Providing cancer information and support in Edinburgh

macmillan-logoFinding out that you or someone close to you has cancer is life changing. For many it is an introduction to a new and unfamiliar world; one which impacts on every aspect of your life, from your emotions and relationships to your health and even finances. And this can often feel overwhelming.

Knowing what practical, emotional and financial support is available in your area can make the future seem a little less daunting.

macmillan-2Our Macmillan @ Edinburgh Libraries programme is there to give free and confidential information and support to people affected by cancer, whether they are newly diagnosed, finished treatment, a friend, family member or carer. Trained volunteers and cancer support specialists are on hand to provide a listening ear and information on everything from local support groups to help for the financial problems cancer may create.

Information and support sessions can currently be found in Central and Craigmillar Libraries, with sessions at Leith and Drumbrae Libraries set to open in the spring. And you don’t need to make an appointment to visit. Each library has worked hard to provide a warm and welcoming space where people can find lots of information on cancer and its impacts, as well as reading material that may help on a range of topics such as healthy eating.

craigmillan-mac-point

All of the cancer books can be requested free of charge from any of our
Libraries. And if the library information point hasn’t got exactly what you are looking for, more specialist information can be ordered free of charge from Macmillan.

Knowing that there is someone else to talk to, and can understand what you’re going through can be a huge help. Our library service is there to make sure that no one in Edinburgh has to face cancer alone.

The opening hours of the service are:
Craigmillar Library            Monday 11am – 3pm
Central Library                 Tuesday 3 – 7pm
Craigmillar Library           Thursday 11am – 3pm
Central Library                 Friday 11am – 3pm

For more information call 0131 242 8125 or email Macmillan.Libraries@edinburgh.gov.uk

Funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, Macmillan @ Edinburgh Libraries is part of a £1 million initiative to provide support to people affected by cancer in the capital. It works closely with other Macmillan projects in the area, including our Move More Edinburgh programme with Edinburgh Leisure, Macmillan and the City of Edinburgh Council’s Welfare Rights programme, and Cancer Support Scotland’s counselling and mindfulness courses.

 

“No one feels judged on their opinion.” Conversation and cake with Morningside Library’s Book Group

IMG_4950The reading experience is something we take very seriously in Edinburgh Libraries, and one of the most successful methods of promoting the joy of reading  is through book groups.

There are dozens of book groups meeting in libraries across Edinburgh. These include specialist groups for teens, dyslexic readers, sci-fi fans and a group concentrating specifically on contemporary European Literature.

With  National Reading Group Day (20th June) fast approaching we visited one of our groups to join in the discussion on The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

IMG_4954

The group have been meeting at Morningside Library for a couple of years now and everyone was quick to point out the benefits. Martha, a first time book-grouper tells us:

“I’ve been really impressed by the level of conversation and all the different ideas which are brought to the group. Even if you have read a book you didn’t like so much, usually, following a discussion you want to read it again.

Also, books you may have rejected before you are now pushed to have an opinion on and think more carefully about them.”

Katrina agrees: “I think it adds more enjoyment to the book to think about in that way. The group is quite good in that no-one feels judged on their opinion. It is quite relaxed and open and easy to make conversation about the books.”

IMG_4957

While  they enjoy tea and generous slices of birthday cake everyone agrees that the social aspect is a key thing for them.

Katrina tells us “it’s a regular group so we’ve all got to know each other pretty well. We’ve started meeting for coffees outwith the group. It’s a good way to reduce isolation for some people and an opportunity to make new friends”.

Do you run a book group? If so, you can borrow up to 15 copies of a title for your group – and with over 250 titles to choose from, you should find something to suit.

And if you want to find out more about book groups in your area visit Reading Groups for Everyone.

The story of Edinburgh Libraries. Part 3 of 3

From one public library in 1890 there are now 28 branches across the city each providing an important service to the community. As well as providing access to information, libraries soon became places to gather and attend events.

