Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ACADEMIC - Central Public Library

Yesterday afternoon we visited the Central Public Library in Edinburgh. This library is a Carnegie library which was so cool because I've never been inside one before! I don't think...

The library is in a great old building filled with old bookcases. I wanted to take one home with me. We were shown the Music and Children's libraries which were in a seperate building. The Music library is the largest in Scotland. In the main building we were shown the reference rooms, the Edinburgh room, and the stacks where they keep some books because like every other library there is just not enough room for everything. The Central Library works hard with other libraries in the area to see what things they have in order to weed thier collection down some. After our tour we were treated to tea and we got to hear from Colm who headed up a program to promote reading with children in resident homes. In other words, they are in the state's care. It was great to hear his stories and his philosophy on why reading should be encouraged for all people.

I liked his belief (because I share it to) that a librarian shouldn't ever judge a person for what they want to read, no matter what. When you start imposing your standards on someone else, it makes them not want to read and that's something every librarian should avoid doing. I say this, because I don't think all librarians think the way Colm and I do.

The library was founded in 1886 with Carnegie laying the foundation stone himself. It's run by the government in Edinburgh and has more than 850,000 items for the public to use and borrow.

The best part of the visit was that they let me use the internet as a guest. Really, librarians are just the most helpful people in the world. For more information about the Central Library, click here.

Picture courtesy of Dr. Welsh!

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