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Shetland Library News Archive 2015

Happy Christmas 2015 video from Shetland Library Staff!
Christmas Bookbug party 2015

2015 has been another great year for the Library and so Pat and Katrina persuaded us all to appear in a Shetland Library festive video :)

We also enjoyed two big Bookbug parties with Santa and there were Seasonal Surprises for all. Thank you to all our staff and customers for making our Library so special.

Dogs Against Drugs
Dogs against drugs

Library staff had a visit from Dogs Against Drugs in November 2015, for a short but really illuminating staff awareness session. One of the issues discussed was ‘legal highs’ which people order online. Find out more about Dogs Against Drugs on their website The site also has useful links to some of the best drugs information sites.

Book Launch

Fair Isle ghosts

On the evening of 3 Decembe. 2015, Carol Tweedie read from her book Fair Isle Ghosts and spoke about how her novel was inspired by her husband’s research into his Fair Isle ancestors. The evening included a showing of a series of fascinating images both historical and contemporary, of Fair Isle and ended with informal discussion.

Book Launch - Da Ooricks

On 5 December 2015 we were delighted to host the launch of this brand new Shetland dialect book for bairns, written & published by Ann Marie Anderson and illustrated by her sister, Jenny Duncan. At he event there was reading of the book followed by a signing with the author. Over 90 folk of all ages came, and guests were also treated to an impromptu acoustic set by members of popular local band, The Revellers.

Book Week Scotland 2015 Events

Book Week Scotland

Tae Boldly Gang

Author Matthew Fitt hosted a Scots/Shetland dialect writing workshop for adults with readings from his own work on Friday 27th November. Participants enjoyed this greatly and spoke highly of the experience. We hope they will 'boldly gang' on to write their own successful works!

Matthew FittItchy Coo logo

The Great Muckle Itchy Coo Storytime

Matthew also did three great school events at Scalloway, Brae and the AHS.

Book Week Scotland celebrations were concluded with a Scots/Shetland storytime extravaganza in the Mareel auditorium on Saturday 28th November. Organised by Shetland Library with support from Shetland Arts, Matthew Fitt from Itchy Coo read and performed from his published work, with guests Laureen Johnson and the Gruffalo himself appearing for a special reading of the Shetland Gruffalo! The event was followed by a book signing by Matthew and Laureen, and many a photo opportunity with the infamous Gruffalo. A great morning was had by all!

Laureen and the Gruffalo at Mareel Youtube video (62 secs)

Book vs Movie

Book vs Movie

A new monthly book group for ages 12 - 16 years was launched during Book Week Scotland to discuss books made into films - which was best? Unfortunately, not enough interest shown in the group at this time. We hope to try it again later in the New Year.

Scottish Book Trust helped to fund all our author events- find out more aobut Book Week Scotland on their website.

Children in Need meets Shetland Noir
Noir welcome event poster

On 12 November 2015, the Library supported Children in Need as well as giving Shetland Noir delegates a warm welcome to Shetland. Writer Marsali Taylor helped us lay on tea, bannocks and cake and invited local folk to come and meet the Noir delegates. Donations for cake were added to our Children in Need collection tins, which contained nearly £230. Also, two Library items sold in BBC Radio Shetland's auction - a day out on the new mobile library for £50 and an 'exclusive' Gruffalo storytime for 12 bairns went for £165.

Shetland Noir Competition
Shetland Noir

CONGRATULATIONS to Frances Lindsay and Linda Hull, who both won free tickets for the whole weekend of Shetland Noir in our library competition.

To see the full programme for Shetland Noir from 13-15 November 2015, check the website:

Book Launch Millie Vigor's The Winding Stair
Millie Vigor

On 30 October Millie Vigor travelled back to Shetland to launch her new book The Winding Stair at the library. Her latest book is a thriller and Millie read a few passages which left us wondering how the story would end and had us queuing to borrow the book. The question & answer session with Mary Blance gave us some fascinating insight into how Millie goes about writing her novels. We are looking forward to Millie’s next offering – she told us she had ideas for several more novels just waiting to be written!

iTea and Biscuits

iTea and Biscuits

The Library held a very successful iTea and Biscuits event on Saturday 17 October 2015, it was attended by people of all ages and topics covered included our eBook, eAudio and eMagazine services.

Da Shetland Gruffalo Book Launch
Da Shetland Gruffalo

Over 200 people turned up at the Old Library Centre on Saturday 24 October 2015 to hear Laureen Johnson read from her translation of Julia Donaldson’s book The Gruffalo.

