Celebrations were held today at Muirhouse Library to mark the 20th anniversary of Library Link, a bus service for anyone who has difficulty getting to their library because of age, disability or ill health.

Launched in Muirhouse Library in 1992, Library Link has proven so successful that it has been adopted by nearly every library in the Capital and is now regarded as a core part of the Libraries and Information Service. Some libraries have more than one link service, catering to those who prefer to visit on a different day of the week or time of day.

Library Link provides a service for those who cannot access the service due to physical constraints, organising transport and a volunteer who assists customers from their front door to the library and back again after their visit. In the library customers are free to select their own books, talking books and other materials and then can join other Link members for a cup of tea and a chat.

The service forms a unique partnership between The City of Edinburgh Council Library and Information Services and the voluntary sector.  The WRVS recruit and support volunteer escorts to accompany the link members and transport is provided by organisations such as PEP (Pilton Equalities Project) and SEAG (South Edinburgh Amenities Group).

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, (shown above with Maisie Hawkins (L) and Mary Connelly (R) said:- “Today marks a very special milestone for a very special service. Library Link has helped many, many residents over the past two decades, ensuring they can access the wide range of services on offer at their library while interacting socially with fellow service users and volunteers. I would like to pay tribute to all the volunteers, past and present, whose hard work and enthusiasm mean Library Link continues to go from strength to strength.”

Ellen Fisher joined Library Link while Morningside Library was closed for its recent refurbishment. She said:- “It gets you out of the house and lets you meet people. Everyone is very helpful. I was finding it difficult to cope with getting the books to and from the library. The advantage is that you can borrow as many books as you want and they are carried for you.”

For crime novel enthusiast Mary Anderson the club has become one of the few occasions she gets out and about. “I enjoy meeting everyone and it also keeps the brain active, which is very important when you get to my age,” she said.

Today’s celebration also saw the introduction of a new Edinburgh City Libraries brochure. “My  library keeps me out and about” – Library services for older people, is a new booklet from Edinburgh City Libraries providing information about the various activities and services that are available to older people in Edinburgh, or anyone who finds it difficult to use their library through disability or illness.

There a number of ways to help access the library services available. The booklet is a guide to doing this, by providing information on the Library2go service, Get Up and Go, and Your Edinburgh. These services are all designed to keep people up to date with what is happening in their community.

The booklet also outlines how library users can get involved in events and activities in their community, including the popular book groups, IT courses and activities for children and grandchildren. And here is a copy for you to read:-

Library Services for Older People_FINAL