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

Advertisements

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

A unique future place

Amsterdam Library I talk quite a lot about digital and electronic developments in the future of libraries, but equally key is the future role of libraries as a space and in communty, information, inclusion, culture and the arts.

The library of the future will be a unique destination with an offer that can’t be provide by any other organisation. A safe, third place for learning, culture, heritage and information. A modern, inviting place to relax and enjoy coffee and the unique atmosphere from cradle to the grave.

A business hub and an employability and skills haven for young people. A place for people to learn the ICT skills they need

On August 17th in the Edinburgh Festival at the Central Library  Makmed the Miller presents The Grief of Isis and Peter Barratt talks about Alice Hawkins, the life of a suffragette.

 

Impact of digital on design

What is great about Jeffrey Schnapp is his quirkiness, lack of fear,ideas on innovation and thinking outside of the box. “What if you thought seriously about the library as a laboratory, as a place where people do things, where they make things?” Jeffrey Schnapp, addressing his “Library Test Kitchen” class.

http://harvardmagazine.com/2012/07/library-test-kitchen

Definitely worth a read !

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