Signed copies of the book almost sold out over the two hour session, and there were plenty of activities on offer for everyone who came along.

School Librarian of the Year honour for Jane

Jane Spall

On 5 October Jane Spall, school library assistant in Aith, achieved runner up as School Librarian of the Year 2015 - an international award. She made it through to the top three, and then attended the awards ceremony in London. It was a very close decision in the end, we hear, and the end of a busy 9 months - Jane went through longlisting, shortlisting and a full day visit to Aith by two School Library Association assessors. She even got a motion of support in the Scottish Parliament, tabled by Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.

Press release 7 October 2015 / Press release 7 September 2015

School Librarian of the Year website

Wool Week at the Library
Wool Week at the Library

On Wednesday 30 September 2015 the library was open for Stitches from the Stacks. The evening was spent browsing our extensive collection of books about knitting (and other “woolly” pursuits), chatting and stitching. We welcomed up to 80 people over the evening and met people from 3 continents as well many Shetland friends.

Mobile Library Launch

New Mobile Library

We were delighted to launch Annette’s brand new mobile library on Friday, 11 September 2015. Councillor George Smith cut the ribbon and spoke of the importance the mobile service to rural Shetland. The new van is still small enough to cope with a tough schedule of ferries, side roads and driveways, but is more accessible and practical for customers and staff. Annette’s old van was retired after nearly 11 long hard years on the road.

Hamefarin Book Launch
Donald Murray Hamefarin Book Launch

On Wednesday 16 September, 2015 we hosted the hame farin’ book launch of Donald Murray’s Herring Tales: how the silver darlings shaped human taste and history. Donald read from his intriguing book and entertained us with tales of odiferous fermented herring while giving us the chance to handle (and sniff) vacuum packed guga which has its own unique and robust scent. James Sinclair read several of his marvellous poems and Donald Anderson rounded out the evening by sharing a newly penned song and several old favourites. If you missed the fun Donald was interviewed that evening just after the event

Book Launch

Sixty Degrees North by Malachy Tallack

On the evening of 22 July we were delighted to present Malachy Tallack’s hamefarin launch of his excellent book Sixty Degrees North: around the world in search of home. Held in the Shetland Museum auditorium, Malachy spoke about his inspiration and the process of writing the book. To round out the evening Mary Blance led a lively Q & A session with plenty of audience participation. If you haven’t read the book come to the library and borrow a copy.

Summer Reading Challenge
Summer Reading Challenge

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge attracted over 200 young readers, most of whom came along to collect their medal and certificate on the 15th of August.

Filming of 'Shetland'

On 1 June 2015 we were delighted to welcome the ‘Shetland’ film crew and actor Douglas Henshall to the Library, to film scenes for the latest Jimmy Perez series. It meant closing the main library for a few hours but we opened alternative service points in the Old Library and in our basement book store.

Marsali Taylor Book Launch
Marsali Taylor Book Launch

We celebrated Crime Reading Month with the launch of The Body in the Bracken by Marsali Taylor the fourth in her Cass Lynch mystery series on 10 June 2015. Marsali whetted our reading appetites with a short passage from the book and a description of a day in the life of a crime writer. Crime fans were also treated to a preview of selections from West Side Noir a publication by the West Side Writers group due to be released in the autumn of 2015 at the Shetland Noir festival.

National Bookbug Week

The library marked National Bookbug Week 2015 with a series of Bedtime story events, ranging from a joint library/museum event in the Museum Auditorium to a slumber party in Muckle Roe Hall. Bairns enjoyed coming along in their pyjamas and bringing their favourite cuddly toys to the Bookbug sessions. Staff enjoyed dressing up too!

VE Day Book Launch
Douglas Forrest book launch

On 8 May 2015 - the 70th Anniversary of VE Day - Doug Forrest launched his new book ‘Jimmy Wilds – the soldier who elected a government’. This amazing true life story is of a wartime dispatch rider. Just one of his claims to fame was giving the princesses freedom from the Palace to join the celebrations. The TRUE story behind 'A Royal Night Out'? Members of West Side Writers group also did readings, and the audience also enjoyed a VE Day book display, an amazing 'VE street party' feast and music from Donald Anderson. AND a vintage motorbike was on display, courtesy of Joe Gray! Doug returned to the Library for a book signing on 20 June.

