The future of libraries

As part of the celebrations to mark the 125th anniversary of Edinburgh City Libraries, we invited a panel of experts to discuss the future of libraries.

A wide ranging and fascinating discussion covered Google, ebooks, the media, reading habits, information literacy and more. If you’ve any interest in the future of libraries this film of the event is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Speakers taking part:

John Scally – (National Librarian and Chief Executive)

Philippa Cochrane – (Scottish Book Trust, Reader Development)

Prof. Hazel Hall – (Napier University- Professor of Social Informatics – information sharing in online environments)

Duncan Wright – Senior School Librarian at Stewart’s Melville College

Chaired by Marion Sinclair -, Chief Executive, Publishing Scotland

More library staff instructions from days gone by

As promised in an earlier post here are more rules for library staff from yesteryear. First, a cunning method for catching out bogus ‘art students’.

art dept0006

And these weren’t the only suspicious types to watch out for. We think the following missive probably dates from the war.


And whatever you do, don’t mention the blacklist:


We’ll finish with this message from a former city librarian. Wonder how long this system lasted?


If you missed the first part of this series you can catch up here.

masthead quiz

Instructions for library staff – a trip back in time

All workplaces have their rules and procedures for staff, and libraries are no different.

We recently came across some very strange instructions for staff in our archives.

How about this for starters:


Our procedures for new members of staff have changed over the years as well:


And woe betide you if your essay was written in a slovenly hand:


That would be me shelving books then…  though I’d have to treat the dusty ones properly and not be ‘foolish’:


There’s more here, including guidance on dealing with young people. And ‘foreigners’.