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Shetland Library News Archive 2016


Book Week Scotland 2016 Logo

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

Monday 21 November found TBGTNABG compiling the definitive list of the 40 best things which we’ve read in 2016. Everything from Basho Haiku to the list of ingredients of HP sauce made the final list. To celebrate we festooned the stairwell at Mareel with 40 light up balloons with each “best thing” written on them.

Our Library, Our Stories

Our Library, Our Stories

On Wednesday 23 November, reading in a round robin fashion, a group of local writers made creative use of the library space to share their writing inspired by the library, as well as the stories which inspired them.

Family Day at the Library

Family Day at the Library

On Saturday 26 November, Storytelling by Davy Cooper, hunting for library gannets, making Reading Champion headbands and writing a story with Jacqui Clark our own Reading Champion made this a special day for families at the library.

Shoo Rayner

Shoo Rayner visit

Wonderful author and illustrator Shoo Rayner joined us to celebrate Book Week Scotland at the Shetland Museum and Archives, Brae Primary and Sandwick Primary. We heard stories about Viking Vik and Ricky Rocket and then we tried our hand at drawing the characters. We now know that we all can draw!

Ooricks Book Launch

Ooricks Book Launch

Over 65 folk helped Ann Marie Anderson launch her second book Ooricks In Da Paet Hill at the Library on 26 November 2016. There was music from the Revellers, Ooricks storytime, small creatures with bushy beards and Fair Isle toories and lots of smiles about the place.

Double Dialect Book Launch
Da Trow an Gruffalo's Bairn

"Stories aboot gruffalos, pirates an a ill-naitered trow!" On 5 November 2016 over 100 folk attended a book signing with Christine de Luca. They enjoyed readings by the author from her Shetland translations of two popular Julia Donaldson’s books. Thanks to everyone who attended including Davy Cooper the pirate!

Press release Shetland Times report and video

Blood and Bannocks with Ann Cleeves
Gulberwick Hall teas with the mobile library 021016

In October 2016 we were delighted to help with the launch of Ann Cleeves' 30th novel (and 7th Shetland one) 'Cold Earth'. Library staff provided recipes to accompany her 'Blood and Bannocks' murder mystery set at a Shetland Hall Tea. Our mobile library transported Ann to teas in Gulberwick (photo right) and Bigton.

Recipe book - by Shetland Library staff for Ann Cleeves 2016

Video: congratulations Ann from Shetland Library staff

Stitches From The Stacks

Stitches from the stacks

On Wednesday 28 September 2016 we held Stitches from the Stacks, an open night to allow folk to browse through our excellent collection of wool related books, enjoy a cuppa, knit a few rows and have a chat with like minded “woolly” folks. The fame of Shetland Wool Week and the Shetland Library has spread far and attested to by a visitor from British Columbia in Canada.

Popular Australian author Amanda Curtin talks at Library
Amanda Curtin

On 14 September 2016 Amanda Curtin, visiting from Western Australia talked about her book Elemental, a novel set in north-east Scotland, the Shetland Isles and Western Australia. The book already had fans among our readers, who turned out and enjoyed the afternoon event.

Storytime for Adults
Rob Magnuson Smith

On 6 September our Reading Champion Jacqui Clark opened the evening by reading from her own work as well as dipping into the writing of several other authors. Visiting author Rob Magnusson Smith read his prize winning story “The Elector of Nossnearly” which generated some interesting discussion about pickled puffin, dialect and the impact of location on stories. If you missed the evening you can read Rob’s story online. The story ‘The Elector of Nossnearly’ can be read here...

Summer Reading Challenge 2016
Summer Reading Challenge

The Awards Ceremony for this year’s reading challenge, the Big Friendly Read, took place on Saturday 13 August at 11am. We had an excellent turnout of children coming along to collect their certificates and medals, and prizes for the competitions were also handed out to nine delighted winners.

Make a noise in libraries!
eAudio at Shetland Library

In June 2016 we celebrated Make a Noise in Libraries fortnight. This is a national RNIB campaign to showcase reading choices for folk that can't see so well. Here in the library we offer traditional large print books, eBooks and eMagazines which let you change the text size and audiobooks online or on CD. We also have magnifiers and a talking newspaper service. For more information see our vision services page.

Library visit by Richard Coles
Richard Coles tweet at Shetland Library

Another spat of Twitter wars was kicked off with relish on 7 June 2016 when the wonderful Reverend Coles paid a visit to our Library - but not Orkney. Nicola's homemade lemon cake, already lauded on Twitter by Sue Lawrence herself, played a big part. The Rev. gave us a little help composing our library jingle - watch this space! Shetland Times Report - Richard Coles Shetland Library visit.

Afternoon Tea with Sue Lawrence
Sue Lawrence at Shetland Library

On 1 June 2016 Sue Lawrence (centre) came to the library to speak about her new mystery 'The Night he left' as well as her life as a top cookery writer. Sue was the 1991 Masterchef winner and is an acclaimed food writer, author of some of the library's most popular cookery books including 'A Cook's Tour of Scotland' and 'Sue Lawrence's Book of Baking'. Staff baked cakes for rhe occasion and raised £70 for the MS society.

Elmer Day

It was Elmer Day all day in the library on Saturday 28 May 2016! We had colouring in and competitions and five Elmer storytimes to cope with demand. Over 60 folk came including seven different nationalities. Thanks to all who came and made it such a good day.

A special week of Bookbug celebrations
Nordalea Shetland Bookbug During Bookbug Week 2016 (16-22 May) we had some special Bookbug events including a 'Round the World' international session at the Musuem and Archives and an intergenerational session at Nordalea in Unst. Julie's work in Unst was praised by Scottish Book Trust - read the Unst Bookbug press release here.
Tavish Scott MSP
Tavish Scott MSP with Shetland Library card We are always delighted to welcome back lapsed members, so when our MSP Tavish Scott visited the Library on 23 May 2016 we presented him with a library card he couldn't possibly lose!