Open Mic
Basement Browsing

On 22 April 2015 we had an excellent night of poetry, prose, picture books and even a comic song! We enjoyed it so much we hope to have another during the summer so watch this space...

Double launch for wartime history project
Blockade 1914-1918 by Ian Tait

On 16 April 2015 we launched two brand new local history books in partnership with Shetland Museum and Archives. 'Safely Wounded' is a book of Shetland letters from the First World war and 'Blockade 1914-1918' is based on the photos and text of an exhibition by Museum Curator Ian Tait. The books can be borrowed from the library (where we also have large print versions available) or can be bought for only £5 each at the Library, Museum other local outlets. The Museum’s online shop also does postal orders. Online shop.

Press release about the project.

Seed Library launch

Shetland Seed Library logo

In March 2015, local volunteers set up a seed library in Shetland, and donated books about seed collecting to the Library. Seeds collected from local gardens can be donated or 'borrowed' from a box in the Library. To find out more, read about the launch event or follow the Shetland Seed Library group Facebook page.

Shetland's wifi impresses

Wifi at Shetland Library

In March 2015 Shetland's wifi impressed visiting project officer Ian Robertson from the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and featured in a blog on the subject. We improved library coverage last year with the help of SLIC funding, but Ian was also impressed by Shetland Island Council's general extenstion of free, easy access wifi to the Shetland public at public buildings throughout the isles. Read the wifi blog here.

Tak your Sock!

Knit your own boyfriend book

On 25 March 2015 the school library at Anderson High School held a Makkin an Yakkin event in the evening - with tea and homebakes too. There was a great turn out from young - and not so young -knitters and it was such a success they hope to repeat the event later in the year.

Photo - makkin n yakkin at the AHS

Bards in da bruck 2015

Bards in the Bog

Bards in the Bog returned in 2015 with a special competition for secondary school pupils.As part of an anti-litter project sponsored by Shetland Amenity Trust, we displayed poems with an anti-litter theme. More information on our Bards in the Bog page.

Saturday Slaughters

Book Group

In March 2015 Shetland Library teamed up with Orkney Library & Archive to launch 'Saturday Slaughters', a new Book Group which invites readers to come together to discuss crime fiction. The group will be focusing on novels by the bestselling authors visiting for Shetland Noir, the crime writing festival to be held in Shetland in November. The group is fully booked up now, but please feel free to read the same books along with us - the list is on the Book Group page.

Press Release - Orkney and Shetland Libraries gear up for Shetland Noir

Library on film
Library on film

In February 2015, Scottish Book Trust released films about the Artwork for Libraries project 2014. View Shetland's own 'art movie' here!

National Libraries Day Treasure Hunt
Harry Potter

On National Libraries Day, 7 February 2015 (and the week that followed) our customers took part in our Treasure Hunt. Customers discovered library treasure by taking our online quiz at the library web site and in the Lerwick Library itself. Well done to all those who took part.

Shetland Librarian writes Book Trust blog

Douglas Garden - shelving consultant

Our long-serving Librarian Douglas Garden featured in the Scottish Book Trust's 'Ask A Librarian blog' in February 2015 - a good read with some entertaining photos, the article shows that Douglas is tolerant enough to work beyond his day-to-day job quite a lot!

Ask A Librarian Blog

Safer Internet Day

Safer internet logo

On 10 February 2015 we and our local partner organisations hosted a drop in for parents and carers, to find out about keeping safe on the Internet. Safer Internet Day promotes the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. Check this web page for information:

Harry Potter Book Night

Harry Potter Book Night

Shetland Library held its first ever Harry Potter Book Night on Thursday 5th of February 2015. The contestants were divided into four houses, which were chosen by the Sorting Hat, and they competed against each other in a series of Potter related activities. Winners at the end of the night were Slytherin, who walked away with the prize of a Dragon Egg.

'Most borrowed' 2014
Wiimpy Kid: the last straw

Ann Cleeves was again our top-lending adult author in 2014 with 'Dead Water'- that's seven years in a row now! However, 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zuzak came a close second, getting a boost from the new film. As last year, Jeff Kinney's 'Wimpy Kid' books were the biggest lender of all. Local books loaned well and Millie Vigor took the top spot with 'Catherine of Deepdale' for the second year running. So, not much change at the top, but you might enjoy browsing to see what else is on the lists! Press release

Shetland Library - most borrowed list of 2014


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Last Updated on 03 January 2019

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