Read together online

We are all finding innovative ways to communicate and keep in touch at the moment. Why not consider forming a virtual book group with your friends and family? Edinburgh Libraries provides a range of multi-access ebooks and audiobooks that you can all read or listen to together. Then you can use Facetime, What’s App, Skype or the phone etc to chat to each about the book!

OverDrive – Big Library Read
Running till the 13 April, OverDrive’s latest Big Library Read allows unlimited users to download the ebook or audiobook version of Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic by Michael McCreary. Like many others on the autism spectrum, stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn’t “look” autistic. But, as he’s quick to point out in this memoir, autism “looks” different for just about everyone.

OverDrive – always available ebook titles
A small, but perfectly formed collection of unlimited access ebooks from Canongate publishers is available on the homepage of OverDrive and Libby, Featuring fiction and non-fiction titles from authors such as Matt Haig, Caro Ramsay, Jess Kidd, Ambrose Parry, Scarlett Thomas and Patricia MacDonald theres something for everyone.

RBdigital – always available audiobook titles
Hundreds of the audiobooks available through our RBdigital service are multi-access – so no queues. Enjoy instant access to authors such as Val McDermid, Santa Montefiore, Tony Parsons, Jeffery Deaver, Marian Keyes, Ian Rankin and Jane Fallon. RBdigital can be played on your  phone, tablet or computer.


uLIBRARY – Talking Books Book Club
Listen to the fantastic Holding by Graham Norton on our uLIBRARY audiobook service from 1 April. Norton’s masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss set in an idyllic Irish village, where a bumbling investigator has to sort through decades of gossip and secrets to solve a mysterious crime.


BorrowBox – Campaign titles
A new feature to BorrowBox audiobooks is the addition of campaign titles – so a cracking audiobook that everyone wants to read, available to everyone to download. We’ve got two brilliant campaign titles starting on the 1 April – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo (the perfect book to listen to when we are stuck indoors – you will transform your house!) and from Alexander McCall Smith, The Quiet Side of Passion (one of the immensely popular Isabel Dalhousie series).

Information about using our fantastic suite of Library2go downloadable services can be found on our Your Library website.

Access library services from home

Many of us will be staying indoors over the coming months due to the current health crisis. Edinburgh Libraries provide a range of online services that you can access from home that can help keep you occupied and entertained during these difficult times.

Library2go provides a fantastic range of free ebooks, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines that you can use on your tablet, smart phone or computer. Sign in using your Edinburgh Libraries membership number and PIN. Forgotten your PIN? Use our PIN Reset service. Not a library member? Use our online Join the Library service.

Newspapers – get access to your daily newspaper without leaving the house. You can get 250 UK newspapers including the Edinburgh Evening news, The Scotsman, The Herald, Scottish Daily Mail, The Guardian and the Daily Record on our PressReader service.

eBooks – thousands of best-selling books for adults, teens and kids can be found on OverDrive. Read through the OverDrive website your computer or with their brilliant Libby app on a phone or tablet.

Audiobooks – listen to best-selling books with fantastic narrators on our OverDrive, RBdigital, BorrowBox and uLIBRARY sites.These four downloadable audiobook services give you a wide range of adult, teen and children’s titles to choose from.

Magazines –  hundreds of UK and worldwide magazines are available to read through RBdigital and PressReader. So whether you’re in to Hello!, Amateur Gardening, Good Housekeeping, Auto Express, TV Times, BBC Good Food or Amateur Photography we’ve got it covered.

Please pass on this information to anyone you think might benefit from these services who maybe aren’t already members of the library. Or consider helping a relative or friend get started.

There are clear instructions on how to use all these services available from Any further questions please contact or phone 0131 242 8047.

Baby STEM at Muirhouse Library

Once Upon a Time…
…as all great stories are supposed to start. Not too long before Christmas 2018, a BIG box of resources arrived at Muirhouse Library. At first, we were a bit confused, we stood and looked at the box, we scratched heads and we wondered what to do.

So we rummaged, looking at this and that, until we stumbled upon a box of Lego Duplo. It wasn’t the biggest box of Duplo we had seen – and it didn’t have lots of pieces – but it looked fun. It’s name was Animal Bingo and from this little box, Baby STEM* was born (* in case you don’t know STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math!!).

Our journey begins with Bookbug…
…Bookbug sessions are popular at Muirhouse Library and we all know it has positive effects on early years child development. Parents often would stay after Bookbug for a chat and a cup tea. This gave us a bright idea!

As parents were already in the library, we could use this as a chance to try out our new activity. So when Bookbug finished, we asked the adults (after their cup of tea of course!) if they would like to stay and try out a this new activity called Baby STEM.

All the grownups thought ‘oh what a grand idea!’ In the first session we used the Animal Bingo. Out of the box there are eight animals to build with flash card instructions. Afterwards everyone asked if we could do it again next time and some even asked where they could get their own set of Animal Bingo. We were all so happy that everyone had a good time.

And finishes with a busy morning…
…since that first Baby STEM session, it has become a regular activity. The most popular activity with the babies is playing with the Lego Duplo. It has been fantastic and well received! Not only have we noticed that Baby STEM builds on the skills we encourage in Bookbug, but also it builds on some other skills too such as:

  • Hand eye coordination
  • Shape and Colour recognition
  • Matching and Counting
  • Taking Turns
  • Social development with other children
  • Adult-children interaction

From Baby STEM, we have seen children develop from struggling to find the right part when prompted and having difficulty with the fine motor control needed to put the blocks together. To being able to follow the flash cards and build everything themselves!

