Routes to Roots: adopting Scotland as a homeland exhibition

Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council’s Routes to Roots: Adopting Scotland as a Homeland project has been exploring the shared heritage of Scottish and diverse communities and mainstreaming the histories of minority ethnic communities in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Working with the South Asian, African, Polish, Spanish and Chinese communities in Edinburgh and the Lothians we have conducted and filmed interviews with 30 members of these communities about their experience of making Scotland their home and comparing cultures. These have all been compiled into a book, ‘Routes to Roots: Adopting Scotland as a Homeland’, and we have also produced a number of podcasts exploring the different heritage in the city and organised visits to various religious and heritage sites.

The multimedia exhibition shows photographs and extracts from these people’s stories of making Edinburgh and the Lothians their homes as well as a number of our videos and information about the communities. The exhibition, like the book, focuses on four distinct periods of their lives: their background and life before coming to Scotland, their arrival in Scotland and early experiences here, their current life in Scotland and, finally, their views on immigration as a general concept.

The exhibition will be on display at Central Library from the 2 to 30 June 2018.

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, you can watch some of the project interviews and podcasts online via Capital Collections.

Singing for Spring workshops!

The Music Library is teaming up with community singer facilitator Ellie Logan to deliver two singing workshops for all ages and levels of experience – no sight reading skills required!

Participants will learn songs by ear (words provided) and even experiment with simple harmonies. It will be fun and informal.

There are two sessions running Saturdays 21 and 28 April. You’re welcome to attend either or both sessions as there’ll be different songs at each session.

Ellie Logan is a member of the Natural Voice Network and is an experienced facilitator of community singing.

Previous participants at workshops said:

“Enjoyed Ellie’s encouraging and lively style of teaching, the songs she taught, and singing with a group of like-minded people who enjoy this activity.”

“Came away feeling very happy, will definitely go to any future ones planned if I can”.

Book online via Eventbrite:
Singing for Spring session one – Saturday 21 April, 2 to 3.30pm

Singing for Spring session two – Saturday 28 April, 2 to 3.30pm

If you enjoy community singing, why not join a local choir? There are many which don’t require auditions and are open to all. If you want to advertise or join a choir look on Your Edinburgh, our community information directory.

The Music Library holds a wealth of material available to borrow on singing from sheet music, voice coaching and sight reading to recordings of your favourite singers. We can help you search for songs and provide multiple vocal scores for local groups. Contact or phone 0131 242 8050 for more information.

Five reasons to use Your Edinburgh

Your Edinburgh ( is Edinburgh Libraries’ community information directory. It’s a very handy website to have at your fingertips. Here’s why:

1 Easy search by keyword or category

2 Or search via geographic area of Edinburgh or postcode to find out what’s happening in your area

3 Information is updated and reliable. If information is not updated regularly, it is removed.

4 You’ll find entries for partnership libraries from the Edinburgh Library and Information Services Agency (ELISA) and highlighted Online Collections

5 Also, unique to Your Edinburgh, is the complete Get Up and Go programme activities online.

Heathervale Young People’s Centre and the knitters of Wester Hailes Library

Wester Hailes Library received an email back in February, calling for knitters and crafters to make some special items for an exciting new project.

Lesley, an Accommodation Planner for the Council, was in charge of designing the interior of the new Heathervale Young People’s Centre on Dumbryden Drive.  Not having a huge budget, Lesley appealed for help, and staff and service users of the local library, Wester Hailes, were very keen to be involved.

Once again, the ladies of the library’s ‘Knit and Natter’ group took up the challenge, and knitted and crocheted some amazing cushion covers, baby blankets and toys for the new young residents.

Wester Hailes Library Knit and Natter group

Wester Hailes Library Knit and Natter group

On 5th August, Lesley invited the group along to see the newly completed interior of the Centre.  They were really impressed, and pleased to see how their knitted contributions added to the warm, welcoming feel of the space.

