came up with a clever idea to confuse and misguide U-Boat crews who wanted to sink ships.

© Imperial War Museum (Art IWM PST 4624)

© Imperial War Museum (Art IWM PST 4624)

Using striking patterns and clashing colour schemes, Dazzle camouflage was put on thousands of ships, many of them stationed at Leith. The Dazzle Unit, stationed at the Royal Academy of the Arts, was composed mostly of women who were students at the RA and who produced designs on paper and onto models.

This Easter, Edinburgh Libraries want to see your Dazzle ideas. Why not come along and try out your ideas on one of our specially designed templates!

We will have events in Central Library, Fountainbridge, Balgreen, Muirhouse, Granton, Sighthill, Wester Hailes, Stockbridge, Ratho and South Queensferry.

Keep an eye on local library Facebook pages and our events calendar for details of what’s happening, there’s something for everyone so get involved!

This is the start of an experiment about doing more with art and design in Edinburgh Libraries.

How could we make Dazzle bigger and better? How could we scale up your designs? What would you like to do once you’ve created your pattern, selected your technique, where will your Dazzle lead you?

Dazzle the Forth has been made possible by partnership between Edinburgh Libraries and City of Edinburgh Council Arts and Creative Learning. The partnership aims to sustain work undertaken on the Heritage Lottery funded Project Kitbag which encouraged young people to respond creatively to the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War using objects and documents from the period as a stimulus.

The template has been designed by local designer Ellis McKenzie and printed using the RISO print studio at Out of the Blueprint, sustaining work Edinburgh Libraries have been doing with #artcore.

For more details about Dazzle in Edinburgh Libraries contact Colm Linnane, Service Development Leader, Edinburgh City Libraries. colm.linnane@edinburgh.gov.uk

Colouring in craze comes to Edinburgh Libraries

Edinburgh Libraries’ first ever colouring-in groups for adults will be getting underway soon at Ratho and Sighthill, in response to the craze that’s made its way here from mainland Europe.

colouring inIn France, sales of colouring in books for adults outstrip those of recipe books. Seen as a way to reduce stress, many adults on this side of the channel have also been joyfully rediscovering their childhood pastime, with discussions about colour combinations and favourite designs receiving hundreds of comments on social media.

Our colouring-in groups will provide tea, pencils and some very intricate designs to get to work on.

The Ratho group starts on Friday 15th May 11am-12.30pm and will meet every fortnight thereafter.

The Sighthill Library group starts on Monday 20th May 6.30pm-7.30pm and will get together weekly.

Contact Ratho Library on ratho.library@edinburgh.gov.uk or 0131 333 5297 or Sighthill Library on sighthill.library@edinburgh.gov.uk or 0131 529 5566 to find out more.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid giveaway

You can pick up a FREE copy of Jeff Kinney’s hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid in the following libraries tomorrow:

Wester Hailes, Ratho, Moredun, Fountainbridge and Kirkliston.

(You can pick up a FREE copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid in other libraries as well, only difference is that you have to bring that one back after three weeks!)

The giveaway is part of the Just Read campaign which you might have read about on social media or seen on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. It’s all about encouraging parents to spend ten minutes reading with their children every day.

A report by Read On. Get On. revealed hundreds of thousands of kids are leaving school without adequate reading skills and that one in seven children aged 8 – 11 years does not own a book of their own at home. Millions of children are readers because of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Jeff Kinney’s work is perfect for turning reluctant readers on to books. With 50% words and 50% cartoons, the books are 100% hilarious and children agree – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck was voted by children as ‘Favourite Book’ in the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

As well as the giveaway, children who visit the libraries on 13th September will be able to enjoy other events on the day:

Author Jonathan Meres brings his unique brand of hilarity to Fountainbridge Library’s special hour-long event – the fun starts at 2pm.

