10 reasons to celebrate National Libraries Day in Edinburgh

Whether you visit every week or once in a while, there’s no better time to show your local library some love than National Libraries Day.

Taking place on Saturday, February 7, the occasion will see libraries across the country celebrating and Edinburgh’s libraries will be playing their part with a series of events throughout the day.

We’ve picked out ten of the best ways to mark the day.

Edinburgh Central Library, the city’s oldest and probably best-known, offers everything from a dedicated children’s library to an Edinburgh and Scottish Collection plus a packed programme of events, and last year saw its visitor numbers treble. Behind the scenes there’s even more to discover, with collections dating as far back as the 1400s. Unearth some of the library’s secret artefacts at this one-off event, from 1.30 to 2.30pm.

Children’s Library activities

Little monsters and budding artists alike will be entertained at Central’s Children’s Library this NLD. From 10.30 illustrator Cate James will help youngsters to design and draw their own creepy creatures at Monsters Workshop!, while Three Craws will let participants create their own book version of the famous Scottish rhyme from 2pm.

Read and Remember WWI

Drop by Leith Library to share and hear stories about the history of World War One, learning more from the library’s wealth of books on the topic. McDonald Road Library will also host an exhibition of local WWI artefacts and information throughout the day.

From Sean Connery to J.M. Barrie, Edinburgh boasts its fair share of famous sons and daughters. Joanne Soroka, author of Edinburgh: Celebrity City Guide will visit Stockbridge Library from 2pm to reveal more about the city’s colourful characters and their best kept secrets. Hear about the capital’s 100 most famous people, where they lived, worked and played and their connections to the city’s streets.

Ever thought you could run a library? Try your hand at being a library advisor at Portobello Library between 2 and 3pm, where little librarians can join experienced staff to find out just what goes into the job before earning their own custom-made library advisor badge.

Our libraries are about much more than just books and Drumbrae Library will demonstrate that by marking NLD with a video games festival throughout the afternoon. As well as taking part in a live, multi-player FIFA tournament for football fans, participants can learn about the history of gaming with a range of retro video game machines.  

Book tree

Pass it on at Colinton Library, where a ‘book tree’ will be erected for readers to place their book recommendations amongst the leaves – maybe you’ll find a new favourite. 

Cats, jazz, dried-up wells – Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s subject matter can be surreal to say the least. Currie Library invites you to immerse yourself in the eccentric writer’s literature with a spot of Murakami Bingo, playing along to spot the recurring themes.

I Love Moredun Library because…

Of course we all love our local libraries – and all day on Saturday Moredun will be asking visitors to tell them why. Is it the books? The atmosphere? The staff? Children can spend the afternoon creating and decorating cards showing why they love their library.

Coffee

And…relax. Across the city libraries will be hosting coffee mornings, bake sales and craft events throughout the day. So there’s no excuse not to curl up with a hot drink and a book! Check the libraries' events web pages for details.

City of Edinburgh Culture and Sport Convener, Cllr Richard Lewis, said: “National Libraries Day is a fantastic opportunity to find out about all the great resources and events on offer in our local libraries. I would encourage as many people as possible to head along and show their support for this great service.” 

For more information on Edinburgh’s National Libraries Day events, visit the Council’s website.

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