January’s Art Exhibition

The Free Personality Test, an exhibition of paintings by Brian Cheeswright opens on 5th January in the Art and Design Library.

Brian Cheeswright (b. Harrow, UK, 1978) is an artist who divides his time between Edinburgh, Scotland where he currently lives and Eastbourne on the South coast of England where he maintains a studio at his parents’ home. He completed an undergraduate degree in Fine Art (Painting) in 2004 at Brighton School of Art.

Although primarily a figurative painter, most of Brian’s work unfolds in free and open experimentation of the painting medium, and as a result many of his pictures move far off into the realm of abstraction. He considers all painting to be an abstraction from nature, but for this show Brian has chosen to put together those works which seem to have crossed completely over into this mysterious territory.  The paintings have an open-ended quality in which they could be on the verge of becoming something else: perhaps suggesting an emergent personality of their own.

The exhibition runs from 5th January to 30th January 2019

Art & Design Library Exhibition

Eclectic Collection, a group show of artworks by visually-impaired artists opens this week on Monday 3rd December in the Art & Design Library.

The exhibition features art works by members of several artist groups including Hillside Visually Impaired Art Group, and VIEW (Visually Impaired Experimental Works).  Hillside Visually Impaired Art Group is a group of blind and partially sighted people from all over Edinburgh and as far as North Berwick.  They meet at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) headquarters in Edinburgh once a week to pursue their love of creating artworks of all forms, shapes and sizes.  VIEW is a small art group of three visually impaired artists who wanted to have more opportunities to go out and about and experience a wider range of art techniques and to take part in more specialised workshops.  Both groups rely on the support of their dedicated volunteers and tutors in creating their work.

Here is how the artists describe their creative processes and techniques:

“Some of us like to paint, mostly in acrylic, others like to model in clay, and one lady even made a truly awesome cardboard robot!  For some of us, tactile materials are important in helping us make the artworks.  Some of our techniques involve using swell paper.  This is a form of paper treated with alcohol.  A carbon marker is used to draw on it, the paper is pushed through a machine which heats the carbon in the marks and causes them to rise, thereby enabling us to feel our drawings.  Another technique is using waxed string.  This was actually developed as a creative activity for children, but we have found it to be incredibly useful in helping to draw lines that can be adjusted to achieve the desired image. Clay is a great material too as it can be used in different ways.  There are many types to choose from, some of which are more suitable for certain activities than others.  One type will be used for straightforward modelling, another used as a base for plaster-work, and some are suitable for using straight onto a picture.”

The exhibition runs for the whole of December.

Together We Read!

Our ebook supplier OverDrive, are holding another UK Together We Read digital book club, giving unlimited access to a popular ebook from the 1-15 November.

They’ve chosen a brilliant title this time – Circe by Madeline Miller, which scores 4.4 stars on Good Reads and is a Guardian “Must Read” title of 2018! This is the latest novel from Orange Prize winner Miller, who continues with her previous theme of Greek mythology. Circe, daughter of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. It’s an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation!

As usual the ebook can be accessed on tablet, smartphone, computer or ereader (except regular Kindles!) and full instructions can be found on our OverDrive help pages. Why not encourage your friends and family to read it too and host your own book group get-together!

For further information contact informationdigital@edinburgh.gov.uk or 0131 242 8047

Art & Design Library October exhibition

The Parrots by Edward Lear: an exhibition of fine art prints of Lear’s illustrations of parrots opens on Monday 8th August in the Art and Design Library in Central Library on George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. The exhibition runs from October 8th to October 31st.

Edward Lear is famous for his nonsense poetry and travel writing, but before his literary career, he was a talented ornithological illustrator.  In 1830, when Lear was still a teenager, he embarked on an ambitious and comprehensive series of hand-coloured lithographs.  This remarkable series of fine drawings was published under the title Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots and consisted of 42 drawings published in an edition of 175.

The exhibition features fine art prints of all 42 of these beautiful drawings, bringing a gorgeous splash of colour and life to the Art and Design Library.

PressReader drop-in sessions at Blackhall Library

We’ll be running a drop-in session on Wednesdays from 2-3.30pm at Blackhall Library starting on the 10th October for 6 weeks. Come along and find out all about using PressReader and get access to over 6000 worldwide daily newspapers and magazines including most of the big UK papers. You can read daily newspapers such as the Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News and The Herald for free, delivered directly to your own device or within the library.

Bring along your tablet, phone or laptop and we’ll help you get set up. Or we’ll show you how to use it on library devices. Help will also be available for our other Library2go services too such as ebooks and audiobooks.

We also run regular Library2go drop-in sessions to get help with using downloadable ebook, audiobook, magazine and newspapers. Stop by the Mezzanine, Central Library  every Tuesday from 2-3.30pm or the first Thursday of the month from 10.30am – midday.

Digital drop-in back at Central Library

In addition to the regular Get Online groups run by the Libraries’, the Digital drop-in delivered in partnership with Edinburgh University returns to the Central Library from this Friday, September 28th. It will run each week from 2 – 4pm with student volunteers on hand and offering you the chance to bring along your computing device (be that a laptop, tablet or smartphone) and get help to sort out any difficulties or issues you may be having. We will work with you 1:1 so it can be a very basic problem, like for example, how to send photos by email or text, or possibly something a bit more complicated like how you save and organise all those photos! If you do not have a computing device we can also offer general advice on what to look for or perhaps get you started on the library public access PCs. If you have attended a previous Get Online group or just have a digital issue you need help with, please just come along – you will find us on the Mezzanine level, Central Library.

Remember there are other digital ‘surgeries’ also offered at Central which are specifically about providing assistance with the Libraries’ e-book/audio and e-magazine/newspaper apps and services. These are again on the Mezzanine level, Central Library, every Tuesday 2 – 3.30pm and the first Thursday of the month 10.30am – 12.

Dyslexia Chatterbooks Group

Calling all 8-11 year olds with dyslexia!

Come and join our fantastic Dyslexia Chatterbooks Group for children in Primary 4 – Primary 7, on Tuesday 25 September, 6-7.30pm in Central Children’s Library.

Group members working on book cover designs


We meet the last Tuesday of the month for an evening of fun reading games and book related crafts and activities. The group is run by library staff and supported by our fantastic volunteers, who tailor the programme to meet children’s interests and talents.

A typical session involves a story either told or read by a library member of staff/volunteer, some quick supported paired reading, drawing and story making games (e.g. reading bingo, word recognition, word searches). Acting out plays, poetry and riddle making are some of other popular activities with the group. There is also time for a snack and time at the end to choose a book for next time.

A visit from author Vivian French


We often have authors visiting the group meetings , most recently Lari Don and Vivian French, as well as other special events such as animal Zoolab workshops, magic shows and story making workshops etc which have all been popular.


For more information please contact:
childrenslibrary@edinburgh.gov.uk or 0131 242 8027.