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Shetland Library News and Events Archive 2008

Most Borrowed Books of 2008

white nights cover

Books of local interest dominated Shetland Library's Most Borrowed Books of 2008. Ann Cleeves took first and second place, and local writers Chrissie Sandison and Karen Inkster got fourth and tenth places respectively. Sharon Bolton's Shetland-based thriller Sacrifice came in at number six. Three more books in the top ten only took us as far as Aberdeen: they were the gory thrillers of Stuart MacBride. Khaled Hosseini provided the only two top ten books from the wider world!

Christmas BookStart parties

Nicola, Santa, Morag, Margaret, Karen and Milford

Santa came to visit all the BookStart bairns at the Christmas party! The Library provided helpful elves and Christmas music. There are so many BookStart babies that we have to have two parties so there's room for everyone.

Seasonal Crafts

paper snowflake

Every day from Monday 15th December to Friday 19th December 2008 we held children's activites in the library. There were storytimes for pre-school bairns and snowflake making workshops for ages 8-12. For Up Helly Aa 2009,we gave away our popular build your own galley kits. Look out for them again next year! Here's how to make a paper snowflake.

A Day and Night of Ghostly Tales...

spooky view of kirk

We marked Halloween 2009 with A Night of the Utmost Awfulness: ghostly tales, spooky readings and hellish music in the library. Thanks to all our readers, and to our audience who entered into the spirit of things. For the bairns, we also had a Winnie the Witch storytime during the day. Halloween Photos and original ghost story

Customer Satisfaction

ticking a box

Thanks to all who filled in our 2008 Customer Satisfaction Survey. You gave us an overall satisfaction rating of 88.4%, up from 85.5% last year. We are always trying to improve our service and value all your comments.

Make technolgy help you

ability net logo

November 2008: Shetland Library staff trained with AbilityNet to improve our understanding of adaptive, alternative and assistive technology. If you are looking for help in using computer hardware or software, check out the AbilityNet website.

Zimbabwean dancers in the Library!

grassroots theatre group

Friday, 29th August - we welcomed the Grassroots Theatre Development Group from Zimbabwe, who gave an afternoon music and dance performance to a packed library - it was standing room only, and everyone there was blown away. We want to thank Grassroots for a fantastic performance. Photos

Young Shetland Writer 2008

Young Shetland Writer 2008

The Young Shetland Writer Prize 2008 was awarded at Wordplay. Run by the Library with Shetland Museum and Archives, this annual competition attracts the best of new talent. This year the theme was The Future, and the four category winners were: Iona Leask (6-9 yrs); Charlotte Verdcourt-Lawrence (10-13 yr); Lucy Grundon (14-17 yrs) and Caitlin Watt (Dialect Prize). They are pictured left with Morag Nicolson from the Library, judges Jen Hadfield and Mary Blance, and writer Robert Alan Jamieson who presented the prizes.

All aboard for National Bookstart Day

library staff dressed as pirates

October the 10th was National Bookstart Day 2008. Well over 100 babies, toddlers and parents attended two special story and song sessions in the Old Library Centre. Library staff donned pirate gear and Milford and Margaret sang pirate songs - a really special occasion.

National Poetry Day 2008

national poetry day logo

LOTS at the Library for National Poetry Day on the 9th of October! We had a Lunchtime Reading with poets Rachel Eunson, Gordon Dargie and Jennifer Perry. Next day came Purple Poetry, an Open Mike Poetry Night. £64 was raised for the CLAN appeal and there were prizes of signed books by Adrian Mitchell and John Hegley. Thanks to all who read or just came to listen. We also had a bairns' poetry competition to win a signed Adrian Mitchell book. Read the best entries

Plans for a Better Library

library photo

There was an Open Public Consultation meeting about the redevelopment of Lerwick Library on the 4th September. Thanks to the people who came along to hear about the plans an contributed to an interesting discussion. Library redevelopment meeting - summary

