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It’s been a while since I’ve posted as I’ve been settling into my new role as Director of Digital Library experiences at SOLUS.

I have joined a great team, buzzing with energy and enthusiasm and I am seeing the cutting edge of innovation in library technology and me or call me on 01355 813 600

If you’d like to meet or talk to me about the exciting things we can do


moving on

I am moving on from Edinburgh and  I’ve been so busy recently I haven’t made time to keep up my blog!

I have had a fabulous 5 years here and I’m proud to say we have become the UK’s Best Library and Information service

We have  recognised how effectively pushing the boundaries of public service delivery can create a more cost-effective estate, build stronger communities and promote economic vitality through our network of 28 libraries.  WE have done much of this by driving a new vision as hybrid libraries-  a combination of a conventional library and our innovative electronic library. To do all of this Edinburgh library and information service needed to consolidate the building blocks for change and scalability through the use of practical toolkits to support new ways of working and embed performance improvement.

I look forward to taking these skills and passion to a new role.


Edinburgh’s Women of Achievement

This story on Edinburgh Libraries’  OurTownStories  is a short survey of some outstanding Victorian women from Edinburgh.  It celebrates some of the important female figures from Edinburgh’s past and tells how they made their mark on history. Many of these women were lucky enough to come from wealthy families and had the financial means to push at the imposed boundaries of their lives.
Most of these women of achievement strove to obtain roles in society where they could better the position of other females, by the provision of education, healthcare or the right to vote.Read a fascinating  snapshot of each woman’s life and find out how their campaigning and dedication changed the lives of other women. Read this story  Edinburgh’s Women of Achievement


Place and platform

I spoke at Internet Librarian International 2012 earlier this week and listened to many interesting speakers.

The conceDavid Weinbergerpt that intrigued me most was the  library as a “platform”.  At the same time the library as a “place” is a powerful one more so coupled with this concept of a platform

Interesting possibilities open up if we think of    libraries as platforms and this simplified for me when I came across  David Weinberger

David described a library platform as about “developing knowledge and community, not primarily for developing software. Still, like an open software platform, it would:

  • Be open to all
  • Give access to every scrap of information it has, including its digital content, but also metadata about that content, its usage, and the social interactions around it
  • Enable new products and services to be built by anyone with an idea
  • Integrate everything the library knows into the entire Net ecosystem”

I love David Weinberger “Conceiving of the library as a platform not only opens a range of new services and provides for a continuous increase in the library’s value, it also does something libraries urgently need to do: it changes the criteria of success.”

Public libraries – the not so secret weapons!

Jefferson County but relevant to us allsecret weapon!

In a 2010 survey of county residents , 71 percent of respondents agreed that libraries “contribute to economic development by offering assistance with employment searches and applications, job skills, training, career support and research/planning resources for business owners.”

A study commissioned by the Urban Libraries Council notes that the role of public libraries has shifted “from passive, recreational reading and research institutions to active economic development agents.” Libraries are “a dynamic
part of the community’s learning infrastructure which supports economic development.”
Another urban myth suggests that the Internet is making libraries obsolete. In fact, the Internet is driving significant growth as more and more people turn to libraries to access and utilize digital information.

Great quote

“Public libraries are positioned to fuel not only new, but next economies because of their roles in building technology skills, entrepreneurial activity, and vibrant, livable places. The combination of stronger roles in economic development strategies and their prevalence make public libraries stable and powerful tools for cities seeking to build strong and resilient economies.”

Making Cities Stronger: Public Library Contributions to Local Economic Development

Reading the future – developing award-winning reading services

Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services are delighted to be winners of the Bookseller Industry Award  ‘Library Service of the Year 2012′. Bookseller award

“Innovative on so many fronts, full of energy, bang up to date and unafraid ofthe future. ”  Bookseller Awards judging panel

Many of you have been keen to find out what we do and how we do it, so we have designed a seminar to showcase some key elements of that work.

“Reading the Future – Developing award winning reading services”  will showcase our innovative reading partnerships, our wide ranging contact with communities and hard to reach groups and our bold developments in electronic and digital information services. 

Attendees will leave with information and innovation that can drive the progress of their library and information services.  Join us! 

Friday 16th November, 9.30am – 3.30pm Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG

£60.00 per person including refreshments and lunch.

Contact: 0131 529 7791

Virtual worldwide conference library 2.0

From the comfort of your home or office -meet colleagues around the world!The Library 2.012 conference is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future state of libraries. Subject strands include physical and virtual learning spaces, evolving professional roles in today’s world, organizing and creating information, changing delivery methods, user-centered access, and mobile and geo-social information environments.

Haven’t libraries and librarians come along way!

Rather do it face to face? Join us at EDGE 2013

The metamorphosis of the public library and librarian

ChangeTim Coates said ” It is the ability to gather, hold, understand and offer books and other works that gives the library and the librarians in it their distinct role.”

He is just plain wrong!It is our ability to morph

In the words of Charles Darwin“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Over hundreds of years libraries and librarians have had the uncanny ability to diversify and change to meet customers expectations and needs and to adapt and embrace new technologies.

Once we managed clay tablets then chained books we moved on fast to ladies only reading rooms, card catalogues and complex classification schemes. Now our libraries have bright modern interiors, cafes and are alive with technology, ICT classes, children’s rhyme times and youth zones.

Librarians are more and more social media savvy , good with electronic content and gadgets and the seamless integration of  local history with technology.


EDGE AwardsPushing the boundaries of public service delivery – Thursday 28th February & Friday 1st March 2013

EDGE2013 provides many opportunities to learn from and meet with speakers, decision makers and other practitioners leading the transformation agenda. These are the change managers, thought leaders, and many movers and shakers in libraries and information services, shared services, content management, engagement and regeneration.

Invest in your organisation, the future, and yourself by attending the fourth EDGE conference in one of the most beautiful capital cities in the world, Edinburgh!

Are you innovative? enter for our prestigious EDGE 2013 awardsEDGE 2013 conference

This WILL once again be one of the most exciting, inspiring and relevant conferences to be held in Scotland in 2013, we always make it a conference to remember!

Marshall Breeding, Brian Gambles, Natasha Innocent, Richard Watson, Neil McInnes already confirmed… watch this space!