In praise of the virtual library

We increasingly function in a world of e-resources, developing virtual tools and collaborative communities. Opportunities abound and the economic value of producing locally generated, user-generated content will be even more crucial in the future.

In transforming our service for the 21st century we identified an audience that never enters a library, those who prefer “The Virtual Library”. This service is also essential to traditional library users who have experience and expectations of sites like Amazon and other personalised information electronic services. This is key to our strategy not only to transform Edinburgh City Libraries but to ensure that our transformation is apparent to our residents and users across the city.

The Virtual Libraryhttp has been developed to give one access point for all Edinburgh City Libraries online services. It is the first of its kind in the UK an example of best practice that can be replicated by other services. It has raised the awareness of the e-delivery of information and services amongst our customers and has led to an increase in usage. It has offered free promotion of our services to an audience we cannot reach in the traditional manner. Free promotion and marketing replacing expensive paper based materials at a time of shrinking budgets

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