A Good Report for the Library

SLIC logo

Shetland Libray was inspected in Summer 2008 by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). In a favourable report, inspectors praised the hard work by library staff to deliver a range of services to the community. Full library inspection report

Books fae da But End

books fae da but end

We hope you enjoyed Shetland Library's space at the Wordplay Book Festival on the 6th and 7th of September. We had Shetland books to browse, 'The Muckle Gravit' to knit and competitions to win Shetland classics, all in a crofthouse themed room! A huge thank you to Islesburgh Exhibition Committee for letting us borrow their wonderful crofthouse props.

From Michigan to Shetland

sock monkey winner

September 2008: The Sock monkey, a unique toy sent to us by our 'Sister Library' in Michigan, USA, has been won by Sarah Anderson, age 6, of Gulberwick. We were sent a lot of children's books by Michigan authors, and asked local children to read and review them. Runners up prizes of fossils from Michigan went to Sula Brooks of Baltasound and Morag Haswell of Walls. We will send all the reviews off the the Michigan Library. More... List of books by Michigan authors

Team Read Grand Finale

team read grand finale

Saturday 16th August 2008- Staff geared up for the Team Read closing ceremony. Children who had completed the reading challenge packed the library to pick up their certificates and medals. There were prizes for the best dressed! Well done to everyone who completed the reading challenge.

Team Read Website

The Hollywood Librarian

hollywood librarian

Tuesday 29th July, 2008 - thanks to the Musuem and Archives, who showed this full length library documentary for us, and thanks for everyone who attended. Some library staff dressed Hollywood-style for the occasion! Photos

Author stuck on a ship!

coffee morning

7th July 2008 - To raise funds, Lerwick Book Group baked cakes for a library coffee morning to accompany the visit of popular author Jean Saunders. Unfortunately Jean didn't make it - she was visiting Shetland on the cruise ship Marco Polo, which went behind schedule and wouldn't allow any passengers ashore! But the coffee morning went ahead anyway...

Dagger in the Library 2008

dagger in the library - judges and winner

This is an annual award given by the Crime Writers Association - nominated by libraries and judged by librarians. Karen Fraser from the Shetland Library is one of the six national judges. The 2008 winner, announced at an awards dinner in London on the 10th of July, is Craig Russell. Craig is Scottish but his Jan Fabel novels are set in Hamburg, and were highly praised by the panel for tension, pace, memorable characters and convincing settings.

Shetland Nature Festival

poetry night

Shetland ForWirds and the RSPB put on an excellent poetry and music evening on 8th July 2008 as part of the Shetland Nature Festival. Mary Blance, Laureen Johnson, Dorothy Stove, James Sinclair and Aubrey Jamieson read poems inspired by nature. Ryan Couper and Adam Johnson provided excellent musical interludes, and Robert Sim sang 'Seine Netters', Jack Peterson's poem set to music.

Library staff go wild!

library staff face painting

In preparation for summer 2008 play events, some of the library staff got trained in the art of face painting, which livened up the library offices no end!

Our prizewinning mobile libraries

Shetland Mobile Library and drivers

June 2008: Congratulations to our Mobile Library drivers Elizabeth Robertson and Annette Shewan, who have just scooped the CILIP President's Shield for Best Small Mobile Library. They were attending the 'Mobilemeet' at Aintree. Ian Stringer of CILIP said that the award reflects not just on the physical build of the vehicle but the whole concept of the service and its emphasis on social inclusion. "Your staff gave us a vivid account of life on Shetland and this was one of the main reasons for giving the award."

The Welcome Project - Languages in the Library

morag nicolson reading a story

19th - 24th of May was a celebration of International Shetland, and the Library took the chance to publicize our Welcome collection of books in other languages. We hosted an Adult Learning event for 'Cultural Diversity Day' on the 21st, and also held dual-language story times during the week. Bells Brae nursery bairns were surprised to hear French, German and Norwegian versions of their stories, read by Librarian Morag Nicolson.

