A year ago we were approached by Emily Dodd, to see if we could support her application to be a Reader in Residence in Leith Library. The Scottish Book Trust (SBT) was planning to appoint five Readers in Residence to work with libraries to stimulate and deliver innovative projects around reading. What could be more exciting?
We liked the commitment from SBT to allow the residencies to be shaped by the aptitudes and interests of each Reader in Residence and the needs of their partner library service. At the time we were celebrating the 80th anniversary celebrations for the library service in Leith and it was a great time to look a projects that would enhance the library service for the future.
Team Leader Katie Swann worked with Emily to put together the funding application and we were so delighted to hear that we had been successful. For the first nine months of the contract the Reader would work within a library and its community and with a follow up period to work on their own piece of work inspired by the residency.
What an amazing year its been with so much feedback from our twitter and facebook followers who have enjoyed not only the innovative projects that have taken place but also the insight into day to day working in the library.
Ian Buchanan, Neighbourhood Manager for City Centre Leith says,
Having a Reader in Residence at Leith Library gave us the opportunity to engage with the local community in lots of new and innovative ways. Emily’s knowledge of social media, and all her creative ideas, really captured the spirit of Leith and encouraged people to share what they love about reading, as well as reaching out to a younger audience.
For Emily the highlights include the pirate treasure hunt, teddy bear sleepover, clothes swap party and mystery book sculpture. Read her top ten highlights blog for more.
Some final statistics show how much reading related activities have been inspired:-
- Over 70 blogs were published in 9 months.
- The blog has had over 13,000 views
- Our facebook more then doubled – we currently have 517 fans.
- Our twitter went from 0 to currently at 681.
- Membership is up by 15%
Our most popular story is the one about the CSA Hamda who works on the library delivering boxes of book. He’s also a hulahoop dancer!
Some thank yous for the team of staff who have been photographed in their daily lives this year and for their enthusiasm in supporting every project inside and outside the library.
To Katie Swann who is currently working as Partnership Development Officer in the City Centre who worked so hard on getting the project up and running and to the Scottish Book Trust for the funding which enabled the whole thing.
Finally of course to Emily our amazing Reader in Residence for her inspiration, enthusiasm and dedication (it wasn’t a teddybear tweeting all night you know). The library service has benefitted from your ideas and has been a great project for us to work on together.