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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Call for Award entries for EDGE2013

Call for Award entries for EDGE2013 – Pushing the boundaries of public service delivery

Is your project good enough?

Edinburgh 28th February – 1st March 2013

EDGE 2013 highlights and rewards good practice in innovative library and information projects which:

  • Show or sell benefits of library and information services to other sectors, organisations and communities
  • Demonstrate innovation and creativity
  • Increase participation

The purpose of the awards is to recognise positive achievements and promote outstanding library based initiatives which celebrate the value of libraries.
We don’t want the process to be cumbersome so we are asking for some brief details which will be followed up with a phone interview.
We are looking for cutting-edge innovative projects around developments in the following categories;

There will be 3 awards for innovation (The winners for each category will receive the EDGE 2012 trophy, no financial reward) which will follow the format of the conference
1. Physical  – buildings, layout, targeted spaces.
2. Virtual – Websites, apps, virtual library, digitisation
3. Social – Work involving communities or target groups, engagement or making a difference
CLOSING DATE – 31st January 2013
The awards are open to global applications – Finalists will be offered 1 free place at the 2 day conference & Gala Dinner.

 

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

Open data – the opportunity

Open data is us! The government’s commitment to open data gives libraries and information services another opportuinty to shine in a new role as the “trusted” channel to a potentially huge information resource for the public.

This is only one of many ways libraries will be “rebranded” as an increasing proportion of our resources and services – and the information in the world that surrounds them – are digital.

What really scares me is the possibility that we miss this potentially major opportunity to capitalise on this as we did with the People’s Network.

With the opening of government agencies’ databanks and the emergence of applications to help present data in a friendly way to the public, libraries must be the vital link to this information for people who don’t have their own access.

The local library has long been an information centre for the community, but those communities are now partly constructed online and through social media, and we must be in the digital world where our customers are

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.