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Shetland Library News Archive 2014

Talking books go online


In December 2014 we launched a new service – downloadable talking books. Previously only available on tape or CD, a selection of talking books are now available online to Library members and can be downloaded free of charge, anytime. There are audio books for both adults and children, and Santa popped in to try out the new service! Just follow the links on our website to find out more and start using the service, or ask staff for more information. eAudio press release

Artwork launch
Artworks for Libraries Shetland launch

On Friday 28 November 2014 at 10.30am, the artwork specially created for us by artist Rosemary Cunningham was officially unveiled. The bespoke carved flagpole by Paparwark furniture flies any one of four colourful flags celebrating the library, with more flags hanging inside! To celebrate the launch, Rosie also organised an event - a morning of badge-making, flag colouring, cake,stories and music for bairns. THANK YOU to Rosie and everyone else who took part.More on Scottish Book Trust's web page about the artwork.

First press release about the Artworks for Libraries project.

Meetings and Partings: featuring novelist Linsday Inkster
Lindsay Inkster

Novelist Lindsay Inkster visited the Yell Community Library on 26 November and the Lerwick Library on 29 November 2014 to speak about her books, Lassickie and In The Sky The Larks Still Sing. Over tea and home bakes Lindsay spoke about the roots of the story in Aberdeenshire and Shetland and the creation of the characters. She also gave us insight into the process of writing and publishing the books. She left us with the teaser that she may be writing a third book in the saga of Charlotte and her friends and family. Our fingers are crossed.

From Shetland to Wonderland: open mic event featuring Laureen Johnson
Laureen Johnson

We celebrated Book Week Scotland 2014 again on Wednesday 26 November with an open mic event featuring Laureen Johnson. Laureen read from her Scots language translation Alice’s Adventirs in Wonderland, and told us a bit about the project to translate the book into a host of languages and dialects including Esperanto and Klingon! Readers also shared poems or prose that held childhood memories.

Book Week Scotland - Pirate Bookbug
Pirate Bookbug

We kicked off Book Week Scotland 2014 with a special Pirate Bookbug at the Shetland Museum on Wednesday 26 November. Over 60 bairns and parents turned out, some dressed as pirates, to be entertained by Library and Museum staff! There were also surprise gifts for each child, courtesy of Scottish Book Trust who funded the event.

Launched at the Library - "Hairst is coosed"
hairst is coosed

On Friday 21 November 2014 The Shetland Times launched an important new book – “Hairst is coosed “ by the late Rhoda Bulter. Her family and friends entertained the audience of 70 with her poems, songs and a short dramatic sketch which all brought out her thoughtfulness and sense of fun. A wonderful evening for those who remember her. The book is a memorial for the generation who have never had the pleasure of hearing Rhoda live on stage or on the radio but who have enjoyed her poetry on CD or the web. The book has her Shetland poems from her earlier books plus unpublished poems and her best songs, with music.

Large print phone book published by the Library
Large print phone book

We’re delighted that we've raised funds with some very helpful partners to publish a new edition of our large print local directory. As well as local business and residential phone numbers, the directory carries information about services we provide for the visually impaired. It was launched on November 11 2014 at the Library, and pictured here are (clockwise from top left) Hannah Bateson, RNIB; Phil Hibbert, Vision Shetland; Jim Anderson, Lerwick Community Council; Malcolm Bell, Convenor, Shetland Islands Council; Karen Fraser, Shetland Library and Tom McIntyre, Shetland Rotary Club. See our press release for more information.

Sharing Shetland Surnames
Sharing Shetland Surnames

The Shetland Family History Society held a very popular evening in the Old Library Centre on the 10th November 2014. Over 30 people came along to chat and listen to stories of relatives in the First War. A trench telescope was demonstrated. This was also the launch of their research into the Bolt family name – Robert Bolt was the first Shetlander lost in the War. Amongst the goodies with the tea was lots of Trench Cake, baked to a genuine wartime recipe!

Better wifi at the Library
Better wifi at the library

In summer 2014 we improved our wifi thanks to a £2000 quality improvement grant from the Scottish Library and Information Council. Our customers can now get a stronger wifi signal outside and inside our buildings. Perfect for fine weather - and this increases the space for users as well as the hours you can use our wifi. Shetland Islands Council also offers it’s excellent free ‘SIC Guest’ wifi in many other public buildings. Wifi press release

Local history project to publish wartime letters
Local history project to publish wartime letters

In September 2014 we were pleased to receive funding of £6,229 from the Scottish Government’s Public Library Improvement Fund. The money covers production of a book of Great War letters from Shetlanders as well as the creation of online information for young people about how the War affected Shetland and Shetlanders. We will be working in partnership with Shetland Museum and Archives on this project. War project press release

Play Talk Read Bus in Shetland 2014

Bessie, The Playtalkread playbus, visited a number of venues throughout Shetland from the 22nd to the 26th of September 2014. Parents and children enjoyed stories, games and craft activities, as well as soft play provided by the Bruce Family Centre playvan. Shetland Library staff were on hand to offer information and advice to parents, and a range of other agencies came along to offer advice on energy saving, dental health etc. It’s hoped that the success of this visit will ensure a return trip next year.

