EDGE conference faces the future of public service delivery

Some of the world’s leading thinkers in the public sector will gather in Edinburgh to look to the future of libraries and information services.

The fifth annual EDGE Conference, taking place on 27 and 28 February, will bring together innovators and experts from the fields of libraries, information services and technology to explore how electronic access to public services, learning and digital skills can be delivered. 

Organised by City of Edinburgh Council’s Library and Information Service, the two-day event, tagged “facing the future with confidence”, aims to embrace change and reform across public services, as well as addressing the increasing importance of digital and social technologies. 

Focusing on themes of ‘physical’, ‘social’ and ‘digital’, talks will touch on redesigned library spaces, building communities and leveraging technology to meet customer demand and needs. 

Amongst the speakers are Dr Ally Crawford, Wikimedian-in-residence at the National Library of Scotland, whose ground-breaking programme will help lay a more open access policy at the NLS, and Brian Brannon, who will speak about his work as commissioner at Chicago Public Library.  

Others scheduled to talk include representatives from Northamptonshire County Council (Grace Kempster), O2 (Martyn Wallace) and Macmillan Cancer Care (Tom McInnes).  

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, will welcome delegates on the first day of the conference.

He said: “We are incredibly proud of our libraries service in Edinburgh, and this is a great opportunity for our staff to share their expertise, as well as learning from fellow professionals. In Edinburgh we are constantly looking for ways to develop and evolve, whether it is with the libraries app or the Total Neighbourhood approach, and I’m looking forward to seeing what next steps our service will take.” 

David Stoker, Service Manager for the Central Library and Archive at Liverpool City Council, said: “Innovation is key to the future of libraries, and this conference is the ideal platform for sharing knowledge and expertise in the area. As the service continues to develop, it’s fantastic to see so many people embracing change.” 

EDGE 2014 has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Bolinda, Capita, Improvement Service, Solus, Innovative Interfaces, FG Library Products, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, MCL Edinburgh, The Roxburghe Hotel and Axiell. 

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

Find out more about the EDGE Conference on its website.

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