Read the world with PressReader!

Did you know you can read over 4000 UK and worldwide newspapers and magazines for free on your tablet, phone or computer? From anywhere you can simply login to the PressReader website with your library card number and PIN to get access to today’s news 24/7.

With Edinburgh Libraries PressReader service you can access over 100 UK and Irish newspapers including today’s editions of the Edinburgh Evening NewsScotsmanScottish Daily MailThe Press and JournalThe Guardian and The Herald as well as over 100 UK magazines.

Publications from over 100 countries in 60 languages are available including from Poland, India, USA, France and China. Articles can be translated into 16 languages and you can also listen to today’s news by using Library PressReader’s Radio function which will read articles out to you.

PressReader has a small range of material for children too as it includes comics such as the BeanoHorrible Histories and Doctor Who Adventures. It also includes a newspaper aimed specifically at children – First News.

You’ll find full user instructions on our Your Library website.

Read all about it – 200 years old today!

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the The Scotsman. When it first appeared, it was a weekly newspaper with daily editions appearing in 1850.

Unlike today there were no headlines shouting out for attention, indeed the front page of the first edition laid out what the paper hoped to achieve. It begged to observe “that we have not chosen the name Scotsman to preserve an invidious distinction, but with a view of rescuing it from the odium of servility”.

Front page of The Scotsman 25th January 1817

Front page of The Scotsman 25th January 1817

The paper contained no photographs or illustrations just printed text with news from around the world. It did feature Births, Deaths and Marriages together with the market prices from the Edinburgh Corn Market and Meat Market where we know that “there were 985 sheep in the Grassmarket on Wednesday morning which sold well”.

In 1817 the price of the weekly Scotsman was 10d nowadays you can read it for FREE by downloading our Pressreader  App.

Or why not search our Scotsman Digital Archive and discover more stories from Scotland’s past?


It’s Digital Reading Week!

digital-reading-week-logoAt Edinburgh Libraries we are having a week long celebration of digital reading!  With your library membership you can download ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers all for free. So make the most of your tablet, smart phone or computer and get reading today! We’ll be doing a new blog post every day this week highlighting our digital reading services for you.

We are running two competitions as part of our celebration! Simply borrow an ebook or audiobook on OverDrive to be entered into a prize draw to win a Fire Tablet. Borrow an audiobook on BorrowBox and similarly you can win an iPad. These competitions will run from the 31st October till the 14th November.

So give yourself a treat (and maybe a new tablet!) and try out some of the following resources this week –

OVERDRIVE – over 10,000 ebooks and audiobooks for adults, teens and children to borrow 24/7

ZINIO – a great range of 116 popular magazines for men and women

PRESSREADER & PRESSDISPLAY – over 4000 Scottish and international newspapers and magazines to download

ONECLICKDIGITAL – great range of audiobooks for adults, teens and children

BORROWBOX – new and growing audiobook service for adults

Need help getting started –

1. Find Out How – download an instruction leaflet for your device from our Help Pages that will take you through using each of our services

2. Drop Into An Event – we’re running lots of digital events this week where you can come along and find out about our resources. Drop-in Surgery sessions are happening at Portobello, Sighthill, Newington, Wester Hailes, Blackhall, Craigmillar, Piershill, Stockbridge, Central and Colinton Libraries. Check out our Events Calendar to find out more.

3. Ask Us How – if you need a bit more support contact us on or tel 242 8047

Good News!

pressreader1Well even if the world news seems to be getting worse by the day, but the good news is that the way to get your daily paper gets better and better!

Edinburgh Libraries PressReader app service has had a wee upgrade – now if you visit a library and open up the app you get 3 days worth of use to download from home as well.

PressReader has over 4000 newspapers and magazines from all round the world that are available to download for free before they even hit the newsagents.  To use it you need to login at a PressReader HotSpot (i.e. a library!) and then you are free to download up to 20 titles a day from the library, home or indeed anywhere with WiFi. After 3 days you need to pop into your local library and reactivate your connection (and pick up a nice paperback whilst you are at it!).

All the top Scottish and many national newspapers are available such as the Edinburgh Evening news, The Scotsman, The Herald, The Daily Mail and The Guardian. There are also publications from over 100 countries including Poland, America and even Brazil (if you fancy reading about the Olympics first hand!).

For more information see

Which online newspaper and magazine service should you use?

One of the many benefits of having a library card is getting free access to hundreds of newspapers and magazines through web sites and apps including Zinio, PressReader, International Newsstand and Library PressDisplay.

But which one should you use? Our quick guide will help you decide which suits your needs best.


This is by far the most popular of our services, and if you’re not already using it, why not?

Download the app on your phone or tablet to download as many magazines as you like, with over 100 titles to choose from including New Scientist, Good Housekeeping and BBC Good Food Magazine.

You can download back issues as well as the current copy, and you can keep them as long as you like. No wonder it’s so popular!


Very similar to Zinio, but with a couple of significant differences:

First, there’s much more on offer as PressReader also includes newspapers – you can choose from over UK and Irish titles and hundreds more from around the world. There are also more titles aimed at a younger readership (e.g. Commando, The Beano) and more Scottish content (e.g. Scottish Field, The Scots Magazine).

