Thank you Santa (and Edinburgh Libraries!)

Did Santa give you a lovely techie present for xmas? Well, if you did receive a new tablet or phone for Christmas, you can give yourself a further gift of free ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers!

Your Edinburgh Libraries membership card allows you to access an amazing range of downloadable services that will save you money and enhance your free time.

eBooks
Add the Libby app from OverDrive to your new device for the easiest access to thousands of quality, free ebooks for the whole family.

 

 

 


Audiobooks

Don’t sign up for expensive audiobook services – use our free ones instead! We have four brilliant apps giving you access to thousands of bestselling audiobooks.


 

 


Magazines

You’ll find it hard to leave your armchair after you discover our amazing range of downloadable magazines!

 

 

 

Newspapers
Read a huge range of daily newspapers for free with PressReader including Scottish, national and international titles.

 

 

 

You’ll find full instructions on how to get started on our Your Library website. Want a hand getting your device set up for using these services? Then pop in to one of our eBook Drop-in sessions on Tuesdays from 2-3.30pm or the first Thursday of the month from 10.30am-noon on the Mezzanine in the Central Library.

‘The Nutcracker’ Christmas quiz for children

Central Library is delighted to offer the chance to win tickets to see ‘The Worst Witch’ at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre on Tuesday 7 May 2019.  2 pairs of tickets have been generously donated by Capital Theatres for this family-friendly show based on the book by Jill Murphy. Definitely something to look forward to in 2019!

The performance is suitable for children 7+ so you must be aged between 7 and 11 to enter the competition.

To be in with a chance of winning, complete The Nutcracker Christmas Quiz at Central Library. Pick up your quiz sheet from the Children’s or Music Library and remember to hand back your completed sheet before your leave the library. All the answers can be found in The Nutcracker display which is on view on the Mezzanine level at Central Library.

The competition runs until 31 December. Remember to include parent/carer contact details so that the lucky winner can be contacted on 11 January 2019.

Good luck!

Children’s art competition

Christmas has come early this year! We’re delighted to have the support of The Royal Lyceum Theatre who have very kindly provided a prize for a Children’s Library art competition.

Enter a drawing or painting on the theme of ‘Peter Pan’ for a chance to win a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) to a performance of The Lyceum’s eagerly anticipated Christmas show, ‘Wendy and Peter Pan’. The ticket is available on either 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th or 13th December 2018. The competition is open to anyone aged 5-11 years.

Here’s how to enter:
1. Draw or paint on an A4 sheet of paper a picture relating to ‘Peter Pan’.
2. Write your name and age on the back
3. Ask your parent/carer to put their email address or phone number on the back also.
4. Hand in your artwork to the Central Children’s Library, 7. George IV Bridge, EH1 1EG
5. Please note, the library will not be able to return your artwork
6. The closing date is Saturday 24 November 2018
7. The winner will be notified on Tuesday 28 November 2018. Prize to be collected from Central Library

Good luck!

The twelve library days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my library gave to me:

The daily paper
Loads of Bookbug sessions
Jazz music streaming
Digital drop-ins
A place for study
Online image archives
A funding website
Free ebooks!
eMagazines
Homework help
Audiobooks
and a really handy library app!

 

Dickens and the Victorian Christmas

Central Library has a new display entitled ‘Dickens and the Victorian Christmas’. Here’s a taster of the exhibition which you can visit until the end of December.

It’s hard to imagine, but at the beginning of the 19th century, Christmas was hardly celebrated. Many shops and businesses did not even consider it a holiday.

It was Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who popularised most of the aspects of Christmas we recognise today. In 1848, The Illustrated London News published a drawing of the royal family celebrating round a decorated Christmas tree, a tradition carried on from Prince Albert’s childhood in Germany. Soon, many homes in Britain had a tree bedecked with candles, homemade decorations and small gifts.

A very merry Christmas, c1900

The first Christmas card appeared in 1843 with an illustration showing a group of people round a dinner table and a Christmas message. By the 1880s sending Christmas cards had become hugely popular. 11.5 million cards were produced in 1880 alone!

