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Shetland Library News and Events Archive 2007

Customer Survey 2007


Thanks to everyone who filled in our customer satisfaction survey at the end of 2007. We were pleased that you gave the library an 85.5% satisfaction rating overall. Of those expressing an opinion about different aspects of our service, nearly 90% rated these 'good' or 'excellent' overall. The biggest area of dissatisfaction centred round space and layout, and this is an area we are working hard to address. Full survey results.

Most borrowed books of 2007

whitethorn woods cover

Shetland Library's most borrowed book of 2007 was Whitethorn Woods by the ever-popular Maeve Binchy. Top with children for the second year running was Garfield the cat, beating the new Harry Potter into second place. Looking at the top 10 most-borrowed books overall, what is most striking is the popularity of local publications. Karen Inkster's book about North Roe - Voices From the Past - is the third most popular - equal with J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Altogether there are five local publications is the top 10, including Ann Cleeves' Raven Black and Ethel Hofman's Mackerel at Midnight, which make it for the second year running. Read the full list

Sitting comfortably...


November 2007 - at last, what our customers have long been waiting for: a comfortable leather sofa and chairs where you can settle down with your book or magazine. Librarian Morag Nicolson was quick off the mark, grabbing a seat to catch up with Heat magazine.

There is now a coffee machine in the library and you can buy a selection of hot drinks for 80p.

Library wins tidy business award

tidy business award

Awarded in recognition of our efforts to maintain our premises to a satisfactory standard of cleanliness and our commitment to waste minimisation, recycling and local community enhancement, we were one of some 16 local businesses or organisations to receive the Gold Standard in December 2007. Particular thanks to Librarian Douglas Garden (left), for his sterling re-cycling efforts, both in terms of our own materials and equipment and the promotion of re-cycling in all our buildings.

Bookstart Christmas party

bookstart party

Fifty babies and their Mums or Dads came to our Bookstart Christmas party on Friday 14th December 2007. Santa paid a visit and handed out presents to them all. As you can see it was quite a crowded room!

Bookstart sessions are held once a month at the library, and are a fun way for babies to get used to books, and to enjoy songs and rhymes.

Seasonal music, poetry, mulled wine and mince pies...


On Wednesday 12th December 2007 we ran another successful lunchtime poetry event with readings from Mary Blance and Christian Tait. Thanks to our own library staff Margaret Cheriyan and Milford Georgeson who provided the seasonal music. Later that day, we were delighted to welcome the New Shetlander for their Yule Evening of poetry and music, featuring Laureen Johnson, Jim Mainland, Mary Blance, Donald Murray and Miriam Brett (Young Fiddler of the Year). Non-alcoholic Mulled Wine Recipe

Staff support good causes

library staff in pink

26th October 2007: library staff Wear it Pink for the Breast Cancer Campaign.

Workers at the library embrace opportunites to support charities, and most popular in the staff room seem to be campaigns involving cake: Shetland MS Society's Cake Day and the Macmillan Coffee Morning are enthusiastically supported!

Tamil Nadu calendar 2007

Tamil Nadu

After the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, Shetland established an exchange scheme with a town in Tamil Nadu. Jeanette Nowak from Shetland Library was one of the first Shetland people to contribute her skills to the scheme. The library produced a calendar of photos to raise funds for the project: the cover (pictured) shows a teacher at the HOPE Foundation school standing in front of Jeanette’s mural of Mid Yell Voe.  Painted from memory with commercial house paints, the picture enabled Jeanette to describe her home in Shetland so many miles away. 

National Bookstart Day 2007

jungle picture

Shetland Library held a jungle party in the Old Library Centre to mark National Bookstart Day on the 5th of October. Children brought along their favourite jungle toy and at the end of the rhyme and story session, everyone received a jungle goody bag.

October 2007 was a Big Draw at the Library

Tim Chamberlain

From the 1st to the 20th of October, the upper mezzanine of the library was turned into a drawing room! This was to celebrate The Big Draw, a campaign run nationally every year to promote the enjoyment of drawing.

