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Libraries revitalised

Services that are vital to the city’s communities and culture

A new chapter is opening for the city’s libraries to provide a service fit for the 21st century.

The Council is committed to investment in new facilities to meet community needs.

To help decide where best to spend libraries money 10,000 people took part in the public consultation which asked for views on the plans set out in the proposed Next Generation Strategy.

People thought that our strategy was positive, ambitious and achievable. Clear preferences were also stated, in particular investment in the provision of books, music, DVDs and new technology such as access to computers and online services.

The proposals set out a strong and exciting future for our libraries and will allow development of services in line with user needs and priorities.

Changes have been proposed to the strategy following customer feedback, particularly concerns raised over opening hours.

The proposed changes will see a longer Saturday service for many libraries. Following Council budget decisions £300,000 has been reinstated to the library budget in 2012-13 it is therefore proposed in response to the consultation that Sunday opening remains in the six libraries that currently have it and increased opening hours be offered in Ratho, South Queensferry, Granton and Piershill.

Improvements and investment means:

  • New library at Drumbrae opened this January
  • New Craigmillar Library currently under construction
  • Refurbished Portobello and Morningside libraries
  • Enhancing the Council’s virtual library, which brings together digital resources like catalogues and databases into one portal
  • Using new technology such as a dedicated libraries app, self-service book lending and an e-reading service
  • Developing staff to make sure customers benefit from their knowledge and expertise

Libraries and information services manager Liz McGettigan said the Council recognised the vital role that libraries played and continued to play in Edinburgh’s communities.

“Libraries are at the heart of Edinburgh’s success story and one of the reasons it is the UNESCO City of Literature.

“However, it is essential that libraries adapt to meet the demands and expectations of the 21st century user.

“We need libraries which are fit for purpose and in the right place, supporting lifelong learning and equally attractive to older users and our young people.

“We believe this strategy will help us deliver that and enabling us to provide Scotland’s highest achieving library and information service by 2015.”

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Spring 2012

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