And this is what the National Library of Scotland is all about – this is our mission and vision. Wide ranging; Bit clunky. So we asked why are we here, what are we for; what is our potential.
The Library, as part of its work towards this new strategy. Two principal roles:Collect comprehensively the publications of ScotlandA pubic research library for ScotlandThis moves from a world we provide access to containers of knowledge that we own, to work to ensure access across Scotland to the content that is available.
And as I have said, we aim to serve everyone; an entitlement modelYes, we give equal weight to access and preservation, but we welcome everyone to use the library, however they want to. The National Library is their library.
One of the common themes of the conference is to provide access to content where, when and how customers and citizens want it. We all know that there are limits on this at present, but we have been pushing at these as much as we can. I want to focus on three areas we have focused on to enable more people to learn and research through the National Library both directly and – perhaps even more importantly – through partnership and collaboration:Services for visitors to the libraryOutreach and educationDigital and remote access to the library its collections, services and expertise
Firstly, for visitors. Well, we seem to have spent our first 80 years trying to keep people out.You have seen the building – a difficult building to draw people into. So we have completely revamped the entrance to our main building on George IV Bridge by removing an intimidating entrance, and creating a welcoming and informal visitor centre. We want the Library to be a space that people will want to visit.Before: on the left, security and barriers; security camera; catch 22. The Library was awarded a Yucca of the Month Award for this but has never actually received the award!Now, welcoming open, barrier free space and visitor centre.
Formerly the only way to use the collections was through the reading room. The new visitor facilities create a comfortable space for customers to discover the Library’s collections and to inspire new customers to use them. We have:Coffee shop with out door seating for the summerDigital Access PointsBook ShopDiscovery CentreFree Wi-FiAward winning exhibitions
Here we are working with a school on Mull, in the Hebrides. Here, children from 6 schools are using John Murray’s Victorian ‘Handbook for Travelers'’ exploring what Victorian visitors to Mull saw and did as inspiration to create their own multi media tourist guidesThe tours use handheld computers and are GPS linked so that people can walk around various sites around the island and listen to pupils tell them about the history, nature etc of the island. They were launched for the public on 28 September 2009. Visitors to the island can now borrow handheld computers from the local Tourist Information Centre or download tours to their own devices.
And with partnerships ranging from Tag Theatre Company, adult learning and development staff and projects supporting multiculturalism and diversity, we are using our collections to intrigue and inspire, and bring pleasure to many who simply would not realise that we are their national library. And its working. 1000s of people now see collections across the country, from outdoor historic film shows at Cromarty film festival, to Ullapool Literary Festival, and exhibitions in Dumfries and Galloway.
And thirdly, NLS is making a sustained transition to a digital library. As you will see, our approach is similar to that of other Libraries, including Edinburgh. This is a screen grab from our new Digital Archive: This relatively new resource offers online access to a whole range of material for learning and research including thousands of complete books, manuscripts, maps, photographs and drawings.
The Scottish Screen Archive catalogue is simply great with over 1,000 clips to watch online.
We also have digital learning packages such as this one on Darwin from the John Murray Archive.
And this – a cross-curricular resource focuses on the history of the women’s suffrage movement in Scotland. It includes suggested projects and activities for secondary pupils, plus a range of related sources including photographs, pamphlets, newspaper reports and diary entries.
And as with all the digital content, and our catalogues can simply be searched online using Aquabrowser software to provide a one stop shop for public discovery via the web.
The National Library of Scotland in the 21st Century
The National Library of Scotland in the 21st Century<br />Supporting learning and research <br />across Scotland<br />
What is a national library?<br />National libraries have a vital role in society as “custodians of the nation’s intellectual heritage, thus providing organisation, access to and preservation of the national imprint in all media.” (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), 1998)<br /> <br />
NLS mission and vision<br />enrich lives and communities<br />encourage and promote lifelong learning, research and scholarship<br />provide universal access to information<br />collect and make available the recorded knowledge of Scotland<br />promote access to the ideas and cultures of the world<br />
Draft new mission <br />Ensuring access to knowledge in Scotland and about Scotland<br />
NLS customers<br />Scotland and the world<br /> Academic and research<br /> General Public<br /> Education and lifelong learning<br /> Business and enterprise<br /> Library and Information Professionals<br /> Donors<br />
Onsite learning: education workshops at NLS<br />
'In their own words ...' – feedback on schools workshops<br />'I learned a lot more about the past and just how important books are to us.'April, P6, Bonaly Primary School <br />'Reading old articles gave children a feel for the language and contents of reports years ago – a good introduction to our 'Communication' project.'C Inch, P5 teacher, Prestonfield Primary School<br />'We learnt about the history of Scotland and about books, letters, poems and songs that were written by famous people.'Mariam, P5 Roseburn Primary School<br />'The workshop fitted in very well with the work we have been doing ... The NLS is such a marvellous resource I am sure it could support many areas of classroom teaching.'A Reid, P5 teacher, Lorne Primary School<br />