A Wealth of Reading
A wealth of reading The Wealth of Reading summer reading promotion is finished and entries for the competition are closed. The promotion was very popular so we are preparing a reading list to be posted under the “Reading” tab and as a Prism list in our online catalogue. The winner to the national competition will be drawn during October 2014 by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) – Good luck to all who entered.
Bunting Knit Along

Bunting Knit Along

Thank you to all those who knitted or crocheted bunting for the library in September 2014. It is now hung all around the issue desk and is a warm and welcoming sight for Shetland Wool Week! The winner of our bunting makers prize draw is Mary Arnold. Congratulations!

Based on the Book

How many times have you had discussions about whether a film was better or worse than the book it was adapted from? The Based on the Book group which ran during 2014 watched a film, read the book and then discussed both. The group has come to an end but if you would like to organise something similar, come and speak to us at the Library about borrowing the books and DVDs you need.

Libraries promoted on 24 islands in 24 hours

24 islands 24 hours logo

In September 2014 Orkney and Shetland Libraries joined forces with Ann Cleeves for 24 Islands/24 Hours, a unique series of events celebrating reading, writing and libraries in a 24 hour race against the clock. The project ran from 3pm Thursday 11 September to 3pm Friday 12 September and over this period there were events on over 24 islands in Orkney and Shetland. It culminated with the national launch of Ann’s latest ‘Shetland’ novel taking place in the Community Library in Baltasound. For more news of this unique project, see the 24/24 page.

Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge

The 2014 Summer Reading Challenge was Mythical Maze, which was also offered to pupils in Baltasound, Mid Yell, Brae, Whalsay and Sandwick. By October, 800 children in Shetland had taken part, and received a medal and certificate for reading and reviewing six books.

Gadderie o Wirds

Christie Williamson

Shetland Dialect Open Mic - thanks to all who particiapted in a wonderful evening at the Library on Tuesday 8 July. We enjoyed an evening of Shetland dialect writing in the company of poet, Christie Williamson and some wonderful readers. Funded by Live Literature.

Lat da breezes blaa

Lat Da Breezes Blaa

Christie Williamson and Alexander Hutchison took us for a three year trip through poems and songs from Yell, Buckie and beyond. This event was during Unsfest on Sunday 6 July, at our Community Library in Baltasound Junior High School. Funded by Live Literature.

Librarian in Baton honour!

Morag Nicolson in Baton Relay

On 1 July 2014 the Queen's Baton Relay come to Shetland, in the lead up to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Our Young People's Services Librarian, Morag Nicolson, was one of the people chosen to carry the baton through Lerwick. Congratulations Morag and thanks for representing the Library so well.

The Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge

Tam Dean Burn and the Storytelling Cycle Challenge

On Tuesday 1 July while waiting for the Queens Baton Relay, we were treated to stories and music from the Marathon Storytelling Cycle Challenge. Tam Dean Burn and friends were following the Queen's Baton all over Scotland, reading all Julia Donaldson's books. They also did events at Aith and Brae schools.


Chris Brown

Bannockburn: the battle 700 years on

On 25 June 2014 a Library audience enjoyed a lecture by Chris Brown, military historian, marking the anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn. Chris is the author of ‘Bannockburn: the battle 700 years on’ and brought along a fascinating prop to illustrate his talk on the battle.

Making a Noise in Libraries

Making a Noise in Libraries

Making a Noise in Libraries (MANIL) is a national campaign, held every year, to promote public library services for blind and visually impaired customers. Contact us or visit us for information about Audiobooks, E-books, E-magazines, Large Print, the Talking Newspaper we produce and other ways that we can help.

Commonwealth Poets United

Jim Mainland, Jen Hadfield, Glenn Colquhoun

As part of the Commonwealth Poets United project, Glenn Colquhoun from New Zealand and Jim Mainland from Shetland read their humorous, thought provoking, soul stirring poems at the library on 28 May 2014. Jen Hadfield and friend Mark, Karen and Magnus rounded out the evening with harmonious playing and singing. Highlights of the evening were Glenn’s moving aural poem in Maori and Jim’s humorous poem constructed of over used words and phrases. Glenn’s visit to Scotland is being filmed and will be first screened at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer and hopefully in Shetland sometime in the future.