‘It is an absolutely amazing home for the children and looks great with the colourful cushions in the lounge and den’.

Knit and Natter Group at Heathervale Young People's Centre

Knit and Natter Group at Heathervale Young People’s Centre

Lesley has kept some of the cushion covers aside, so that each child can choose one for their own room.

A huge thank you to everyone who created beautiful things, and also those who donated wool for the project!

Libraries on top of their game at Tynecastle’s Family Day for Kinship Care

Staff from Fountainbridge and Wester Hailes were delighted to represent Edinburgh Libraries at the recent Family Day at Tynecastle stadium.

Over 100 children and adults, plus some of the team’s famous faces, were there to celebrate the launch of Big Hearts’ new Kinship Care Programme.

Children joined in with activities including football coaching, music tuition, face-painting and stadium tours. Libraries’ staff hosted popular ‘Tiger Tales’ story and activity sessions throughout the day, with a prime view of the pitch as a backdrop. We practiced our stories before the children arrived!

Tynecastle 1

Meanwhile, carers were able to visit information stalls from a wide range of services, and get memberships for their families at the Libraries’ stand. We also asked children to enter our competition to design their own football strip, and received some fantastic designs!

We were proud to present Hearts legend John Robertson, the club’s record goal-scorer, with his own Edinburgh Libraries card. He said that he’d be sure to use it, as a keen reader and supporter of libraries!

Tynecastle 2

Families were also met by current Hearts stars Soufian El Hassnaoui and Arnaud Djoum.The ‘Big Hearts Kinship Care after school club’, a key component of the kinship care programme, kicked off on Tuesday 27th October and will be run weekly in partnership with leading kinship care charity, Mentor.

Look what we’ve collected!

Just thought we’d share some highlights from the many memories that have appeared on Edinburgh Collected since its launch in April.

This fabulous shot captures the story of our summer so far –

Edinburgh Rainbow

Edinburgh Rainbow shared by SKerr

‘From There to Here’ have added some simply spectacular photos of children playing on Wester Hailes’ ‘Venchies’, a series of wooden play structures. The pictures date back to sunnier summers of the late 70s and early 80s.

Venchie Fun shared by From There to Here

Venchie Fun shared by From There to Here

We’ve also been collecting memories of the Church Hill Theatre which will shortly be marking its 50th anniversary as a community theatre venue. This wonderful ensemble shot documents the cast of the first ever pantomime at the Church Hill Theatre back in December 1965.

'The Enchanted Waltz' pantomime shared by Church Hill Theatre

‘The Enchanted Waltz’ pantomime shared by Church Hill Theatre

Go back to school with Kathleen Glancy who’s shared her memories of her 1950s schooldays. She remembers how she covered her school books with brown paper, the school nurse’s visits and her prefect duties of bringing in the crates of milk and keeping the classroom coal fire burning!

Kathleen Glancy's class photograph from P1 shared by Dean Village Memories

Kathleen Glancy’s class photograph from P1 shared by Dean Village Memories

And in celebration of Edinburgh’s Living Landscapes, there are some lovely pictures of floral meadows and natural grasslands that have sprung up around the city.

Floral Meadow at Silverknowes Foreshore shared by Edinburgh Living Landscapes

Floral Meadow at Silverknowes Foreshore shared by Edinburgh Living Landscapes

Contribute to the Living Landscape Photography competition and you could win a great prize and see your photo appearing on Edinburgh Collected!

Share your memories on Edinburgh Collected and and help us make history.



Are you involved with a community group?

Then get yourself along to Wester Hailes Library on Monday 18th November where we’ll show you how to source funding opportunites through edinburgh4community.

We’ll also talk to you about other ways libraries can give your club, group or society the help it needs to grow and flourish.

And if your organisation isn’t currently listed on Your Edinburgh we’ll show you how to make sure that it is.

We’ll be in the library from 2.30 – 4.30pm – just pop in whenever you can. Look forward to seeing you there!