Edinburgh’s newest libraries at Drumbrae and Craigmillar have developed this idea with the library housed in a community hub where members of the community can also access other council services.

17218322096_d7af82c38c_k

Drumbrae Library Hub

Craigmillar Library

East Neighbourhood Centre and Craigmillar Library

There’s always been more to the library than books on shelves. In Edinburgh, libraries have played host to some great events and celebrations over the years.  The recent development of Edinburgh Reads has seen numerous author events take place across the city.

Story hour at McDonald Road Library

Story hour at McDonald Road Library, 1962

 

16931958283_ddaa058a24_h

Ian Rankin and Jeffery Deaver at an Edinburgh Reads event

On opening the library’s catalogue was listed in books. Technology has come a long way since then.  Computerisation came in 1974 when Central Fiction began lending through an offline system. Public internet access was introduced in 1998 and now all libraries have WiFi. Readers can also access services through a mobile app and a growing collection of electronic resources and e-books are accessible online and through mobile devices.

Public access internet launch in Central Library

Public access internet launch in Central Library

Brodie's Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh

Brodie’s Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. Reproduction of Bruce J. Home pencil drawing from ‘Old Houses in Edinburgh’. One of the many treasures you can find on Capital Collections.

Over the years, a number of donations have helped shape the special collections held by Edinburgh Libraries. Particular highlights of this collection include the Henry Dyer Collection of Japanese woodblock prints, woodblock printed volumes and painted scrolls; the personal items bequeathed by Charles Boog Watson. Robert Butchart and Thomas Ross as well as an extensive collection of early photography documenting Victorian Edinburgh.

Many of these items form the backbone of Capital Collections, our online image database.

Find out how much you know about Edinburgh Libraries with this quick, fun quiz

masthead quiz

 

The story of Edinburgh Libraries. Part 2 of 3

In 1922 Dr Ernest Savage took over as principal librarian and transformed the service in almost every aspect.  He introduced direct access to the books for the public (something previously forbidden). The Library of Congress Classification system was introduced and the specialist departments of Music and Fine Art were established.

Other branches continued to appear across the city with Leith opening in 1932, Colinton in 1934 and Corstorphine 1936.

Leith Library

Leith Library, 1932

Central Library, Reference Department

Central Library, Reference Department, 1932

Libraries took to the roads with the introduction of the first mobile service in Scotland in 1949 serving areas without permanent library buildings.

The reach of the library also increased with the introduction of a housebound service in 1964 through cooperation with WRVS volunteers. A library link service was launched in 1992 providing transport to and from the library for users who, due to physical constraints, would be otherwise unable to visit.

Mobile library at Clermiston_ Morris 5 tonner

Mobile library at Clermiston circa 1955

Housebound readers service inauguration

Housebound readers service inauguration, 1964

Over the years the library service has maintained an archive of its own history and development. Numerous photographs depict the staff at work and also off duty. Plans, drawings and staff registers all help paint a vivid image of the libraries’ history.

Member of staff at the information desk in Central Library

At the information desk in Central Library, 1934

Members of staff pose for a photograph at Central Library's annual staff dance

Central Library Staff Dance, 1936

At work in Edinburgh Public Libraries' Bindery Department

At work in the Bindery, 1955

Find out how much you know about Edinburgh Libraries with this quick, fun quiz

masthead quiz

Exploring the Henry Dyer Collection

This short film uncovers one of Edinburgh Libraries’ hidden gems: the Henry Dyer Collection.

Edinburgh City Libraries received two donations from the Henry Dyer Collection in 1945 and 1955, gifted by Marie Ferguson Dyer in honour of her father.

These donations together consisted of 50 loose sheets of Japanese woodblock prints, a number of bound woodblock printed volumes, scrolls and a collection of late 19th Century Japanese photographs attributed to Baron Von Stillfried. The remainder of the Dyer Collection was gifted to the Mitchell Library (Glasgow) and Glasgow Museums (Nitshill).