Marsali Taylor Book Launch

Marsali Taylor

On 7 May 2014 we hosted the launch of Marsali Taylor's second crime novel. Featuring local heroine Cass Lynch, 'The Trowie Mound Murders' combines crime with folklore. The action of the book centres round an imaginary 'trowie mound', or Neolithic tomb, looking out over the Atlantic from the hills at the back of Brae. Marsali was joined by friends from Westside Writers Group, reading pieces with a folklore theme, and the audience greatly enjoyed all the readings.

Millie Vigor Book Launch

Millie Vigor book launch

We were delighted to host the launch of the final book in Millie Vigor's "Catherine of Deepdale" trilogy, with a very special night of music and readings at the Library on 30 April 2014. Millie was accompanied by Tom Morton (read his speech here), Leslie Watt, Mary Blance, Ann Eunson and Shirley and Laurie as she introduced her book "Paying Davy Jones".

Desert Island Reads

World Book Night 2014

On 23 April, we celebrated World Book Night 2014 with a Desert Island Reads open mic. Thank you to the many superb readers who came along and read from their favourite books. What a varied selection it was - from Malcolm Ferguson's virtuoso recitation of Lewis Carroll from memory, to Catherine Jeromson's impassioned delivery of "My big shouting day"!

Bringing books to the Barges

World Book Night 2014

On 23 April 2014 - World Book Night - the Library delivered giveaway books to the barges, ships and accommodation blocks that house visiting oil and gas workers. We are also supplying some books to supplement onboard libraries, and advertising our e-services to help make these new residents in Shetland welcome

Easter Activities

string eggs by Shetland Library

We had lots of ‘Egg-citing’ things happening in the Library over the Easter holidays! For P4 to P7 pupils there were Easter activity workshops (pictures are some of the 'eggs' they made), for P1-P7 bairns, there was an Easter Egg hunt in the main Library throughout the holidays. This wasn’t for 'actual' eggs, but if you spotted the 10 Easter Eggs hidden around the Library, you could win a prize!

E-magazine Drop-in sessions

Emagazine drop-in sessions

Our eMagazines immediately proved wildly popular. In January 2014, we shared some tips about down loading our newest online service by holding drop-in sessions. If you missed the drop-in sessions and have any questions don’t hesitate to contact the library.

Makkin & Yakkin nights

Makkin & Yakkin

Over the winter we brought back our popular Makkin n Yakkin sessions - knitters and stitchers met once a month in the Library to share advice and show off what they were making. It was also a chance to browse and borrow from our big stock of textile books. We hope to have more sessions in autumn 2014- meanwhile, we may have a special session for the Fair Isle Festival, so keep an eye on Library events.

World Book Day 2014

Shetland Library staff dress up

A wonderful World Book Day was held in our public and school libraries on 6 March 2014. Staff got into the spirit, spending all day dressed as characters from children's books. An indefatigable double-act of Red Riding Hood and a Fairy Princess did five storytimes in the course of the day.

National Library Day

Paper Roses

Customers showed their love for the Library and celebrated National Library Day on 8 February 2014 by making paper roses from recycled paper to help us garland our issue desk. The love and paper rose making carried over to Valentine's Day when customers dropped in to make a Valentine’s gift to give their special someone.

New - borrow FREE eMagazines

Zinio eMagazines link

A new service was launched in January 2014 which we think will prove very popular. Members can now borrow from a selection of 25 top digital magazines, absolutely free. Find out about borrowing Zinio eMagazines here

Emagazine press release

Bards hits da Street
Bards on da Street 2014

Bards in the Bog returned in January to celebrate the Year of Dialect 2014. Selected poets became not only 'Bards in the Bog’ but also ‘Bards on da Street', in a partnership with Living Lerwick and Shetland Forwirds. Thanks for all your entries - read more on the Bards in the Bog page.

Most-borrowed books of 2013

Millie Vigor

Ann Cleeves was our reigning favourite author again, with five of her titles in our top ten most borrowed Adult Fiction books of 2013, and her fifth book from the Shetland series ‘Dead Water’ topping the list. For our junior customers, Jeff Kinney and his Wimpy Kid books were the most popular again this year with an amazing SEVEN of his titles at the top of the list! For the full list of our 2013 most borrowed items including Shetland books, DVDs & Music CDs, click here.

Link to press release

Up Helly Aa Bookbug

Bookbug jarl squad

We held very special Bookbug sessions on 21 January 2014, in partnership with the Museum and Archives, to celebrate Up Helly Aa. Bairns sang the Up Helly Aa songs, marched and carried peerie torches. Bookbug even had his own special Jarl squad of peerie Bookbugs!

Build your own Galley Kit

Galley kits

For Up Helly Aa 2014 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


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Last Updated on 03 January 2019

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