This library was a different experience from the other libraries we have visited. We were met by a number of different librarians from different departments and given information about these departments. The first department that we were given information on was the digital information team. This team tries to provide the user with 24/7 online service. Throughout the library are touch screens that gives the user more information about the library. Also on these touch screens are exhibitions that allow for more material to be viewed. The library also has strong social media connection with a developed and well visited blog. One of the most interesting things to me about this department was the program Library2Go. This program allows the library user to read or download ebooks and audio online for free. The department’s goal is to increase the use of the library’s resources which they seem to be doing a great job in achieving.
The next department that we were given information on was reader development. In reader development it seems like the goal is to promote reading to any and all members of the community. Author events are one of the many events that the department hosts. In the author events, an author is invited to speak to the public which promotes the authors’ works and also the library. An aspect of the department that I found interesting was the book groups that are promoted through the library. The book groups can be the traditional idea of a book group or they can be specialized for a certain population in the community. All of the events that are promoted through this department are to get people to read more and to read different genres.
The most interesting thing to me that this library does is through the informal aspect of learning department. This department teaches computer literacy and literacy to members of the community. Sensitive, warm environments are created so that members can learn in a non-threatening environment. A six week program was set up to provide this learning environment. An additional program that was set up is the IT Buddies and is for people who still are not comfortable with computers after the first six weeks. A volunteer then works with this person until they are comfortable using the electronic resources. Along with the electronic teaching is ESL and non-literate teaching. The library has books in many different languages and mature content books at lower reading levels for people just starting to read.
This library is very advanced and does everything possible to give their users what they need in a variety of different ways. Photo from the Edinburgh Central Library blog.