Edinburgh’s libraries continue to thrive, with more people using their services than ever before.
The Next Generation Library Strategy 2012–2015, based on a major public consultation involving customers, staff, local communities, partners and stakeholders, was approved in March 2012 and sets out key objectives for the development of the service.
A report to the Council’s Culture and Sport Committee on Tuesday August 18 2015 will detail achievements such as a 2% increase in visits to libraries and 16% increase to special events, a 4% rise in transactions, significant upgrades to buildings and an expansion of digital services.
- The doubling of membership of the Central Children’s Library since the new service began in 2014;
- The launch of Level-UP at Wester Hailes library combining reading and computer games to encourage reading in teens aged 11-14;
- The award-winning Digital Toybox project at Drumbrae;
- Free books for four-year-olds of high social need through Reading Rainbows Literacy;
- The first MoreFun Book Festival in Moredun in June this year;
- New buildings at Drumbrae and Craigmillar;
- Eleven libraries earning the in-house Gold Standard Programme.
The strategy’s eight objectives are:
- Access to library and information services through a community based network of small libraries, neighbourhood libraries and larger neighbourhood hubs;
- Buildings fit for purpose, in the right place;
- Innovative and excellent 24/7 electronic access to library services;
- Improved literacy and digital skills and enhanced love of reading;
- Effective use of technology to deliver service improvements;
- Empowered and motivated staff delivering excellent customer service;
- Best Value from resources and assets through partnership, innovation, income generation and new ways of working;
- Increased customer base supported by clear marketing and promotion of the service.
Edinburgh has 28 public library buildings, a mobile library service and outreach library services for looked after children, hospitals, care homes, and HMP Edinburgh.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, said:
I am delighted that all of the hard work put in by staff to make libraries so appealing is paying off, and that so many people have discovered what wonderful places they are.
Our libraries are fantastic, inclusive facilities that can be enjoyed by all ages and backgrounds. They cater for all, whether you want to borrow books or read newspapers, or if you’d rather play computer games or take your children to a rhyme time session. Best of all, these services are either free or at a very low cost.
We will keep delivering on the objectives of the strategy, so that we can continue to develop the diversity of services provided by libraries.