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Shetland Library News and Events Archive 2006

Library Calendar pictures: Lerwick then and now

Gutty hut

Our Shetland Library Calendar 2007 Hidden Corners of Lerwick is now sold out: thanks to all who bought it and we hope you enjoyed it. In connection with the library’s current initiative to arouse increased interest in local history, this calendar illustrated how even in the last two decades there have been considerable alterations to Lerwick’s built environment and surrounding seascape. You can still see some of the photos here: Hidden Corners revealed

New Shetlander Yule Evening

new shetlander logo

Thanks to writers Donald Murray, Laureen Johnson, Christian Tait and Mark Smith, who read their poetry and prose at the New Shetlander Yule Evening on the 6th of December 2006. Music was by Erin Sandison & Brian Nicolson and Alan Mackay & Robert Bennet, and the audience were delighted by another lovely evening of words and music in the library.

Short story project

short story book

"One may lose oneself in a novel but turn to a good short story to find oneself." V.S. Pritchett

In November 2006 Lerwick Book Group signed up as one of 100 round the country taking part in a national short story reading project. Members got free copies of a book containing the five shortlisted stories for the 2006 National Short Story prize, and went on to read their own choice of short stories both classic and modern, swap views and recommendations, and put together their own top five stories. The project also involved the library, where a dedicated short story section was created. The group's top five short stories are: Island by Alistair Macleod, The Twenty-Four Hour Dog by Jeanette Winterson, The Darling by Anton Chekhov, A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor and Long Distance by Edna O'Brien.

Poetry and Placenames

Shetland Amenity Trust Logo

The winner of the 2006 Shetland Arts and New Shetlander Writing Prize was announced on National Poetry Day. The theme for this year was placenames. You can read the winning poems here:

Winner: Seein baith sides: Hoofield, Cunningsburgh by Christene de Luca

Runner-up: Living Legends by Tom Childs

The consequences of a spill on the mobile library...

Shetland Library van book spill

Our mobiles travel thousands of miles a year but this mishap happened when our new van was not yet out of the garage yard! By pure coincidence, local poet Donald Murray was musing over what might happen if the library van went in a ditch, and wrote this wonderful poem for us.

Unlikely relationships by Donald S. Murray

How to Get Published Project

how to get published logo Autumn 2006: Lerwick Book Group participated in a Pan Macmillan project, reading the opening chapters of five winning novels from Richard and Judy’s How to Get Published competition. They then voted on which book we’d like to read in its entirety, and all got free copies of their choice, Housewife Down by Alison Penton Harper. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the book (so far) Most Thoroughly Slated by the group, but it gave them a lively discussion!

The Library for Learning

evening class leaflets Doing an evening class this year? Why not check out all the resources here at the library to back up your learning? Meditation, dog training, fiddle playing, Russian..? Try a keyword search in the catalogue to find a great range of books on your subject. Library assistant Outi Kater prepared leaflets for all the students in 2006/7, with a list of book and DVD suggestions for each subject. Photo: Outi (left), hands the leaflets over to Community Learning and Development Officer Roselyn Fraser.

Limerick Competition Winners

poetry day logo

Thanks to all who entered our limerick competition for National Poetry Day 2006. We picked three winners: Barbara Fraser, Persephone Poulton and Kyle Rognaldsen. Read the winning limericks here.

Man Booker Prize Project

man booker logo 2006 was a very busy year for Lerwick Book Group! They were picked as one of only six groups nationally (and the only one outside England) to participate in the Man Booker Prize process. This was the first year that book groups had been involved. They got some copies of the six shortlisted books and had to read them in the few weeks between the shortlist (14th September) and winner (10th October) announcements, then decide on our favourite. They kept an online diary about the group and its deliberations, had a web chat with one of the authors, got invited to the shortlist party in London and got a great feel for the process of this major literary prize. The group met once a week during the shortlist reading, with a final get-together on the night the prize was announced. Read more on the Lerwick Book Group page.

Author Visit: Susanna Jones

susanna jones August 2006: the Lerwick Book Group meet reader in residence Susanna Jones, (second row, third from left) having read her two novels, The Earthquake Bird and Water Lily. These atmospheric and sparely-written crime thrillers set in Japan were greatly enjoyed by the group and it was very interesting to meet the author.

