Celebrating St Valentine’s Day with Love in Art

couples-in-artFebruary has always been a month for romance, although the origins of St Valentine’s Day itself have become murky. Way back in the day, on February 15th, pagans celebrated Lupercalia; a fertility festival dedicated to their God or Agriculture, Faunus. But the 5th century arrived all too quickly for the pagans and Lupercalia was outlawed by the Christian Church. It was replaced with St Valentine’s Day (Valentine being one of three possible Saints of the same name), and moved to February 14th.

bridal-fashionsRomance only really came to Valentine’s Day during the 14th and 15th centuries, when some clever Englishmen and Frenchmen thought February 14th was the first day of the birds’ mating season. Thus, from then on, St Valentine’s Day became a day of not only birdy romance, but a celebration of human love.

Art, literature and music have often found their muses in romance, and the work of artists, writers, poets and musicians often celebrates the love symbolised by Valentine’s Day. Find artistic inspiration in our selection of books celebrating love in art.

Page Flipper the penguin visits the Library

Central Library’s Dyslexia Chatterbooks Group meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the Central Children’s Library. page-flipper-2The following is an extract from a story created by the group at a recent meeting. The children started by putting their ideas together on a storyboard with the help of Library Advisor, Beth Cochrane. The original idea for the story started with a missing toy Penguin, who mysteriously turned up in the library one day…

When he entered Page Flipper found himself surrounded by lots and lots of books, so he decided to pick one up and read it. It was called ‘The Giant Penguin Book.’ But as he started to read, he started to grow! Once he had finished the book, he realised he was now a giant penguin!

After searching for more fun and interesting books, Page Flipper found himself a little bitpage-flipper-1 lost. He shouted for help, and along came a friendly librarian. With a big smile on her face she said: “Hello! My name’s Sophie, would you like to come to our Chatterbooks?” Page Flipper was happy to be invited so along he went, and made lots of new friends at Chatterbooks. So many new friends, in fact, that he decided he would live in the Library forever!

For more information about the Dyslexic Chatterbooks Group contact carol.marr@edinburgh.gov.uk

And Another Winner!

We ran not one, but two competitions as part of our Digital Reading Week at the beginning of November! The lucky winner of our OverDrive competition was Sally Butler. Sally borrowed some ebooks to go on holiday and came home to find that she was the recipient of a shiny new Fire Tablet.

sally-butlerIt was great to hear that Sally has been using our OverDrive service since its inception in 2010 finding it especially useful when travelling. The beauty of it is that you can checkout new titles from anywhere whether you are in the South of France or the doctors waiting room!

New titles are added to OverDrive every two weeks meaning there is always something new to check out. If you don’t find anything you fancy remember that users can always recommend titles and authors using our Book Recommendation Form.

The Butterfly Tree and the Lost Child

In 2011, the first mystery paper sculpture was discovered in the Scottish Poetry Library. It was an incredibly delicate gift; a tree growing out of a book, an eggshell of poems and a little card with read:

dsc_4944_582“@ByLeavesWeLive and became a tree….We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words…This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..”

More sculptures were discovered that year at the National Library of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, the Filmhouse, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, the Edinburgh Writers’ Museum, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and here at Edinburgh Central Library.

The identity of the artist was withheld, and to this day we don’t know who the artist is.

We do know that this sculpture, the Butterfly Tree and the Lost Child, is dsc_4953_591her last and we are tremendously privileged to have it here at Central Library.

You can see the small sculptures donated to Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Central Library’s foyer or online on our Capital Collections Website. You can go to Wikipedia for more information on all the sculptures.

 

To eBook or not eBook that is the question

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The subject of ebooks can illicit very strong opinions in some readers! With many people stating that they like paper and don’t want to read online. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be one or the other, you can do both. eBooks can be very handy all of a sudden when you’re stuck in the house with nothing to read or you’ve read everything you’ve taken on holiday.

Edinburgh Libraries has a fantastic ebook service for adults, teens and children. We are getting access to increasing numbers of bestselling titles now – as soon as they come out in hardback we’ve got them available as an ebook. Our OverDrive service now has over 9,000 ebooks so there is plenty to choose from.

Reasons to love ebooks –

1. eBooks offer more choice
The 10 ebooks you can borrow for three weeks comes on top of the 12 item limit for physical books. That’s 22 books every three weeks – more than enough reading for anyone (surely?!). And you can access them 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

2. eBooks help people who have vision problems or dyslexia
eBooks are great if you have sight problems that prevent them from being able to read your average paperback.You can change the font, text size and background colour all to make it easier for you to read. The OverDrive app allows you to use the Dyslexie Font too which helps if you are dyslexic.

3. eBooks are portable
One of the most frequently trumpeted advantage of ebooks is that they are more portable than printed books – 10 books that fit in your pocket or handbag.  Great for commuting, journeys or holidays.

4. eBooks mean you’re never far from the library
Whether you’re holidaying in Troon or Tenerife, as long as you’ve got internet access you’ve got the library with you, so you can return and borrow books to your heart’s content.

5. Nobody needs to know what you’re reading
And we’re not just talking about keeping your 50 Shades of Grey addiction a secret from your fellow bus passengers. Overdrive offers free access to lots of self-help books covering sensitive issues that many readers would rather not broadcast to people around them.

That’s five reasons, can you think of any others?

Listen to a good book today!

digital-reading-week-logoLove audiobooks? Whats not to love! – they are ideal for the morning commute, the gym or while you’re doing the cooking, housework and DIY. Edinburgh Libraries has a fantastic selection of audiobooks for you to enjoy.Did you know you could download hundreds for free at home from Edinburgh Libraries? We have three different downloadable audiobook suppliers so we can give you the widest choice possible of authors and publishers.

Check these out today –

OverDrive – checkout over 1500 adult, teen and child audiobooks with OverDrive. You can borrow up to 10 at a time and either stream over the internet or download on your mobile device or computer.

OneClickdigital – has a great range of bestselling British authors such as Peter May, Cecelia Ahern, Val McDermid, Peter James, David Walliams and Santa Montefiore. Borrow another 5 titles here with automatic returns and no fines. 1500 titles to choose from including children’s, teen and adult titles.

Borowbox – our newest audiobook provider has a super easy to use app and a growing collection of over 400 adult audiobooks. Some fantastic titles including The Muse by Jessie Burton, The Widow by Fiona Barton and My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith.

 

Download your favourite magazines for Free

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Use your library card to set up an account with Zinio, and get free digital access to more than a hundred magazine titles including Hello!, New Scientist, Grazia, Amateur Photographer, Good Housekeeping and BBC Good Food.

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Zinio is really easy to set up, works brilliantly (especially on tablets) and could of course save you a fortune in magazine subscriptions. Head over to our Zinio page to see the full list of titles and find out how to get started.

Enjoy!