Visiting artist Tim Chamberlain showed his sculpture exhibition bound to remember - 'a curious collection of found bound altered and inscribed objects' and paper and pencils were avaiable for anyone who wanted to sit and sketch. Thanks to Tim for a very interesting exhibition, and to everyone who visited.

Young Writer Award 2007

secret door

The Young Writer Award is run every year by Shetland Library. This year's theme was The Forgotten Room. Winners were all presented with their prizes on the 8 September by children's writer Debi Gliori. Read the winning entries on our Young Writer page.

Poetry With Ambience: Shetland Library at Wordplay 2007

poetry room

We hope you enjoyed our 'poetry salon' at the Wordplay Book Festival (8th and 9th September). We had fun creating a lovely room for folk to relax and browse our poetry books: a huge thank you to Islesburgh Drama Group for the furniture, and the staff at Islesburgh for all their help.

Writers who were at Wordplay 2007: Iain Banks, Denise Mina, Kevin McNeill, Debi Gliori, Fred Normandale, Kieth Gray.

History in the Home

Earl of Zetland

Old St Clair at Holmsgarth

Graduate placement Trevor Jamieson hosted an evening of photo, slide, cine and video image sharing on Wednesday 29th August 2007 in the Shetland Library. Slide, cine and video projection facilities were available and people were invited to bring along their old photos or films. A presentation explored Lerwick’s recent past, culminating with seldom-before-seen video footage of fishing boat Nil Desperandum at work. Trevor also entertained the fascinated audience with a song about his fishing days! Thanks to all who came and shared their wonderful films and photos. Hidden Corners Revealed

History of St Ringans book

St Ringan's during the 1930s


Free Church History

Lerwicks New Town

Ministers of St Ringans

Plaques in St Ringans

We have produced a booklet explaining how former United Free Church, St Ringan's became the new Shetland Library. This has been done in response to numerous enquiries (from visitors to Shetland in particular) who are keen to find out more about the building's history. The booklet is now available from the front desk of the library for £2.50, or online through the links below.

The Sanctuary

St Ringans History

St Ringans Now

List of Illustrations and Bibliography

Extra pictures

Open Mike Poetry Night

poetry night audience

Our Open Mike Poetry Night on 1st August 2007 was a huge success. A happy audience greatly enjoyed the night and almost half of them provided the entertainment by stepping up to read poems or sing songs.

Thanks to: June Ross-Smith, Leslie Butler, Laureen Johnson, James Sinclair, Nat Hall, Barbara Fraser, Laurence of Mar, Lisa Ward, Christian Tait, Caroline Pepper, Susan Laurenson, Milford Georgeson, Margaret Cheriyan, Mary Blance, Doug Forrest and our poet partner Jen Hadfield.

Historic Collection of books move to Archives

goudie book plate

The Goudie Collection has been part of the Library's local collection since 1950 but in 2007 it moved to Hay's Dock to join the Archives. The collection remains in the Library's catalogue but benefits from the superb facilities in the new Museum and Archives. read the Shetland Amentity Trust's press release here...

Stuart MacBride has left the building...

macbride event

Thanks to all who attended - and performed at - our evening event with Aberdeen crime writer Stuart MacBride on the 23rd of May 2007. Stuart, delighted the audience with readings of his work and much witty repartee. Local writers Kathy Hubbard and Donald MacDonald also read from their work, and music was provided by our very own in-house team - Margaret Cheriyan, Trevor Jamieson and Milford Georgeson, who were joined by Margaret's daughter Rebecca and Trevor's brother Clive. Check out Stuart's website at

Stuart MacBride night

book group meeting

22nd May 2007: Lerwick Book Group invited members from other groups to join them in meeting visiting author Stuart MacBride. Members from South Mainland Book Group and from the newly-formed Bressay group attended. It was a lovely night offering an amusing look into the world of writing, crime, violence and bondage. Stuart was asked to choose the group's next book to read, and he picked Hard Frost by R. D. Wingfield, who he said was one of the authors he most admired.

