World Book Day - Library tours
Guided tours behind the scenes at Scotland's biggest library will be happening on Thursday 6 March, as the National Library of Scotland marks World Book Day. Rarely open to general access, the George IV Bridge Building houses the main reading rooms and 15 floors of shelved areas (known as 'stacks') where many of the Library's eight million books are stored.
The tours are extensive, giving members of the public an exclusive look at some parts of the building which usually are seen only by staff. One highlight will be the recently created office accommodation on a former roof space, with an inspiring view of Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh's extinct volcano.
Starting times are 10.00, 11.30, 14.00 and 15.30 hours, and numbers are limited. To book a place, please phone 0131 622 4807, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Library shop.
The UK's celebration of World Book Day this year features the results of 'We Are What We Read' - a poll in each of the four UK nations to find out which book adults think best represents who we are today.
For more about World Book Day, see the website at: www.worldbookday.com
28 February 2003
New to the Electronic Resources Network
The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 has now been added to the Library's network of electronic databases and CD-ROMs. Although presently only covering from 1913 to 1985, when it is completed at the end of this year the archive will consist of every entire page of The Times newspaper in a 200-year period from 1785 - all fully searchable online. Advertisements and images are included, and searches can be by article and by page, with results grouped in helpful categories (such as news, editorial, and advertising). Pages can also be viewed as PDFs. The Electronic Resources Network is accessible via dedicated workstations in the George IV Bridge Building.
28 February 2003
Closing the cultural gap between nations
Speakers from Scotland and France will feature in a round-table forum on 'Dialogue amongst civilisations' to be held at the National Library of Scotland on Friday 7 March. Organised by l'Institut Français d'Ecosse and supported by the Library, the event arises from concerns about the rift between international cultures, and discussion will focus on ways to bridge the gap.
All five speakers are or have been involved with international festivals or literary organisations. From France are: Martine Grelle, Head of International Relations for the French Ministry of Culture; Françoise Gründ, formerly director of La Maison des Cultures du Monde (Paris); and Michel Le Bris, director of an international writing festivals network. The Scottish speakers are: Robyn Marsack, director of the Scottish Poetry Library; and Donald Smith, director of the Netherbow Arts Centre and Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh.
To register for the event, which runs from 2 to 6pm, please phone 0131-225 5366 or e-mail the French Institute at email@example.com. Tickets (free) are also available at the Library's shop in the George IV Bridge Building. (Click for location map.) The registration deadline is 4 March.
21 February 2003
Brian Keenan at poetry event
The launch of the programme for this year's Scottish poetry festival, StAnza, on Thursday 20 February, will feature writer Brian Keenan as special guest. Perhaps most widely known as a former hostage, he will talk at the event - hosted by the National Library of Scotland - on the subject of poetry, its celebration and the place it has in his life. Also present will be Gill Bowman of New Makars Songwriters, performing as part of the festival theme of 'poetry and song'. Free tickets can be booked by phone (0131-622 4807), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person at the Library shop in the George VI Bridge Building. The launch starts at 7pm. StAnza itself will be held in St Andrews from 20 to 22 March. (Further information from email@example.com)
14 February 2003
Bid to preserve electronic publications
A Private Member's Bill is due to be proposed at Westminster in March which will ensure that electronic and non-print material will become part of the national published archive which otherwise could be lost from public record forever.
Websites, E-journals, CD-ROMs and DVDs are among the publishing formats not currently covered by legal deposit legislation - which means that they cannot legally be claimed by the UK and Irish legal deposit libraries, such as the National Library of Scotland. With the number of electronic journals alone in the UK expected to reach 193,000 by 2005 - compared with 52,000 in 2002 - there is a clear risk of valuable information being lost to researchers now and in the future from these and other non-print sources.
A campaign in support of MP Chris Mole's bid to extend the legal deposit privilege has been organised by the British Library on behalf of all the legal deposit libraries and the publisher trade bodies. Martyn Wade, National Librarian of the National Library of Scotland, said: 'This [Bill] would be a huge leap in terms of protecting material for the future. If, in centuries ahead, people are to receive a comprehensive and accessible picture of the 21st century then this large and ever-increasing element of published information must become part of the legal deposit material.' The Library will be lobbying Westminster MPs to back the Bill.
12 February 2003