Ann Cleeves visit

ann cleeves

Ann Cleeves, author of Raven Black and new book White Nights, did a series of events for Shetland Library between the 12th and 16th of May 2008. The Lerwick event included a talk by Archivist Brian Smith about an awful family massacre that took place in Lerwick in 1858. £100 was raised from ticket sales, and this will be donated to Cancer Research. Photos

Your 24-hour Library

return point

As part of the Welcome project funding in 2007/8 we were able to buy a Returns Point. It's the big bin outside the door that says Books on it! Just put your returns in there if you arrive when the library is shut.

Remember, you can also browse our catalogue and renew or request books 24 hours a day. Just click the My Account or Library Catalogue tabs at the top of the page.

Customers enjoy the Challenge

six book challenge logo

Over 80 readers signed up for the Six Book Challenge between January and May 2008. Readers reported that the Challenge encouraged them to read more widely, and some discovered the joys of the library for the first time. Thanks to all who took part, and thanks to the Peerie Shop Cafe for sponsoring the Challenge with free coffee vouchers.

Big Crowd for Open Mike and book launch

open mike night

Over 60 people crammed into the library for a double treat at a special event on Friday, 14th March 2008. Local poet Jen Hadfield launched her new book, Nigh No Place, and read from her work. The second part of the night was 'open mike', when members of the audience came armed with some favourite poems to share. We enjoyed a huge variety - everything from toilet humour to W.B. Yeats; a poem to mark the 5th year anniversary of war in Iraq and another in memory of John Graham; some dialect poetry and - last but not least - some beautiful singing. Thanks to all who took part.

Welcome Project launched by First Minister

alex salmond in library

On Monday 3rd March 2008, First Minsiter Alex Salmond visited the library to launch our Welcome Project. This project, which is being funded with a Scottish Government grant, is providing the library with a self-issue machine, out-of-hours return point, and a collection of materials to better serve key groups like migrant workers. The First Minister spent 40 minutes in the library talking to staff and customers, and said "I am glad to see projects offering library support to groups such as young people and migrant workers – this is where great results will be achieved".

Top quality reference books enhance our collection

martime history books

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History

“A magisterial encyclopedic as you could possibly hope for. The eclectic subject matter is admirable....pick any page here and there is something to grab the attention. Once you start delving it is devilishly difficult to stop. For the true nautical buff...this is an indispensable reference work."--Navy News

The reference room is upstairs in the library. This is just one of the many classic reference works you can browse there.

Kevin MacNeil Visit

kevin macneil

On the 19th February 2008 the Lerwick Book Group was delighted to welcome author Kevin MacNeil to their meeting. Kevin - author of The Stornoway Way and Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides - was spending a month in Shetland as a writer in residence for Shetland Arts. Members had a very enjoyable discussion about Kevin's work, the wealth of writing talent in Shetland, travel books, Central European literature and much more. Thanks to Kevin and his partner Elsa for spending time with the book group.

Plans for a better library

st ringans

A feasibilty study was carried out in 2007 into better library facilities in Lerwick. There have been public surveys and wide consultation. Read a review of the feedback here. You can find out more about public library building projects by visiting the Designing Libraries website.

Following a report to Council, a decision has been made to remodel both St Ringans and the old library to provide better library facilities. There will be more opportunities for public consultation once the design process gets going. Thanks for all your input so far.

Valentine 2008 - a celebration of romance!

mills and boon winner barbara fraser

This year is the 100th Anniversary of Mills and Boon. To celebrate this great occasion, we invited customers to write up to 250 words which distilled the essence of a good Mills and Boon. The writing competition was judged by Elaine Fulton, Director of the Scottish Library and Information Council. Here she presents the prize of a Scottish Libraries jute bag and a Shetland poetry book to winner Barbara Fraser (pictured left).

Read some of the best entries here.


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