Read more about Henry Dyer’s contribution to Edinburgh Libraries.

There are also a number of Dyer related exhibitions on our image database, Capital Collections, that are worth dipping into.

Watch this space for the second part of this film which explores the wonderful Moromasa scroll.

Libraries: Getting Edinburgh Online

GetOnline2Edinburgh Libraries’ Kenny Sharkey is spearheading a new council initiative to widen digital participation in Edinburgh.  Get Online, as the name suggests, aims to demystify the world of the internet for people with little or no experience and help give them the skills and confidence to get online and take part in the digital world.  We dropped in to a session at Craigmillar Library to get a feel for the project.

Kenny explains that widening participation is key to the project. “It’s remarkable that studies show that 15% of people have never used the internet.  To me digital inclusion is all about helping people access the world of technology that many of us take for granted but get enormous benefit from. We’re trying to reach as many people as possible that can benefit from taking part in this.”

GetOnline3As a tutor of the popular LearnIT courses which were run across Edinburgh Libraries, Kenny had recognised the need to keep up with technology so as well as using  laptops, help is also offered in the use of Ipads, tablets and smart phones.

Sessions are delivered across a 5 week plan and each lasts for 2 hours.  Participants are divided up according to device and asked to choose options from a ‘learning menu’ in order to get the learning experience best suited to their needs.

GetOnline5The success of the sessions also relies upon a band of loyal volunteer tutors which has enabled 1-1 tuition in most cases.  During our visit, Jennifer was helping Mina get to grips with her new tablet.

Jennifer: “It’s really beneficial to people who are scared of learning in a more formal environment. It’s more personable here and people seem to respond better with 1-1 tuition.  You can take it for granted if you have grown up around this stuff. If you are new to it there’s a lot of buzz words to get your head around. ”

Mina:  “I’m starting over again. I’m 90 so I think I can be excused for forgetting things. I’m completely new to this and want to get more out of it. I’ve been using it to do a bit of historical research and to send emails to my family in Australia and Canada.”

Kenny tells us that relying on volunteers is what gives Get Online a strong sense of community. The project has also worked in partnership Castlebrae High School creating a great inter-generational feel.  Barry Ferguson, Head of IT, says: “We tried to get involved with something like this before but it hadn’t worked out.  Since Kenny started this though, things have really taken off. It’s definitely been a confidence booster for the kids involved and helps show the positive role the school can play in the community.”

GetOnline4

Castlebrae pupil Jordan was helping Jill learn what her new IPad had to offer.

Jill: My daughter lives in Australia so I wanted to be able to use Face Time and things like that just to keep in touch.  I want to be able to use it to book tickets and the I-pad doesn’t come with instructions on how to do things like that. I have had about 5 lessons and I’m definitely improving. I’ve face-timed my daughter now and we’ve emailed. It’s great.”

Jordan:  It’s great to help people in this way and as I’m close to leaving school this is great work experience for me.

GetOnline1

Kenny is pleased with the reaction to the service and the way it is helping people feel more connected in their communities and often with family in other parts of the world.

Kenny: “In  a lot of situations people are leaving after 5 sessions and confidently ordering things online and Skype-ing relatives abroad and that’s what it’s all about: ensuring people are confident enough to participate in the digital world”

Initially established in Craigmillar, sessions are now being delivered across the city in locations like Leith, BlackhallMorningside and Central Library.  Check the Get Online blog for future dates around the city or email Kenny for more details.

Buckfast, libraries and Margaret Thatcher: Damian Barr at Central Library

An engaging and witty Damian Barr popped in to Central Reference Library last month to discuss his memoir Maggie and Me.

Our video shows Damian talking openly to Richard Holloway about the devastating abuse he suffered as a child, his relationship with his parents and teachers, and how he found refuge in libraries.

Check out our playlist for film from other Edinburgh Reads  events.