Scrapbooking Old and New


On 26 June 2006 members of the local scrapbooking group, Shetland Scrapbookers, showed off their craft in the library, and Joanne from Shetland Archives also brought along some old scrapbooks of local interest.  It was a rare chance to see these precious collections which are normally stored in the archives.  A lovely contrast between the old and the new, and both activities were really enjoyed by the people who dropped in.  Just get in touch if you think you would like to demonstrate your craft or interest in the Library.

Art, music and poetry

mike finnie

We hosted some varied events in May 2006.  At a drop-in music night we promoted our music books and DVDs and even had live music from some brave perfomers!  In partnership with Shetland Arts, we hosted the launch of a new book of poetry postcards, and the audience was treated to a thrilling perfomance from Jen Hadfield, who read new poems, sang and played mandolin. We ended the month with an Art Night, when Mike Finnie (pictured) displayed some of his wonderful watercolours, painted and chatted to customers.  Thanks to all the people who made these evenings so enjoyable.

Basement browsing

Spider's Web

Early in June 2006 we opened our reserve stock areas to the public for two nights. For those folk who have always been fascinated by the piles of books that are conjured up on request from a mysterious basement, this was the chance to see where they reside.  The opening up was a great success, giving happy browsers an extra collection of books to rake amongst. We had lots of comments urging us to do it more often, so are going to continue with openings every month during the winter months, as staffing allows.

Stitch and chat

stitch and chat

In April 2006, the Library was hosted a Stitch and Chat Day with members of the Embroiders' Guild. They were in the library all day to talk to people about fabric crafts and demonstrate their skills: folk could also have a go at a starter embroidery pack.  And it was a good chance to browse all the library's craft books.  There was also a music evening, poetry evening and art evening during Adult Learners week.

If you would like to demonstrate your craft or hobby in the library, please get in touch.

Little Brown Project

book group and Little Brown Spring 2006: Lerwick Book Group was one of five reading groups round the country picked to work with publishers Little Brown on a project about the importance of book covers and marketing. They got the chance to read pre-publication proofs of Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills, a novel set in Ghana. Three executives from Little Brown, a journalist from The Bookseller, and Tom Palmer from The Reading Agency all travelled to Lerwick to meet with the group, at a very interesting session in the Lerwick Hotel. They listened to members’ views and gave us an insight into the cover design process. And the group featured in a full-page spread in The Bookseller!

Itchy Coo!

Authors Hamish Macdonald and Matthew Fitt delighted the audience at the library on Wednesday 22 March 2006 with readings from their work and other humorous Scottish poetry and prose.  They also introduced many of the Scots language books for kids that are produced by the Itchy Coo collective.  Mary Blance read Shetland poetry and Donald Anderson provided the music, in what was another successful collaboration between Shetland Arts Trust and the library.  Thanks to all who took part.

Creative writing!

story writing

Thanks for all who contributed to our World Book Day 2006 events, including the story-writing exercise and the 'Write a Blurb' competition.  You can read some of the best blurbs here.  The Library at the Edge of the World evolved into two lively tales with some unexpected twists and turns.  Click on the links below to read the stories.

The Library at the Edge of the World - Children's version

The Library at the Edge of the World - Adult's version

Love in the Library

Valentine 2006: thanks to all who wrote about their favourite love stories for us - all ages entered their suggestions for books, songs, films and poems.  Read the full list here.

Love's Dog

love's dog event

In January 2006, Jen Hadfield's poetry project Love's Dog proved a popular and entertaining event in the library.  Based on the poem 'A View of Things' by Edwin Morag, many people contributed individual lines which were formed into a new group poem called 'Love's Dog'.  You can read it here.

Right: Jen and the Chatterbooks book group add to the poem.

Raven Black Launch

Shetland Library hosted the national launch of Raven Black, the latest novel by well known crime writer Ann Cleeves, on 3 February 2006.  The book is a murder mystery set in Shetland, and Ann revealed that she is to write three follow-up novels, each set in Shetland in a different season.  The launch was a big success, with about sixty people attending.

Read a review of Raven Black.


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