Aside

I am really chuffed to be speaking at International Federation of Library Associations  World Library and Information Congress in Singapore in August 2013.

IFLA is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession.

IFLA was in fact Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 30 September 1927 at an international conference.

For 2010-2015, the IFLA Governing Board has set out four Strategic Directions:

  • Empowering libraries to enable their user communities to have equitable access to information;
  • Building the strategic capacity of IFLA and that of its members;
  • Transforming the profile and standing of the profession;
  • Representing the interests of IFLA’s members and their users throughout the world.

1927 was a long time ago and libraries here have changed hugely I hope we can host a congress again at some point over the next few years

World Library and Information Congress – Singapore

Advertisements
Change

Driving change

I was recently asked to sum up our success and significant upturn in performance in an email and found it almost impossible. However In 2012 Edinburgh won the Bookseller Library Service of the Year Award and I think this sums up our success pretty well. The award was launched to recognise library services which are thriving and innovating in a difficult climate and increasing access and performance.

Edinburgh was considered against a range of libraries across the UK. Judges identified our key strengths as:
* Range of services for hard to reach readers
* A cutting edge website and Library App
* Engaging social media activity
* Committed support from the local authority.

Also referenced in our success was our online library portal ‘Your Library‘, 2 brand new library facilities within the city including Drumbrae Library Hub and Craigmillar Library Hub, refurbished facilities in Morningside and several others, the Prison Library Service, the range of special reading projects including those for dyslexic children and services for older readers.

Judges concluded that Edinburgh Libraries & Information Services are “innovative on so many fronts, full of energy, bang up to date and unafraid of the future”. Providing “a template for libraries everywhere to be inspired by.”

This is the third national libraries award won by the city’s library service in two years. In July 2010, the service was successful in winning the Libraries Change Lives Award from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals for HMP Edinburgh Library Partnership (Saughton Prison).
This was followed in 2011 with the ‘Whose Town’ Project achieving the Scottish Design Awards Chairman’s Award.

Key to any success is the fantastic teamwork and innovative thinking in our staff. It is the power to drive and embrace change

If you would like to know more we are hosting  our annual EDGE 2013 conference 28th February – 1st March and we would be delighted to put some flesh on the bones of this short summary

Libraries – driving a digital future for Scotland

The Scottish Government published its Digital Public Services FrDigital future wordleamework  on the 19th of September. The document sets out the vision and helps shape how the Scottish Government will move forward with their priority of public service reform over the coming years.

It puts the needs of users at the heart of services.  We know online services mean that we can access information when we require it, pay a bill or even arrange social care in a simple and quick way. The strategy outlines how different organisations can join up across all sectors to deliver services in a more responsive way.

So where is our library and information leadership? This is our opportunity to put forward a business case for libraries now and  in the future Who is going to keep people skilled up? Who will people trust to access much of this?

I believe the future of libraries is in driving and  underpinning this strategy and making it a reality for real people.

Join us at Libraries driving a digital future at the VOCAL conference

Eye on the future

With an eye on the future Edinburgh’s libraries are are ready to underpin the Scottish Government’s plans for Scotland’s Digital Future

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced “It will also change the way that we live – from the way we book holidays to the way we access health care.  We are committed to ensuring that all of Scotland is able to reap the social and cultural benefits of the internet.

Broadband, just like roads and railways, is a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure, and that is why we are committed to delivering a world class digital infrastructure to the people of Scotland by 2020.”

Chris van der Kuyl, Chief Executive of Dundee-based online publishing company Brightsolid, said:

“ A digital Scotland to me is a concept that has to be central to our future. As a small country with huge intellectual capacity, digital media and digital  technology have to be right at the core of everything we do going forward.”

Edinburgh’s libraries can support everyone with the information, skills, access to content and opportunities to get on board and benefit from Scotland’s bright future