Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Edinburgh Central Library

Our guides for the tour of this fascinating building were Anne Bell, Colm Linnanne and Karen O'Brien. This particular library uses Library of Congress classification system, and on an interesting note the main reading room was formerly divided by gender, and the library still uses a card catalog. However, they have been making advances on the digital front, such as having E-books for download as well as the Your Edinburgh website, which provides currently sought after information and allows information providers add and edit data, facilitates communication and focuses on the "neighborhood run system". They also have an e-newsletter and a blog called "Tales of One City." In addition, they have the Capital Collection, 3,000 images from the 16th century to today, allowing people to view and download said images for free. They also have a special collections department which ranges from the 15th century to today, including an impressive collection of broadsheets which were the forerunners of newspapers. One interesting fact is that red ink means a more valuable book, because red ink was the most expensive color in ancient scribing.

In addition to the main library, there is also the Fine Art Library, the Lending Library and the Music Library,each with its own budget, collection policies and priorities. However, one common requirement is that patrons must request non-public items.

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