A Tuesday or a Friday morning at Muirhouse Library for our youngest customers starts with Bookbug at 10:30am, wrapped up with Goodbye babies and a sticker. Followed by short intermission for juice and a snack at 11:00am and then onto some Baby Stem around 20 to 30 minutes.

Then it is nap time for EVERYONE, and we all lived happily ever after.

Join in with our Digital Fun Day – Saturday 12th October

We are finishing off Libraries Week 2019 in style with a Digital Fun Day! On Saturday 12th October you can come along to Central Library’s mezzanine and get help setting up Library2go services on your device or your children can join in with a fantastic range of fun events –

Kids & Teen Events

  • Introduction to Micro:bits with CodeBase Stirling 10.30-11.30am
    Use pocket-sized computers to create simple games (ages 8-15 yrs)
  • Introduction to Coding with CodeBase Stirling 11.30-12.30pm
    Use codecombat to explore coding basics (ages 8-15 yrs)
  • Bee-Bot Robot Fun 1.30-3.30pm (drop-in, no need to book)*
    Program the bees to guide them along paths and mazes (ages 5-10 yrs)
  • Digital Bracelets Craft Event 2-3pm*
    Learn the basics of coding by making binary bead bracelets (ages 7-12 yrs)

* Children under 8 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Adult Events

  • Library2go Drop-in 11am-1pm and 1.30-3.30pm (drop-in, no need to book)
    Bring your tablet, smart phone or laptop along for help getting set up with the library’s ebook, audiobook, magazine and newspaper services.

All events are free, book your place on Eventbrite –

Contact or – 0131 242 8047 if you have any questions regarding these events.

Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service

Libraries have always been a place where people could get the help and information that they needed. That is why we are so proud to be able to offer access to the  Macmillan@Edinburgh Library service which provides support for patients, their families and carers.

Finding out that you or someone close to you has cancer can be a difficult time and sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Macmillan@Edinburgh Libraries have highly trained volunteers who will listen to your concerns and offer free, confidential support and information. As well as being good listeners they will provide you with leaflets to take away on all aspects of cancer and can help you access services such as counselling, transport to hospital and other support services.

Six of our libraries have Information Point stands with helpful leaflets that you can take away at any time. Most of these branches also have manned service times where can drop in to talk to one of our volunteers (these new times start from the 1st October)

Portobello Library Mondays 10.30am-2.30pm
Drumbrae Library Tuesday 10.30am-2.30pm
Leith Library  Wednesdays 10.30am-2.30pm
Craigmillar Library Thursdays 10.30am-2.30pm
Morningside Library Fridays 10.30am-2.30pm
Central Library Information Point only

For more information visit or email or phone 0131 242 8125

Macmillan Coffee Mornings – Friday 27th September

Join in with the world’s biggest coffee morning! Tomorrow people across the UK will be hosting coffee mornings at home, work or in the community, collecting donations for drinks and edible treats which are all given to Macmillan Cancer Support. And Edinburgh Libraries is no exception!

Newington Library will be hosting a coffee morning tomorrow from 11am until 1.30pm. There will be lots of homebaking available as well as some savoury items such as pakora and courgette and cheese muffins. They’ll have items available for vegans, vegetarians and lacto-intolerante as well as those with nut allergies!

Leith Library is joining in the fun too from 11-1pm and will have lots of tasy treats available for you to buy. Please pop in to Newington or Leith tomorrow and help support a good cause.

These along with the four other coffee mornings we’ve held this week also help to highlight the Macmillan Cancer Support services that you can access from many of our libraries. Look out for our forthcoming blogpost about this valuable service!

Meet the author event: Ambrose Parry

On the 16th October we will be hosting a special author event in the historic Central Library. Come along to the Reference Library to hear Ambrose Parry (Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman), discussing their new novel The Art of Dying. This is the second collaboration from this husband and wife team, following the hugely successful The Way of All Flesh. Their collaboration has created truly addictive historical crime novels, filled with period detail recreating a real feel of Victorian Edinburgh.

Ambrose Parry (AKA Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman)

Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Black Widow, winner of both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based.

The Art of Dying is set in 1840’s Edinburgh, which was at the forefront of modern medicine, thanks in part to Dr James Simpson’s discovery of chloroform. However, when one of Simpson’s patients is found dead in mysterious circumstances, the medical elite, wary of his growing fame, point to Simpson’s reckless use of chloroform as the cause. With their friend’s reputation in peril, Simpson’s protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher team up to discover the unthinkable truth behind the dead patient as they try to clear Simpson’s name.

Reference Library

This is a late addition to our Libraries Week programme, the theme of which is “Celebrating libraries in a digital world”. We wanted to feature an author who was hugely popular on our ebook and audiobook platforms and Ambrose Parry fitted the bill perfectly! Their first book The Way of All Flesh is available for unlimited downloads in ebook format through OverDrive and audiobook format on RBdigital and has been downloaded over 400 times by our readers. The Art of Dying is now also available as an ebook on OverDrive and in audio format on BorrowBox.

This free event will run from 7-8.20pm on Wednesday 16th October. Booking is essential. Tickets can be booked at EventBrite and the talk from will be followed by a book signing.