Kirkliston Library is hosting a Wimpy Kid Party for ages 7-12 years from 2.00pm-4.00pm. Design your own Wimpy Kid book cover, make a badge to take home, and play our new Wimpy Kid board game!

Moredun Library are hosting a Diary of a Wimpy Kid fun day from 2pm – 3.30pm. There will be different activities for all ages to join in with: create your own character clay head, badge making, Diary of a Wimpy kid mask making and painting, plus a special Diary of a Wimpy kid treasure hunt around the library!

Ratho Library will be having a visit from author Jonathan Meres at 11am (busy man!), and afterwards we’ll be making reading diaries together.

Wester Hailes Library will be hosting author Janis Mackay at 2.30pm and then making a reading diary.

Win a day out at the Zoo with Tiger Tales

If you’re at Edinburgh Zoo on Saturday 24th May between 11am and 3pm come and help us celebrate the launch of Tiger Tales, our new story and craft group for parents with children aged 4 -8, with stories, crafts, activities, face-painting and loads of fun!

Tiger Tales logo new promo

For a chance to win a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) to the launch and entry to the zoo for the day, come along to one of the libraries listed below holding Tiger Tales sessions and enter the colour- in prize draw. The prize draw is for Tiger Tales session attendees only. Entries must be completed by 5pm Saturday 17th May and winners will be notified by Monday 19th May.

You can come along to Tiger Tales sessions at:

Fountainbridge Library – Saturday 17th May 3pm-4pm and every third Saturday after.

Moredun Library – Every Thursday 3:05pm-4pm

Ratho Library – Friday 9th May  2:30pm-3:15pm and every second Friday after.

Sighthill Library – Friday 2nd May 2pm-3pm and every second Friday after.

Wester Hailes Library – Friday 9th May 2pm-3pm and every second Friday after.

Hope you see you there!!!

News round-up: Hidden Gardens, Loving Hands and the Golden Age of Crime

Let’s take a trip round libraries to find out what’s happening:

Behind the historic and famous buildings along Edinburgh’s world famous Royal Mile lie some of our city’s best kept secrets – each with their own story to tell. Find out more at Corstorphine Library at 6.30pm on Wednesday 3rd July, when Jean Bareham from Greenyonder Walking Tours will give an illustrated talk entitled ‘Edinburgh’s hidden gardens’.

Call 0131 529 5506 or email corstorphine.library@edinburgh.gov.uk to book a place.

Meanwhile, an exhibition at Ratho Library looks back at the Golden Age of Crime, featuring work by writers such as Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, G.K. Chesterton and Dorothy L. Sayers.

The genre first took off just after the beginning of the First World War, with readers warming to the distinctive characters and good sense of purpose that all these books seemed to share.

Many of these writers subscribed to the ten rules of crime writing devised by Ronald Knox (who when he wasn’t writing mysteries was a priest). These rules included ‘the crime cannot have been committed by the detective’ and ‘there must be a sidekick who is a little less clever than the average reader’.

For much younger readers, our Reading Rainbows book-gifting project continues apace. Sighthill, Ratho, Wester Hailes and Fountainbridge Libraries have been working in partnership with local primary schools, Information and Learning Resources and Family Learning to gift pre-school children and their parents with a Reading Rainbows pack. Inside the pack there are two books to share, a pen and whiteboard to practice writing and tips for parents to encourage their children to get the most out of sharing the books.

Over at Central Library there’s been an enthusiastic response to the ‘Extraordinary Ordinary Women‘ exhibition, staged in association with Bonnie Fechters and the Glasgow Woman’s Library.

The display celebrates some of the ordinary women from Edinburgh and The Lothians who achieved extraordinary things which influence the way we live now.  Well worth a look, the exhibition continues until 26th June.

Finally, beginners and experienced crafters are invited along to ‘Loving Hands‘, a group who knit, sew and crochet for charity. The group meet on the third Tuesday of the month from 2.45 – 4.15pm at Gilmerton Library. Coffee, biscuits and a natter guaranteed.