Mcdonald Road Library, Edinburgh City
Library number 79!!! When I started out on this journey I wondered how far I would actually get, there are after all 209 library Authorities and so 209 libraries to join. But the enthusiasm and support from the library community has been amazing and has quite literally sped me on my way and it has been an honour to visit (as of today) 79 separate libraries spanning right across the UK. Today after my first two events at the brilliant @edbookfest I met up with Fiona, Diane and Emma who whisked me from the festival out to McDonald Road Library a beautiful purpose built library built around 1907 at first as a reference library before becoming a fully fledged public library. The space is so light and airy and welcoming and staff had a surprise in store a group of year 7 students from the local primary were smiling and waiting in the childrens library to hear some poems. It’s always a treat to speak with a small group of students because you can have a proper chat. The students were a brilliant audience and asked some super questions about the process of writing.
As I joined up library staff told me about their Green Pencil Writing Award open to 8-15 year olds a genius sounding competition where young people are encouraged to write on the theme… ‘Going going gone. Scotlands wildlife in danger’ an important and meaty. (No pun intended) theme for young people to grapple with. Participants simply write their entry on a side of A4 and receive a green (as in the colour) and green (as in the credentials) pencil for taking part. This struck me as an exemplary project for the sorts of offers you can find at the library. The young writer in me would have leapt at the opportunity to take part in a writing competition at my local library. This is the first writing competition i’ve come across at a library and it is simply genius.
With my new library card in hand I borrowed a favourite of mine that I first read in my old library of Westhill in London Only You Can Save Mankind a brilliant novel by the great #terrypratchett.
A massive thanks to all the library staff for having me and to the super students for being such a warm audience.