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Shetland Library News and Events

World Book Day

World Book Day 2020

World Book Day was a huge success across Shetland libraries and schools, with a mix of dressing up, storytimes, competitions and activities. Pictured is big Bookbug on his round of primary schools, when he stopped off to judge the fancy dress parade at Scalloway Primary School.

Harry Potter Quiz Night for Adults *POSTPONED TILL FURTHER NOTICE*

Harry Potter Book Night


Adult Harry Potter Quiz Night


Reading and Creative Writing Group

Open Book

The April Open Book sessions with poet Jen Hadfield are postponed. The next scheduled sessions will be 27 May and 24 June.


Our first two sessions were fun and relaxing and we will hope to hold more in the near future. In the Open Book sessions we read aloud a piece (or pieces) chosen by Jen. We then discuss the work and then do some of our own writing in response to what we read. At our last session we read three poems on the theme of “voice” and then wrote our own poems in response to one of the poems. If you are interested in joining the group you can choose to come to one or all of the upcoming sessions. If you are planning to come please contact the library. The sessions are FREE and are for ages 16+

Book Groups

Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine

CANCELLED - The next Lerwick Book Group meeting is on Tuesday 17 March, discussing Women of the Dunes by Sarah Maine. Upcoming reads: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and Border by Kapka Kassabova. 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.

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.

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!

Hurricane Book Club

Hurricane Book Club

Back for 2020 - our biggest book club yet! The Hurricane Book Club is run across Scotland and beyond with LIVE events being held at Shetland, Glasgow & Falkirk libraries. If you can’t join in person, you can join the conversation online via Twitter, following the #HurricaneBookClub hashtag.  New for this season, the group will be getting the exclusive opportunity to read pre-published novels and form their opinions on them before anyone else.

Our first meeting will be on Thursday 27 February at 6pm, where we will be discussing ‘The Other Bennet Sister’ by Janice Hadlow, due for publication in January.

The second book, to be discussed on Thursday 30th April, will be ‘The Animals at Lockwood Manor’ by Jane Healey, due for release in March.  We will be concluding this season on Thursday 25th June, where we will be talking about Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s ‘Blood & Sugar’, to be published in January.

For more information about the group, contact

Most borrowed books of 2019

Shetland Library staff with most borrowed books of 2019

It was a big year for eBooks in 2019, with local author Marsali Taylor again top of the eBook chart, and eAudiobooks really taking off. Ann Cleeves did well too of course, and Jeff Kinney swept the board again in Junior fiction. Top Shetland books included the Morton cookbook, the Shetland Fishermen Yearbook and Christian Tait's novel 'And Darkness Fell'.

Browse the lists of most borrowed here [PDF]

Harry Potter Book Night for Children

Harry Potter Book Night Winning Team Photo

Thursday 6 February saw the library hold its junior Harry Potter Quiz night, with 40 young witches and wizards taking part. Hosted by the library’s own Dumbledore, the seven teams spent 90 minutes challenging each other for the top spot. The winning team was Firebolt, closely followed by The House Elves and third place went to the Gringott Gold Stars.

Shetland Library - Customer Survey 2019

Survey A summary of feedback from our survey will be published early in 2020 and will guide our service planning.

Shetland (Face)Book Group

Death on a Shetland Isle book cover NEW for Book Week Scotland 2019 - a group that meets both online and offline to talk about a Shetland novel. We meet on 21 November 2019 at 6pm in the Library, and on our Facebook page. Find out how to take part on the club 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]


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Last Updated on 18 March 2020

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