Crackers first appeared in 1848 when a British confectioner, Tom Smith, invented a bold new way to sell sweets. Inspired by a trip to Paris where he saw bon bons – sugar almonds wrapped in twists of paper – Smith created a simple package filled with sweets that snapped when pulled apart. The sweets were replaced by small gifts and paper hats in the late Victorian period.

Christmas for the Victorians was a festival for the family and a time to gather in the best room in the house and play parlour games. Some, such as Blind man’s Buff, Charades and Twenty Questions, are still played today.

The Young Folks by Randolph Caldecott

The custom of decking the walls and windows with sprigs and twigs took on a more elaborate affair with homemade paper decorations and colourful paper chains appearing in homes.

While Charles Dickens did not invent the Victorian Christmas, his book ‘A Christmas Carol’ is credited with helping to popularise the traditions of the festival. Its themes of family, charity, goodwill, and happiness encapsulate the spirit of the Victorian Christmas and remain central to the Christmas we celebrate.

Between 1843 and 1848, Dickens published five Christmas novellas, one of which was to become one of the most oft filmed, staged, read, sung, repeated, copied, adapted Christmas stories. A Christmas Carol’ was written in October to November and published in December of 1843. By January of 1844 it was on its third edition. In February, the first theatrical production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ took place with a further eight productions appearing in quick succession. In the years that followed Dickens published ‘The Chimes’ in 1844, ‘The Cricket on the Hearth’ in 1845, ‘The Battle of Life’ in 1846 and after a break of a year which he is said to have regretted, ‘The Haunted Man and the Ghost Bargain’ in 1848.

As well as being a prodigious talent, Dickens was a canny businessman and for all the later Christmas novellas, the theatrical production opened on the same day as the book publication.

Dickens was the owner and editor of two literary magazines, ‘Household Words’ and then ‘All the Year Round’, where serialisations of his stories appeared along with contributions by other writers such as Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins. In both magazines, Dickens regularly wrote Christmas stories and special Christmas issues were produced.

There are many Christmas tales in the Library by Dickens and others, why not borrow one today?

 

With thanks to our colleagues in Museums and Galleries Edinburgh and Information and Learning Resources for lending us the many curios included in the display.

 

Christmas and New Year opening hours

Libraries’ opening hours over the festive period:

Saturday 23 December – normal hours
Monday 25 December – closed
Tuesday 26 December – closed
Wednesday 27 December – normal hours
Thursday 28 December – normal hours
Friday 29 December – normal hours
Saturday 30 December – normal hours
Monday 1 January – closed
Tuesday 2 January – closed
Wednesday 3 January onwards – normal hours

Don’t forget, you can download free ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers from Your Library throughout the holidays.

With very best wishes for the season from Edinburgh Libraries.

The news of Christmas past

We’re still in the Christmas mood and have been flicking through the pages of the British Newspaper Archive, delving into Christmases past.

1918’s panto at the King’s Theatre was Jack and The Beanstalk… Oh yes it was!

Jack and The Beanstalk- 1918

5th January 1918

In 1900 there was a “Great Christmas and New Year Carnival” in the Waverley Market, which had been turned into “a veritable Fairyland” and not a big wheel or German Market in sight!

carnival

25th December 1924

In 1920 the coolest Christmas gift was a gramophone…..fast forward 96 years, and once again it’s appearing on Santa’s list.

gramophone

24th December 1920

With Christmas Day only becoming a public holiday in Scotland in 1958, most workers were lucky to get a half days holiday to celebrate….

co-op

22nd December 1924

All these ads were taken from the Edinburgh Evening News, but there are over 14 million digitised pages from more than 700 UK and Irish newspapers available on the British Newspaper Archive. You can browse for FREE in Central Library’s Edinburgh & Scottish Collection and Reference Library.

So do come and have a look yourself and use the Libraries computers to explore thousands of newspapers from 1710-1954 for FREE.