Book Launch

Nat Hall

Nat Hall launched her book Compass Head at the library on Friday 20 May 2016 and what a lovely night of music an poetry it was - standing room only! She was joined by some very special guests - Laureen Johnson, James Sinclair, Susan Briggs, Lewis Hall and Donald Anderson. Nat’s book is available through Amazon - or to borrow from us of course!

Secrets and Confessions workshops
Secrets and Confessions

We ran writing workshops during April and May 2016 and folk attending had lots of fun. Everyone has secrets. People wrote about theirs with our Reading Champion, Jacqui Clark and some may be published in a book for Book Week Scotland 2016.

Library of the Year - a commendation for Shetland Library
Shetland Library, Bookbug and Ann Cleeves at BBIA 2016

We were Highly Commended for Library of the Year in the British Book Industry awards 2016, just losing out to Dagenham for the top prize. Our entry highlighted our work with children and service promotion, and the contribution staff make to service improvement within reducing budgets. Also shortlisted were Dudley; Plympton; Port Talbot; RNIB and Wigan Libraries. We attended an award ceremony in London on 9 May 2016, and took Bookbug with us for the trip! Bookseller website - BBI awards.

Celebrating World Book Night 2016

World Book Night 2016

We had a great time meeting people and handing out free books on World Book Night on Saturday 23 April 2016, copies of Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig, The Rotter's Club by Jonathan Coe, Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose and Assasin's Apprentice have all found new homes with Shetland readers.

Saltire Award for Library volunteer
Saltire Award for Library volunteer

Yoel Howard, a young volunteer who helps with the Library’s ‘Click’ computer drop in sessions, gained a Summit award at the Saltire Awards ceremony on 22 March 2016. The Summit is for those who have made an outstanding contribution to volunteering and exceeded expectations. He is pictured here with our Systems Officer David Thomson, who said “Yoel has excellent practical and technical knowledge, is very much one of the established team on the Click service and has really enhanced our service to customers". Well done Yoel!

BBC #Shetland and Twitter wars!
Alison Peebles in Shetland

Early in 2016 we were glued to series 3 of 'Shetland' and engaged in a Twitter battle with Orkney Library that gained national attention. The Library was the location for an incriminating email that helped Perez crack the case and actress Alison Peebles played a splendid Librarian. Meanwhile online the banter went a little viral! 'The feud' (Mashable UK)

Liz Lochhead
Jacqui Clark and Liz Lochhead at Shetland Library

On 8 March 2016 we were delighted to welcome one of Scotland's best-know poets and playwrights Liz Lochhead to the Library. It was a free event courtesy of the Scottish Poetry Library to mark the end of Liz's term as the Makar, Scotland's National Poet. A big audience turned out and Liz did a fabulous reading, introduced by our new Reading Champion! Press release

World Book Day 2016

World Book Day 2016

We celebrated World Book Day on Thursday 3 March with 3 story sessions in the Library, which were well attended.

The Library staff also enthusiastically dressed up as some well-known children's book characters. Can you recognise any?

"Social Settings"

Peer Educator volunteers at Shetland Library.

Volunteers from the OPEN Peer Education Project ran a "Social Settings" drop-in at the Library on 8 February 2016 for Internet Safety Day. Members of the public learned how to use privacy and security settings on social networks. This was a very valuable event to host. For more information on on keeping children - or yourelf - safe online, we recommend the NSPCC website.

Harry Potter Book Night celebration

Harry Potter Book Night celebration

Shetland Library celebrated Harry Potter’s Night of Spells on the 4th of February 2016 with a quiz for 42 avid Harry Potter fans. The four houses competed against each other as well as taking part in a number of activities, but in the end Hufflepuff, headed by library assistant Erin Keenan, were the clear winners of the Basket of Golden Eggs.

Up Helly Aa Bookbug

Up Helly Aa Bookbug

160 adults and children braved the weather to attend Bookbug Up-Helly-Aa at the Shetland Museum and Archives on 23 January 2016. The event, organised by Shetland Library, is now in its third year. Trevor Jamieson from the museum rounded off the session with a procession of torchbearing mini guizers marching to the model galley for a “burning”. Shetland Times report.

Author talk and book signing

Island Wife by Judy Fairbairns

On 3 February 2016 Judy Fairbairns author of Island Wife: living on the edge of the wild joined us for an author talk and book signing. With humour and insight she read from her book and talked about the process of writing her memoir. The book describes raising five children, helping run a hill farm, a hotel, a recording studio and being part of the launch of the first whale watching business in the UK – while struggling to make ends meet and maintain a sense of self.

'Most Borrowed' 2015

Ann Cleeves Thin Air

Ann Cleeves and Jeff Kinney were top lenders yet again in 2015. Who can unseat them? The adult fiction list was dominated by ‘Shetland Noir’ crime authors. Our top picture book was the fantastically popular Gruffalo! Both our own First World War publications did well in the Shetland book chart. Tie-ins between books and films were strong – nearly all the top teenage books are also popular films, while ‘The Martian’ topped the sci-fi book chart and was also one of Mareel’s hit films of 2015. Ebooks, eMagazines and eAudiobooks were also enjoyed by growing numbers of customers.

Read the full list here

Jonathan Meres

Jonathan Meres

Shetland Library hosted an evening with children's author Jonathan Meres on the 19th of January 2016, and those who came along were treated to an hour of comic entertainment based on the hugely popular "World of Norm


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Last Updated on 15 February 2017

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