Conference to help libraries keep up to date

Wester Hailes Library

Public sector leaders will convene in Edinburgh next month to share their experiences and ideas in the field of  library and information services.

EDGE2015, organised by City of Edinburgh Council, will feature a packed programme of topics, speakers and discussions over 5 and 6 March, stimulating innovation in public services.

The conference will include Public Sector Challenge Den, where industry experts Annemarie Naylor MBE, Janene Cox OBE and Martyn Wade OBE will play ‘Dragons’ to delegates, who will be able to ask for advice on their own service area, tips and contacts from the esteemed guests.

Divided into three themes – physical, social and digital – the two-day event will address the challenges of change and reform, with talks ranging from the transformation of library spaces to the role of technology in enhancing the service.

Ensuring that the library remains up to date and takes advantage of changing trends and technology has been a priority for Wester Hailes library, which has  an excellent collection of IT facilities and has recently been praised for its Level Up programme.

Amongst the speakers are Patrick Losinski, CEO Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), Ohio, who will talk about his approach to increasing literacy, and Euan MacDonald, who designed a review of disabled access to various venues after being diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.

Also appearing is Barbara Shack, Director of Development at the charity Libraries without Borders, which has created the Ideas Box, a mobile media centre enabling access to information and education for people emerging from humanitarian crises.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Convener of Culture and Sport, will welcome delegates to the event. He said:

Edinburgh’s libraries are constantly evolving to reflect the public’s needs and desires, as are other similar services around the world. This is a fantastic opportunity for people working in these areas to get together, share their ideas and experiences and help inspire new thinking in public services.

Other speakers on the EDGE programme are Polly Hamilton, Head of Culture, Heritage, Libraries and Art Services, Blackpool, and Neil Macinnes, Head of Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester, as well as representatives from Edinburgh’s own Library and Information Service.

Edge 2015 has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Bolinda, Capita, Improvement Service, Innovative Interfaces, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, MCL Edinburgh and The Roxburghe Hotel.

The event, held at the Roxburghe Hotel, will also feature a ceremony with EDGE2015 awards presented by Dame Sue Bruce, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council, where winners will be recognised for innovation in the physical, social and digital categories.

Find out more about the programme, and how to attend, on the EDGE2015 website.

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