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Shetland Library News and Events

Celebrate World Book Night

World Book Night

Celebrate World Book Night and share the joy of reading at our open mic event. Bring along a poem, story excerpt or a song to share. If you are stuck for ideas we have lots of books to inspire you! The event is free and all ages are welcome. Tuesday 23 April 7.00pm – 8.00pm.

The Stone Age
Image result for jen hadfield

Wednesday, 17 April 7.00pm-8.00pm. Join Shetland poet Jen Hadfield for this accessible and engaging poetry reading and talk. In poems of rapture, transparency and humour, Jen’s new collection “The Stone Age” explores human relationships and the world of the wild from a neurodiverse perspective.

Women are far less likely to seek or receive an Asperger’s diagnosis, which has led to misconceptions that this neurotype is more commonly found in men, and also to the perception of the neurodiverse community being far smaller than it really is. In this ground-breaking event, and as a poet with neurodiverse traits, Jen Hadfield reads from her new work and asks if many Aspie traits may not only be native to poetry but also vital to our culture.

Basement Browsing

Basement Browsing

The Library basement will be open to the public on the first Saturday of every month from 2.00pm - 4.30pm. The entry door is down the ramp to the Learning Centre, behind the main Library. Come and browse or borrow those extra books you don't normally see.

Please note that children under eight must be accompanied by an adult.

Click Shetland: ICT Drop-in Help @ Shetland Library

Click Shetland Logo

Need some help using computers and the Internet? Every Tuesday between 10am and 11am, Library staff will be available to help answer your computer queries. Drop along to the library for some friendly and informal help. If you can’t drop in at this time, you can phone us on 01595 743868 to arrange an appointment.

Saturday Storytime


Storytime every Saturday 11.30am at the Library for the under-5s. Just come along, or contact staff for more details.

Book Groups

The Accident on the A35 by Graeme Macrae Burnet

The next Lerwick Book Group meeting is on Tuesday 23 April, discussing The Accident on the A35 by Grame Macrae Burnet . Upcoming reads: The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting and Perfume by Patrick Suskind. The group meets at the Old Library Centre in Lerwick at 7.30pm. New members are welcome: just contact Karen or Marghie here at the library if you want to join.

Check the book group page for more information on Book Groups in Shetland.

Gruffalo's 20th Birthday

Gruffalo Storytime

On Saturday 23 March we celebrated the Gruffalo’s 20th birthday, with a storytime led by Chloe and Alex, followed by an appearance by none other than the Gruffalo himself. Despite it being a wet and windy morning, almost 90 children with accompanying adults turned up for the event. Before he left, the Gruffalo launched a number of competitions which will run until the end of the month.

eServices Drop-in

eServices Drop in

On 16 March 2019 Shetland Library, along with Adult Learning and Skills Development Scotland, welcomed folk to the Old Library Centre to promote eServices in Shetland.

Around 80 folk attended to find out about free eBooks, get advice about Facebook settings and see demonstrations of Virtual Reality, Lego Mindstorm robots, 3D printing and coding.

Most borrowed lists of 2018

Image result for eleanor oliphant

In 2018, Eleanor Oliphant was completely fine with our readers, even trumping Ann Cleeves in the adult fiction chart. But it was local writer Marsali Taylor who really triumphed, helped by a great performance with eBook readers. As always a great selection of new Shetland books were well borrowed, including the Library's own First World War publications, James and Tom Morton's Shetland cookbook and Douglas Sinclair's 'Old Lerwick'. Read more on our Most Borrowed page.

Harry Potter Events

Harry Potter

The Library held its second annual Harry Potter quiz night on the 7th March 2019. We had a brilliant turnout of 9 Teams bringing a total of 45 People, some of which being a few new faces to the library. The quiz lasted from 6 - 8pm consisting of 4 Normal question Rounds, 4 fun picture and quotes rounds and finishing up with a double points round.  Overall the quiz was a huge success with very positive feed back from everyone.

Hurricane Book Club
Hurricane Book Club

In February 2019 we kicked off our biggest book club yet! The Hurricane Book Club is being run across Scotland and beyond with LIVE events being held at Shetland, Orkney, Glasgow & Falkirk libraries throughout 2019. If you can’t join in person, you can join the conversation online via Twitter.Our first meeting was held on 28 February at 6.00pm in the Old Library Centre, to discuss ‘Burial Rites’ by Hannah Kent. For more information, contact

Build your own Galley Kit

Galley Kit

During fire festival season you can pick up one of our popular 'Build your own galley kits' (free, but donations welcome) at the library or you can download and print from the links below.

Galley kit (best printed on card)

Galley kit instructions

A brief history of Up Helly Aa

Video: making your galley!

Sunshine Reading Group

Sunshine Reading Group

The Sunshine Reading Group met once a month (Oct 2018 – Jan 2019) to share lightsome reads in the glow of a full spectrum (SAD) lamp. There was no assigned reading, instead we chatted about favourite authors, titles and genres and other “bookish” things. The group was a joint effort by the Library and Mind Your Head, who promoted the sessions as one of their wellness activities.

Evening classes and more

Learn button

If you are interested in courses and classes available locally, check the Shetland College programme of part-time and evening courses here - or pick up a brochure in the Library. The Council's Adult Learning department will launch a further programme of community courses soon - check the Adult Learning website here for details.

Help with budgeting

Ways to Save Booklet Front Cover

We all know the Library is a great way to save, by taking advantage of free computer use, books, music, film, newspapers, magazines...well, need we go on? Community Planning and development has published a handy booklet with other handy contacts that might help with budgeting. Download the Ways to Save booklet here [PDF]


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Last Updated on 12 April 2019

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