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Shetland Library News and Events

Elmer Day
Elmer Day

Come along to the Old Library Centre on Saturday 27th May between 11am and 1pm to celebrate the world's most colourful elephant! Join us for some of our favourite Elmer stories and lots of colourful Elmer activities.

Bookbug's Big Giggle

Bookbug’s Big Giggle took place in the Shetland Museum auditorium on Friday 19th May. With 136 participants, it was a very lively session. As well as the usual songs and rhymes, there was a Pass the Bookbug game plus lots of fun with lycra sheets and puppets.

Performance Report
Shetland Library performance report image

In May 2017 we published our annual peformance report - it's a bit of a report card on how we've done in financial year 2016/17 and our aims for the coming year. You can read it by clicking on the image to the left or find it on our Performance page.

Code Club

Shetland Library Code Club first graduates

Congratulations to our first Code Club graduates Sven, James, Bryden, Helen and Keira (though they didn't all stay around for the photo!) who finished our set of seven 'pilot' sessions in April 2017. Thanks also to our Erin and Louise who ran the classes. Watch out for more Code Clubs coming soon!

Saturday Storytime

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

Click Shetland: Drop-in @ 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.

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.

Book Groups
Paris spring

The next Lerwick Book Group meeting is on Tuesday 23 May, discussing Paris Srping by James Naughtie. Upcoming reads: Imperium by Robert Harris and The Power by Naomi Alderman. 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.

Books of a Feather
Books of a Feather

On Friday 21 April we celebrated World Book Night a bit early with a very special grown up puppet show, Books of a Feather. The show was written by local writers and people who love reading and directed by our Reading Champion, Jacqui Clark. It was a laugh-out-loud evening topped off with a free World Book Night book.

Bring me sunshine...
Shetland Library sunshine seat flyer

It can sometimes seem like a long dark winter in Shetland, so in March 2017 we trialled a 'SAD' daylight lamp in the Library - customers were welcomed to try basking in front of it while reading their magazines. If it is popular it may return next winter, so do have a try and let us know what you think.

A big achievement for a library customer

Bill Adams presenting book to Shetland Library

Veteran Shetland marathon runner Bill Adams completed his 451st half-marathon in Februrary 2017. Being an avid library user, Bill knew 451 wasn't just any old number, and decided to present us with a new copy of Ray Bradbury's classic 'Fahrenheit 451' to mark the occasion. The Shetland Times also ran a feature on his remarkable running career, which includes a good placing in the New York marathon. Bill uses Library computers to research runs and arrange his travel so we are glad we have helped!


Christianity and Islam: Points of Unity and Misunderstanding
Christianity and Islam

On 11 April Shetland Inter Faith hosted a thought provoking evening at the library. Dr Lameh Fananapizir, author of “Islam at the Crossroads” gave a talk entitled Christianity & Islam: Points of Unity & Misunderstanding discussing the similarities between these two major religions. Dr Fananapizir very kindly donated his book to the library.

Shetland Community Choices - Promoting Bookbug Extra

Bookbug really does help give bairns the very best start in life. In March 2017 we took part in and promoted the Shetland Community Choices 'participatory budgeting' scheme and tried to win funding for 'Bookbug Extra'. This project would have established sessions in Whalsay and Scalloway and increased access to sessions elsewhere. Unfortunately despite great support we were not one of the projects to win. However, it was a great chance to promote Bookbug and we thank everyone who voted for us.

Code Clubs at the Library

Code Clubs at the Library

Our first set of Code Clubs kicked off on 7 March 2017. For ages 9 -11 and suitable for beginners, the project was supported by the Scottish Library and Information Council as part of the National Strategy for Libraries 'Digital Inclusion' strand. We used the free online Scratch coding language for activities.

Coding Club - coming soon to the Library
Shetland staff get coding training

Coding - being creative with free computer programming launguages like #Scratch - is gettiing popular. To help young people get interested in coding we hope to run a short series of clubs. In February 2017 the Scottish Library and Information Council sponsored training for all Scottish libraries. Since a trainer came all the way to Shetland, our staff turned out enthusiatically to find out more!


What difference does the Library make to your life?

Image result for customer survey

Thanks to everyone who filled in our customer survey - the results are now in and we have retained last year's record 93% satisfaction rating! There is also a fascinating range of answers to our main question 'What difference does the Library make to your life?'. This information is all really valuable to us and the positve feedback is very gratifyinig. Please take a look at the survey report over on our Performance page.


Build your own Galley Kit

Galley kits

For Up Helly Aa 2017 our customers could again pick up one of our popular 'Build your own galley kits' (free but donations welcome) at the Library or download and print from the links below.

Galley kit (best printed on card)

Galley kit instructions

A brief history of Up Helly Aa

World Book Day
World Book Day

World Book Day was celebrated on the 2 March in the main library, and in all the staffed school libraries in Shetland.

The main library welcomed school groups and early years groups and Morag and Marghie visited Dunrossness and Sandwick school libraries during the day.

Baltasound held a fancy dress and Readathon plus a host of other activities, Aith organised a costume parade plus activities, the AHS had crafts and quizzes. There was a Scholastic Book Fair and a Where’s Wally search as part of a large number of events at Sandwick, and Brae held a Reading Week with lots of fiction promotion throughout the school.

