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Edinburgh’s Virtual Library was launched at the EDGE conference in 2010. Our portal is unique in that it unites all of our digital resources, including catalogues, databases, and other websites, under one single interface as part of the overall transformation programme for the service.

The portal makes it easy to join, renew, reserve, download, use and learn with high quality electronic resources.

Key to it all was social media and our aim in setting up social networks for the libraries was twofold: to promote local libraries across the city and to harness the power of the community. The YourEdinburgh element of the Virtual Library is an important aspect Involving neighbourhoods and community groups in the process, stimulating engagement and ensuring that library users felt involved and a sense of ownership.

The beauty of the development of one cohesive online resource is that those groups who set up their online communities can ‘own’ these records. In effect this becomes their website, or web presence. Providing these web 2.0 technologies that allow for greater user feedback and comments helps coordinate involvement, invigorating local communities and engaging with their interests.

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