The other main difference from Zinio is that you can only download these titles for free from a PressReader HotSpot. The good news is that every one of our 26 libraries is a PressReader HotSpot, and you can download up to twenty titles a day!

Library PressDisplay

This site contains all the same content as PressReader, but you don’t have to be in a HotSpot to use it. As long as you’ve got your library card number you can use it anywhere. The only drawback is that you can’t download the titles so have to read them online. Today’s newspapers though are available before they even reach the newsagents.

International Newsstand

Unlike PressReader and PressDisplay, which have an archive going back 3 months for most newspapers, International Newsstand’s goes back around 20 years.

With global coverage and sophisticated search options, including the ability to save and export searches and results, this is by far your best bet if you’re looking to do more serious research.

And if historical research is your thing, don’t forget library members also get free access to The British Newspaper Archive,  The Times Digital Archive and The Scotsman Digital Archive as well!

Hope that’s cleared things up for you!



Isla enjoys her week in the Music Library

From the 27th to the 30th of June 2016 I went on a work experience placement at the Music Library at Central Library. I chose this location as I am interested in music (I am studying Advanced Higher Music next year in S6) and I was interested in seeing how the library system works.  Whilst I was at the Music Library, I did several tasks, ranging from setting up a display on jazz to promote the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival to finding books and CDs for readers, and discharging and shelving books. I saw round the many departments in Central Library. It was interesting to see the variety of tasks done by Music Library and other staff in Central Library. This made my work experience placement very enjoyable and it also made me consider working in a library in the future.

Putting up Library display
I found some materials in the Music Library which I thought could be useful to students who are studying for Higher and Advanced Higher Music; there are many books on composers and the history of music, which could provide information to use in written projects. If students need sheet music of an appropriate standard (i.e. Grade 4 or Grade 5 level) for the Performance part of Higher and Advanced Higher Music, there are many scores available in the Music Library for various instruments.

Looking at Library books

There’s a piano in the Music Library which students can use if they need to practise. Finally, the online classical music streaming website Naxos, which is accessible via the Edinburgh Libraries website, can be used for listening to different styles and periods of classical music. This could be useful for listening practice in preparation for the final written exam.

I also came across helpful resources for Higher and Advanced Higher languages on the Edinburgh Your Library website;  Library card holders can read international newspapers in 60 different languages with Library PressDisplay and learn words and phrases in various languages with Transparent Language Online. provides information on how to use languages and aspects of language correctly.

Many students may not be aware that these study resources are available, and all that is required to access them is just a library card.

“SOS. We have struck iceberg. Require assistance. Position 41.46N 50.14W. Titanic”

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the disastrous maiden voyage of the supposedly unsinkable ship. Leaving aside the melodrama of the Titanic films and the TV mini-series, we’ve been exploring our online newspaper archives and other sources to find out how the disaster was reported at the time.  

On April 11th 1912, the Shipping Notes in The Scotsman reported on the Titanic’s fateful departure from Southampton Water the previous day. The event marked the “latest progress in shipbuilding” and was watched by large crowds who had gathered to speed the ship on her way to New York. An article in The Times following the disaster details how news reached shore in an age before Twitter and mobile phones, and speculates that loss of life would have been far greater had it not been for the recent introduction of Marconi’s wireless apparatus. The newspaper also gives lists of passengers from first and second class ranks. It would later transpire that the majority of casualties came from the crew and third class passengers. The Times relates the disaster to the global economy, with a business report on the New York Stock Market crediting it with the ‘gloom cast over the business world’. 

Pictures from the Illustrated London News, held by the Reference Library, show the appeal of the Titanic as an opulent floating hotel. There were Turkish baths and swimming baths, a gymnasium, a Parisian-style café, and luxury apartments with private promenade decks.

It is not hard to see why people were so eager to take the ship’s first voyage. Pinning their credentials to the Titanic mask, luxury goods companies associated themselves with the desirable brand. The Vinolia Otto Toilet Soap company used a full page advert to state its services to the luxury steamer, “By provision of Vinolia Otto Toilet Soap for first-class passengers the ‘Titanic’ also leads as offering a higher standard of Toilet Luxury and comfort at sea”. Craven tobacco with the unfortunate strapline, “Craven Mixture is a tobacco to live for”, advertised in The Times as being obtainable on the Largest Vessel in the World.  

The Illustrated London News also recalls the human side of the story, with artists’ impressions drawn from survivors’ accounts of the moments after tragedy struck and pictures of the survivors who arrived safely back in Plymouth.

One poignant reminder of a bygone era shows the engine room stokers calmly waiting their turn as women and children boarded lifeboats first as the boat was sinking fast.

Dramatic pictures illustrate the catastrophic moment the enormous ship sank into two miles of water. Read a tribute to Wallace Henry Hartley, the ship’s bandleader, who together with fellow musicians played on deck throughout the evacuation. They played, it is alleged, until waist deep in water. All 8 of the musicians perished in the disaster, yet their part in the dreadful night is remembered still.  

Of the 2224 passengers and crew on board, more than 1500 died. Find the true story behind the legend and read the news as it unfolded with The Scotsman Digital Archive and The Times Online. (The Scotsman Digital Archive is available from home. The Times Online is available to readers from the Reference Library at Central Library.)

Visit the Reference Library  in April and see our fascinating display showcasing pictures and literature from our collections about the story of the Titanic.