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

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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

The power of social: improving performance through collaboration

The power of social media is incredible ! It’s not just a fad or something for the future it is part and parcel of daily life for our audiences. Our customers and potential customers have a need to connect with other people to share feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Now social media allows us  to collaborate with them all, to create and maintain  relationships electronically and at the same time build networks and trust

Promotion and marketing is an essential now for libraries and information  services as much as any other business and as we compete more and more for peopl’s time.

By using Facebook , Twitter, YouTube, RSS feeds, Flickr  and  Tales of One City    Social Media, we have competed and undoubtedly grown our business. The cost to enter and participate in the social space is negligible but needs skill and time.

In comparison with traditional forms of marketing, such as print, broadcast and online advertising, the cost to market our services and brand in social media has been very very low.

Building our libraries and information services brand like  has never been so important as today and Social Media allows us to have a voice without a huge budget! It has also brought us visits, friends, partners and issues.

The Fourth International m-libraries Conference 2012

The  m-libraries conference this year runs from 24-26 September 2012 at the Open University, UK.

This year is  main theme for the “From margin to mainstream: mobile technologies transforming lives and libraries”

Mobile technology has transformed so many aspects of our lives: how we work, how we communicate, how we study and how we play. Since the first successful M-libraries conference in 2007, libraries around the world have made huge advances in harnessing the technology to improve and enhance their services.  The Fourth conference will bring together researchers, technical developers, managers and library practitioners to review achievements to date and consider the creative challenges and opportunities ahead.

I am chuffed to be speaking on “Libraries surviving and thriving in the multi-device, multi connection world”m-libraries logo courtesy m-libraries

I hope to see you there

Connecting with communities

Information is power !

Communities, Library staff and partner organisations require up to date information to provide support to users of our Community Connections points and Health Information Hubs in libraries.  The Your Edinburgh portal provides that information in the library and from home.  Information is collected direct from local community groups and individuals to ensure that information is current and accurate.

Finding ways to improve the way we connect these new social media and technologies to the communities they serve will be the next big challenge for libraries in the 21st century. Our key role will be to continue to promote greater social equity and to reduce the chance of a digital divide but it will be even more important to develop exciting content that will hook or attract those who do not see the need to use the internet.Community information portal

Development of these “virtual” resources has encouraged visits and uptake of traditional services and book borrowing performance has improved in both visits, issues.

Internet Librarian

I am excited about speaking at Internet Librarian International 12  I will be hearing from information professionals and practising librarians as they share their experiences about their creative projects, innovative solutions and practical implementation strategies.

I know I’ll come back with updated skills and ideas on new approaches, products and technology for finding, organising and managing information resources.

For me it is a real opportunity to step back,  be reawakened, renewed and refresh my ideas and thinking.

Yourlibrary

From chains to portals

There is a lot of angst around at the moment on whether libraries have a future

or not but I believe many people make the mistake of underestimating us!

Over hundreds of years libraries 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. Look at our portal

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