National Libraries Day Scotland

As in previous years, I’ve been Storifying the tweets from Scottish libraries (and some of their users) for National Libraries Day. For events in the week running up to NLD see Part 1, and for the day itself see Part 2. They’re quite long, so I’ve picked out a few highlights.

For me, Dundee Libraries won the internet again on NLD! They had several strands to their output – quizzes, quotes, balloons and book faces. The latter were my favourite:

#Shelfies were also encouraged by many libraries – it didn’t take place on NLD itself, but it’s hard to see how a #shelfie wedding could be bettered! Here’s Glasgow’s Mitchell Library:

It wasn’t just public libraries that took part of course – there were free sweets for adding a leaf to Abertay University’s Wishing Tree:

And the University of the West of Scotland displayed its staff’s favourite reads:

Check the Storifies for more great ideas!

PS Can’t find your library in them? Maybe nobody tweeted – or maybe the library didn’t use the special #nldScot hashtag that CILIPS requested. I didn’t have time to go hunting the standard #NLD15 stream, although some did end up in my timeline anyway.


GWL Story Café

I’m just back from a great event for National Libraries Day at Glasgow Women’s Library! Their regular Story CafĂ© was given over to library love today. We opened with a list of quotes by women writers in the collection, which were also displayed on the bookshelves. Click on the pictures to enlarge them enough to read the quotes.

Given the endangered state of libraries today, I added a few more that seemed relevant:

Cutting libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague. Eleanor Crumblehulme.

Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries. Anne Herbert.

Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest. Lady Bird Johnson.

Librarians consider free access to information the foundation of democracy. Marilyn Johnson.

Librarian Wendy Kirk then read a short story, The summer librarian, and Jackie Kay’s lovely poem Dear Library. Through it all, we drank tea, ate delicious food and discussed our earliest memories of libraries. What a great afternoon!

National Libraries Day 2015

It’s National Libraries Day on Saturday so I thought I’d celebrate with a post using the wonderful Library A to Z advocacy tool, from which derive all the graphics and lists of library benefits below. Events up and down the country are being tweeted with the hashtag #NLD15 and / or in Scotland #NLDScot. I’ve chosen to spell out the latter in library love!


N is for National Libraries Day; networking; new ideas; newspapers; noise (discussion / activity / communication); non-judgemental; not for profit; novels.

A good library is a palace, a palace where the lofty spirits of all nations and generations meet. Samuel Niger (1883-1955).


Library A to Z: LL is for languages; learning; leisure; lending / loans; librarians / library staff; literacy; literature; local studies; local to users.

With a library you are free, not confined by temporary political climates. It is the most democratic of institutions because no one – but no one at all – can tell you what to read and when and how. Doris Lessing (1919-2013).

Library A to Z: DD is for dads; dance; databases; democracy; Dewey; digital literacy; discovery; diversity; download (things that the library buys); dry; DVDs; dyslexia / disability support.

A great library contains the diary of the human race.  George Mercer Dawson (1849-1901).


Library A to Z: SS is for safe (place); scanners; school visits; serendipity; sexual health (information about); sharing; silver surfers; skills; social literacy; social media; spelling; Sshh! (a quiet place to work/study); statistics; stereotype breaking; storytime; students; study; study space (to think and work); summer reading challenge.

The education that mattered most to me began when my mother first took me to the public library and I registered for my own hallowed ticket. Will Self (1961-)

Library A to Z: CC is for careers; carers services; childminders; choices; classics; coffee (relax with one); collaboration; colouring (fun sessions for children); comics; community; community cohesion; community memory; competitive advantage (for businesses); council information & services (access to); crafts; creation; CVs.

There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).

Library A to Z: OO is for old (and young); online; online resources (databases); open to all; opportunity; outreach.

The moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better. Barack Obama (1961-).


Library A to Z: TT is for tablet computers (e.g. iPads); teachers (supporting schools); teaching / training (librarians teaching); teens; toys; treasure hunts; trusted.

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life. JRR Tolkien (1892-1973).



Head over to the Library A to Z site for lots more reasons to love your library!


National Libraries Day 2014

National Libraries Day was on Saturday, 8th February – I didn’t visit any libraries that day myself because I was glued to my PC collecting tweets from all over Scotland to document them on Storify. The results are in Part 1 (the week running up to NLD) and Part 2 (the day itself). I think the highlight is Dundee Libraries’ pictures in Part 2 of its youngest (15 days) and oldest (105 years) members. I did, however, attend and help out at, two libraries’ events earlier in the week.

Glasgow Women’s Library

On Wednesday, Glasgow Women’s Library hosted a visit from the librarian of Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School in Dumbarton and her library helpers. They had a talk about the library and archives, and each pupil had been primed to bring along, and discuss, a book with a strong female character. Wendy, GWL Librarian, and I were very impressed with how well they did this. In the afternoon, GWL hosted a book browse and swap and took some photographs answering The Big Question which CILIPS had set as its theme for NLD14 “What did you do in your library today?” Both events are covered in Part 1 of the Storify.

