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Shetland Library News and Events Archive 2009

Satisfied customers

ticking box

Results of our 2009 customer survey: many thanks for all your helpful feedback, which helps to improve our service. The 'space and layout' category again attracted the lowest scores and the most adverse comments, with lack of space remaining a problem for your enjoyment of the library. Despite this, we are delighted to report that you gave us a satisfaction rating of 91.5%, and praised our customer service in particular. Thanks again!

Shetland writing and writers

J.W. Irvine, Shetland writer

In September 2009 we published a page on our website dedicated to Shetland writers. It's a taster of some great local writing, and a change to find out about some of our authors. There are photos, text, interviews and audio clips.

Shetland Bible launch

Bible launch at Shetland Library

On Friday 16th October 2009 the Reverend Charles Greig launched his book of Shetland dialect bible translations in the library. There were readings, music, song and mountains of homebakes to entertain a packed house. Charles Greig is pictured left, with the Shetland Times Shop staff who came to sell copies of the new book.

A poetry exchange

Pam Beasant and Jen Hadfield

Saturday, 17th October 2009: Orkney's poet partner Pam Beasant, here as the guest of Shetland's poet partner Jen Hadfield, gave a lunchtime reading in the library. This event was the last of the Poet Partner project, which has run for three years and given the library some nice opportunities to work with Jen Hadfield. But look out for a special event and publication to mark the end of the Bards in the Bog project, coming soon!

Babies invade Library!

Shetland National BookStart Day 2009

Friday 9th October 2009 was National BookStart Day, and a great crowd of babies turned out for our two BookStart sessions, which had a special nursery rhyme theme. Staff entered into the spirit of the occasion as usual, dressing as a variety of nursery rhyme characters, including Jack Sprat and his wife, Mary Mary Quite Contrary and Humpty Dumpty!

National Poetry Day 2009

national poetry day logo

For National Poetry Day on the 8th of October we held a fabulous poetry reading in the library with Gordon Dargie, Laureen Johnson and James Sinclair. Laureen wrote a special poem inspired by the occasion: Poetry for Lunch!

Listen to Shetland Poetry on our website.

Kieth Charters: author visit

Kieth Charters at Shetland Library

Children's author Keith Charters was at the Shetland Library on Wednesday 23 September 2009 - local children and adults enjoyed hearing Keith read from his books and talk about writing. Learn more about Keith and his books at

Young Shetland Writer 2009: winners

Age 6 - 9 years Rona Learmonth
Age 10 - 13 years Bethany Byrne-McCombie
Age 14 - 17 years & Dialect Prize Peter Ratter


Shetland Library questseekers

The Questseekers Summer Reading Challenge for children finished on Saturday 15 August 2009, with a grand closing ceremony at the library. Medals and certificates were handed out to this year's readers. We hope you all enjoyed the Challenge - and well done for completing it.

Shetland Library out and about

Shetland mobile library and BookStart bear

:In summer 2009 we took the mobile library out to some places it isn't normally seen - Sandveien, Staney Hill and the Cunningsburgh Show. It gave us a chance to meet more folk and tell them about the library. We also brought Hamish the BookStart bear with us!

A night dedicated to Rhubarb, King of the garden

Mary Prior at Rhubarbaria launch

Rhubarbaria: the name of a great new food book, and of it's launch event at Shetland Library on Friday, 7th August 2009. The audience enjoyed talks by Rhubarbaria author Mary Prior and by local food writers Ann Prior and Charlie Simpson. There were rhubarb snacks and a rhubarb drink to try, and the word premiere of The Rhubarb & Almond Tart Song (audio clip), peformed by library staff! Thanks to all who came and to the speakers and singers who made this a splendid and only slightly wierd occasion.

Childhood in 1950s Shetland

School days book cover

Another brand new book was launched at Shetland Library on Saturday 15th August, 2009. School Days is by Shetlander Gordon B. Smith, author of Varangian. The author now stays in New Zealand, but was back home for his book launch. He talked about some of the photos in the book, and delivered a presentation on the Clunies Ross family.

Dagger in the Library highlights a rising talent

Colin Cotterill and Dagger judges

Dagger in the Library, one of the Crime Writers' Association annual awards, is the only literary award nominated by libraries and judged by librarians. Karen Fraser from Shetland Library is on the judging panel, and this year's winner was Colin Cotterill, whose engaging and witty hero is a coroner in 1970s Laos. He is pictured (second from left) with Dagger judges Cheney Gardner, Karen Fraser and Mark Benjamin. Colin Cotterill website

A night of drama and poetry

Laureen Johnson, Marnie Baxter and Peter Ratter We held a really special event on Saturday 23rd of May: the launch of Two Shetland Plays by Marsali Taylor. There was a chance to hear readings of the plays as well as poetry from Nat Hall and Laureen Johnson. Mary Blance also read two passages from the forthcoming Shetland Bible. Pictured right are Laureen Johnson, Marnie Baxter and Peter Ratter reading one of Laureen's poems. (click to enlarge).