Most borrowed books of 2016

Lee Child Make Me

In 2016 it finally happened! Ann Cleeves was unseated after eight years at the top of the adult fiction borrowing stats, and Lee Chld was the man to do it. We are sure Ann will come back fighting next year. Jeff Kinney continued to be unstoppable, taking all ten top ten places in the junior chart but other authors did well too, as bairns are reading a LOT. Great performance by Laureen Johnson who took first and third place in the Shetland chart as editor of the No 1 book and translator of No 3. Our eAudio is proving popular, especially for Harry Potter fans. Read more here.

La La Library Land
Jacqui Clark Reading Champion

On 7 February 2017 the Library was packed out for a celebration of libraries. First we had a ‘stakeholders tea’ so people could meet visiting assessors from How Good is Your Public Library. It was followed by an evening hosted by Jacqui Clark, Reading Champion. First, J.J. Jamieson showed the premiere of his new short film about Annette’s mobile library, then a great programme of readings, poetry and music. Thank you everyone who made it such a great night.

Harry Potter Book Night Celebration
Harry Potter Book Night

Shetland Library celebrated Harry Potter Booknight on Thursday 2 February, with six teams of young people taking part in what turned out to be an exciting and competitive evening! The Booknight quiz had four rounds, followed by a tiebreaker activity to decide the winners. Fifth equal were Fawkes and the Phoenixes and Dumbledore’s Army, 4th place went to Gryffindor A, third to Gryffindor is the Best,2nd to the Winning Weasleys and the winners, by one point, were the Golden Snitches. Well done everyone who took part!

Up Helly Aa Bookbug
Shetland tot enjoys Up Helly Aa Bookbug

Shetland Library, along with colleagues from Shetland Museum and Archives, held a successful Bookbug Up Helly Aa session in the Museum Auditorium on Saturday 21 January. 90 children turned up,along with 78 adults, and after 20 minutes of songs from Morag Nicolson, Marghie West and Erin Keenan, Trevor Jamieson led a procession of tiny torchbearers through to Da Gadderie where a peerie galley awaited them for finale.

3D printing in the Library

3D printing in Shetland Library

In Autumn 2016 we got a free 3D printer for the Library. This is funded by the Scottish Government and the project, run through the Scottish Library and Information Council aims to increase interest in ever-changing digital technology. We are demonstrating the printer in the Library foyer and you can find out more about it at our Click ICT drop-in sessions.

A whole advent of library news...

Tavish Scott MSP in the Library for Christmas 2016

We celebrated Christmas 2016 in the Library and online with a giant advent calendar made of books tied up with teensy winter scarves. Each day a book was opened by a celebrity guest - these included Tavish Scott MSP, Donald S. Murray, Averil Simpson and the 'Library Ghost' - to reveal something special about the Library.

Every Child is a Library Member!

P1 Sound School with Shetland Library

The Scottish Government promotes the value of library cards for children. We already had good membership, but extra work was needed to ensure bairns in the big Lerwick primaries and Scalloway cluster all got the chance to join. After a huge round of book gifting and promotional work in November 2016, Librarian Morag Nicolson now feels she can safely say every P1 child in Shetland is a Library member! Well done Morag and special thanks to all the parents and schools who helped.


Reading Champion

Jacqui Clark is Scottish Book Trust's Reading Champion at Shetland Library in 2016. She has been working with us to help deliver innovative projects around reading. More information about Reading Champions
Jacqui Clark - Reading Champion

'The book group that's not a book group but kinda is...''

Join the Facebook group to find out more.

Reading Champ's 101 Words blog

Reading Champion press release

Creative Writing Workshops

The Saturday Sessions

The Saturday Sessions were an opportunity for local writers to develop a small collection of written works inspired by Shetland Library and which explored how reading influenced their own writing. A total of 6 writers shared their work in the Library during Book Week Scotland in an event entitled 'Our Library, Our Stories'. Thanks to everyone who took part.

Yell Writers' Group Book Launch

A Gutcher Gadderie

Yell writers aged from 15 to 80+ delighted a library audience at the launch of their anthology ‘A Gutcher Gadderie’ on 2 December 2016. The writing was carefully chosen, hugely varied and very talented. The readings were very assured, the pieces varying from poignant to hilarious. The book can be borrowed from the Library or bought locally.

Marsali Taylor Book Launch
Ghosts of the Vikings by Marsali Taylor

On 30 November 2016 Marsali Taylor launched Ghosts of the Vikings the latest in her popular Cass Lynch/Shetland Sailing mystery series at the library. The library has been pleased to provide the location for the launch of each of the five books in the series. In this instalment, set in Unst, there are treasure hunters, opera stars and a ruthless killer...we will have to read the book to find out what happens!

Old Library 50 Year Anniversary 'Open Day'
Old Library

On 2 July 2016 we held an Open Day in the old library/museum to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the building and also to consult about the planned upgrade and repair. An exhibition of information and old photos is still up in our lobby. The public survey is now closed but we'd still like to hear from people. We will put information online soon about the survey feedback.

Old Library refurbishment project web page

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]


News Archive 2016

News Archive 2015

News Archive 2014

News Archive 2013

News Archive 2012

News Archive 2011

News Archive 2010

News Archive 2009

News Archive 2008

News Archive 2007

News Archive 2006


Last Updated on 23 May 2017

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