Mitchell Library

Glasgow’s public libraries were also asking the Big Question, and on Thursday I headed off to the Mitchell to help persuade library users to take part. I wasn’t terribly successful, but they did get some good pictures some of which are in Part 2 of the Storify.

Here are my own two pictures from the Big Question:

I also compiled a blogpost of SALCTG members’ activities. All in all, there’s a lot of enthusiasm evident for Scotland’s libraries. Cuts in opening hours and loss of branches is becoming more common north of the Border, but this was a day for celebration and the Storifies reflected that.

Library card photos for NLD14

Musician One Man and His Beard is looking for library lovers to contribute to his We Need Libraries video for release on National Libraries Day 2014. What he’s after is a photo of you holding your library card(s). Here’s my effort – I have cards for Glasgow public libraries, Glasgow Women’s Library and the University of Strathclyde. Send your photos to him at or tweet @weneedlibraries by 5th January.


National Libraries Day in Dundee

Glasgow Library Tweetups

Kevin McGinley, Library Information Worker and Social Media Admin for Leisure and Culture Dundee Libraries, has written this guest post on how @dundeelibraries created their contribution to our National Libraries Day Storify.

National Libraries Day on 9 February 2013 was a culmination of a week’s worth of celebrations in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the UK. Our involvement began when we were asked by Anabel Marsh of Glasgow Library Tweetups if we would like to take part in a Libraries takeover on Twitter. It seemed a great concept and we quickly decided to take up the challenge. We were inspired by the fantastic faceBOOK project by photographer Keith Pattison and decided to use this as the inspiration to tweet similar photos throughout the day. We have to say we were a bit nervous about how our customers would react to having their photos broadcast all over the…

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National Libraries Day in Scotland

Instead of having an event for National Libraries Day this year, GLTU (Glasgow Library Tweetups) decided to create a Twitter snapshot of Scottish libraries – what people use them for and why they value them. After much tweeting and retweeting, we got a great response. It’s obviously not comprehensive, but there’s a geographical spread from Orkney down to Dumfries and Galloway and representatives of public, academic, school and special libraries, so there’s pretty broad coverage. There are cute kids, a dog, a cat (cheated a bit on that one) and cake – what’s not to love? Head off to the Storify to see the full results – it’s too long to embed, but here’s Strathclyde’s NLD cake as a taster. (Too late to taste literally, I fear). And if you just have time to look at one part of the Storify (it’s quite long), scroll down to Dundee Libraries and check what they did. It is truly awesome.

A couple of lessons I’ve learned which might be useful to anyone else doing this sort of thing – Storify is not as easy to use as I thought for something on this scale. I started with the app which seemed to “eat” tweets, I think because it kept crashing. The PC version kept freezing too, so that I would have to come out and start again. Also, services such as Twitpic transferred seamlessly to Storify but Hootsuite’s links did not. Adding the tweet does not display the picture so, in most cases, I have ditched the tweet and included the picture. If I did this again, I might look for something different – but on the other hand, Storify IS free!

Finally, the idea behind the project was that it might be a springboard from which to launch some in-depth case studies of the role libraries play in people’s lives. If anyone has any ideas about how to do that, please let me know.

Tweeting for National Libraries Day

If you are in Scotland, please join in with this project for National Libraries Day.

Glasgow Library Tweetups

NLD_FBplusStrap-98x100National Libraries Day, Saturday 09/02/13

What do you use your library for? What does your library mean to you? Help GLTU to create an online snapshot of what goes on in Scotland’s libraries by tweeting the answers to these questions on National Libraries Day, or in the week running up to it. All sorts of libraries count (e.g. public, academic, special) and, if you are at work in a library on the day, or are self-employed, join in by tweeting about what you have done to help your users.

Please use the hashtag #nldScot so that we can gather the tweets together (in full or, if too many, as edited highlights) in an online document, probably Storify, which we hope will be the start of a larger project celebrating Scottish libraries. The official hashtag for the day is #nld13 so it would be useful to include this as well –…

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Glasgow tweeps prepare for National Libraries Day

NLD_FBplusStrap-98x100We had our first GLTU (Glasgow Library Tweetup) of 2013 last week. It was largely taken up by discussions about what we could do for National Libraries Day – in keeping with our name, we’re going to tweet a lot about Scottish Libraries making a difference. It’s not just as simple as that though, as we hope this will be the beginning of a bigger online resource advocating for libraries – the full report of what we are planning is on the GLTU blog. Opinions and ideas are welcome, whether or not you are from Scotland. For example, at the moment we’re debating our hashtag. Do we go with something like #NLDScot to be compatible with #NLD13, or do we try to get library into the title? Does everyone agonise over hashtags or is it just me? For those who are from Scotland, we’d be very happy for you to join in with the tweeting. More information as soon as we decide on it!