A feast for music lovers

grove music pic

In summer 2007 the library invested in a major reference work: the second edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Our musical staff, got first chance to browse our new aquisition. Pirctured with the books are senior library assistant Milford Georgeson who is guitarist with The Peatles; library assistant Margaret Cheriyan, a talented soprano, and our Graduate Placement student Trevor Jamieson, a legendary local singer and musician. Margaret and Trevor combine their musical talents to entertain the BookStart babies. You can browse Grove Music in the library's reference section.

The bag to be seen with!

library bags

Spring 2007: Now available exclusively at Shetland Library: our eco-friendly re-usable tote bags. The bags have been made specially for us by Baggy Drawers, the local young enterprise company, and are on sale at the library and learning centre. Ably modelled here by library staff Katrina Williamson and Trevor Jamieson, they are just the thing to take your books home in style! Only £3.50 each.

World Book Day 2007: Thanks for telling us your Top Tens

world book day logo

Imagine being stranded on a desert island. No TV, no radios, no computers. All you have are the ten books in your suitcase, the ten books that have shaped your life and character. The ten books you know you could not live without. What books would they be? This is the question World Book Day 2007 put to the nation. We had a local competition at the library to find out the Top Tens of our customers, and Gordon Oliver won the book token for the most interesting list . Have a look at the local lists in the 'Book of Ideas' (reader's recommenations folder') in the library.

On Valentine's Day 2007, did you borrow a book for your sweetheart?


In Barcelona, they don’t celebrate St Valentine’s Day but instead Sant Jordi’s day on the 23rd of April. This is the big day for lovers - and they buy each other books. Streets are crowded as booksellers display their wares, and up to 400,000 books will be sold on the day as people seek out the perfect book for their loved one. But of course you don’t have to spend to make your loved one happy: on St Valentine's day we invited customers to borrow the perfect book for their loved one, we hope it impressed them! The winner of our Valentine's competition is John Harmer, who produced a splendidly flattering tribute to librarians, in beautiful calligraphy: he wins a copy of The Foy by Lawrence Tulloch.

Up Helly Aa 2007: galleys from the library

Galley kit

For Up Helly Aa 2007 Shetland Library with the assistance of graduate placement worker Trevor Jamieson, gave away ‘Build Your Own Galley Kits’. The kit includes a page of cutout components, easy to follow instructions and colouring suggestions, along with a brief history of Up-Helly-Aa. The ‘Build Your Own Galley Kit’ amused youngsters and adults alike, but served to better inform about the ins and outs our great festival, not to mention the proper names for some galley parts!  We gave away nearly 700 of the galley kits and believe they found their way all over the world. The galley's role in Up-Helly-Aa.

Most Borrowed Books of 2006

raven black cover

mackerel at midnight cover

There was a local bias to Shetland's most borrowed book of last year: the top-lending book was Ann Cleeves' murder mystery Raven Black. There is no end to the The Da Vinci Code phenomenon: Dan Brown's book still came in at number two. Ethel Hofman's memoir Mackerel at Midnight topped the loans for local history. Junior fiction loans, both in the school libraries and main library, were dominated by Jacqueline Wilson, though the top spot went to: Garfield the cat at Lerwick Library, and Roald Dahl's The Twits in the schools.. Most Borrowed Book List

Happy New Year 2007 from Shetland Library Talking Newspaper

staff singing

Every week, The Shetland Times is read onto tape by staff and volunteers, and posted out to customers who want it. This service is free, and we also tape Shetland Life and The New Shetlander. If you or someone you know would like this service, just ask. Customers had an unexpected extra this festive season, as we currently have some very musical people working at the library. Trevor Jamieson and Margarert Cheriyan sang Silent Night at the end of the Christmas tape, and Trevor dragooned a chorus of staff into joining him for a seasonal offering on the New Year tape.


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