Steve Cole: an excellent author visit!

Steve Cole Children's author Steve Cole delighted over 70 young fans with a one hour session in the Shetland Library on 1 May 2009. The visit was part of a tour organised by Scottish Booktrust, which included a session for teaching staff in the Old Library Centre and four school visits.

Spotlight on local history

myth and materiality

On the 24th of April 2009 we held a successful local history evening. There was a slide show of old photos, and a talk about some of the local history materials available locally - from the Museum, Archives, Registrars and Family History Society. The library has a big collection of books and old newspapers to browse on microfilm, as well as access to family history websites such as Scotland's People (we can offer discounted rates for this website).

Banned books highlighted for World Book Day 2009

chained book- percececil.wordpress website

Thanks to everyone who entered our Banned Books quiz and our Publisher Logo quiz. Just click the links to view answers and winners.

To find out more about banned and censored books, try these links:

Wikipedia; Freedom to Read; Borders; University of California

Murder and Archaeology: Ann Cleeves Book Launch

red bones book jacket

Ann Cleeves launched her new book, Red Bones, in the Library on Tuesday, 10th March 2009. A packed house saw Shetland archaelogist Val Turner - who plays herself in the book - gave a talk on Murder and Archaeology. Music was provided by the fabulous AestaeWast (Val also performed with them!) Ann also announced that the charity auction for the Vaila Harvey fund had raised over £4,000, and that her Shetland series may be coming to TV! Ann Cleeves website

LGBT books at the library


February 2009 was LGBT History Month. The Shetland Library marked it by showcasing a selection of books with an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) theme. We updated our booklists and publicized new LGBT stock. LGBT History Month website

The Stonewall website gives LGBT information and advice.

Shetland Interfaith evening

Interfaith Event

Over 40 people gathered on 13th March 2009 to hear a range of stimulating national and international speakers, interspersed with Aetaewast’s drumming, traditional fiddle and piano music and moving singing and guitar music. Speaking on the them of ‘Make a world of difference’ Scottish Interfaith’s Maureen Sier (pictured) opened the debate, with Philadelphia Temple University’s Dr Racelle Weiman and keynote speaker professor Leonard Swidler arguing for improved dialogue in the world.

Browse our vintage newspapers

microfilm reader

In January 2009 we got a new microfilm reader and printer. This is part of our 'Welcome2' project, promoting accessibilty in the library, and was funded by the Scottish Government's Public Library Quality Improvement Fund. You can look at old copies of the Shetland News and Shetland Times from as far back as the 1870s. You can print articles for a charge of 25p a sheet. Why not have a look at what was 'front page news' on the day you were born?

Lunch with Dickens

great expectations

New Year...New Year's resolutions. In January 2009 we promoted our nineteenth century novels, and formed a lunchtime book group for those folk who'd always meant to get round to reading them, but needed a bit of moral support! The group meets weekly to read classics together. Spaces on this group are all filled, but let us know if you're interested in helping to form new book groups.

Bards in the Bog heads a week of poetry events

Jen Hadfield at Shetland Library

A Poet Partner Open Mike night with Jen Hadfield on the 18th of Feburary 2009 was a lovely event. It marked the official launch of Bards in the Bog - fiddler Ian Williamson kicked off the project by playing Chadwick's Bog, a tune written in honour of a Shetland toilet!

On Friday 20th February, we also played host to a Shetland Arts poetry night where James Robertson and Gordon Dargie launched new poetry pamphlets.

Vivien French enthrals nursery bairns

vivian french telling stories to children

Tuesday 3rd of February - a packed house at the library as over 70 nursery bairns came along for a session with writer Vivian French. Many thanks to Vivian, who delighted her audience with stories, song and drawings. Thanks also to Shetland Arts for helping to arrange the session.


Up Helly Aa treat for Staney Hill toddlers

staney hill toddlers

Library staff Pat, Morag, Thelma, Bruce and Milford visited the Staney Hill toddlers' group on the Wednesday before Up Helly Aa 2009 and entertained them with some seasonal songs.

Click photo to enlarge

Donald gets a second retirement party

Donald Silk's retirement

Donald Silk (pictured second from left, with staff and volunteers) retired from his job on the mobile library ten years ago. But since then he has been doing volunteer work for us every Friday, recording the Shetland Times for our talking newspaper service. On the 23rd January 2009 he finally retired from that job also. Thanks to Donald for over 40 years with the library.

Gold award for Library

tidy business gold award

2009: for the second year in a row, we have won a Gold at the Tidy Business awards. This is very much a team effort from the Library, Community office and Adult Learning teams. It reflects not only our care over recycling and waste disposal, but our high level of community involvement.


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