2013_01_23 Mammoths 27


Harry Potter at National Library – Gilmerton Library offering digital help – Edinburgh Reads event at Blackhall Library – National Library of Scotland competition – South Queensferry Library

J K Rowling has written in the margin but that only makes a copy of a Harry Potter first edition even more appealing for Harry Potter fans.

They are in for a special treat when the rare first edition, filled with personal notes and drawings by the author J K Rowling, goes on display at the National Library of Scotland (NLS).

On the title page of this copy of ‘Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone’ — the debut novel in the series — the author wrote that this book ‘changed my life forever’.

It will be on display at the Library for one week only from tomorrow Thursday 30 January 2014 as part of the current winter exhibition ‘Wha’s like us?’, which celebrates ideas and inventions that originated in Scotland. Rowling famously wrote most of the book, along with the rest of the series, in cafés in Edinburgh.

The book is being loaned to the Library by its anonymous new owner who bought it last year at auction at Sotheby’s. The sale of the book raised £150,000 for the English Pen writers’ association and for Rowling’s own charity, Lumos, which is working towards ending the institutionalisation of children globally and to ensure that all children grow up in a safe and caring environment.

Rowling’s personal annotations cover more than 40 pages of the book and include references to the Harry Potter series as a whole and also the film adaptations. One note explains how she invented Quidditch, a sport played by characters in the books. They are accompanied by more than 20 of her drawings.

The book will be displayed in the exhibition showing the title page where Rowling has drawn a coat of arms and commented on the role the book has played in changing her life.

Andrew Martin, one of the NLS curators who put the exhibition together’ said: ‘Thanks to the generosity of the new owner, we are able to add this wonderful item to an exhibition which celebrates amazing achievements by Scots or from Scotland. The global phenomenon that is Harry Potter was already featured in the exhibition but this unique first edition makes it all the more special.’

‘Wha’s like us?: A nation of dreams and ideas’ is on at the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. Entry is free.


Gilmerton Library wants to help you.

Confused by Kindle Fires?Bafffled by Online borrowing?
Want to know more?
Graham from the digital team can help you.
We are currently taking names so please get in contact with a member of staff at Gilmerton Library
0131 529 5628

We have more information on Gilmerton Library here.


Blackhall Library is staging an event with Australian writer Matthew Reilly on Thursday 30 January at 2.30pm.

Matthew Reilly is Australia’s most successful living author, an international bestselling thriller writer. Reilly has a strong following in the UK with over 1 million copies of his books sold. He’s largely a self-made literary success, having self-published and promoted his first novel. His latest book ‘The Tournament’ (available 30 January) begins in England, 1546, with Princess Elizabeth, surrounded by uncertainty, and the Black Death stalking the land. She receives an invitation from the Sultan in Constantinople, who seeks to gather the finest players of chess from the whole civilised world and pit them against each other. Book sales and signing after event.

Booking details here.


National Library of Scotland is running a Facebook competition. Here is what they need you to do:-

Enter our new facebook competition which is part of our ‘Wha’s like us? : a nation of dreams & ideas’ exhibition.

We are challenging people to upload an image or ‘selfie’ along with a creative description of themselves. The entry that receives the most ‘likes’ will win an ipad.

Alternatively anyone visiting our exhibition (George IV Bridge, Edinburgh) has the opportunity to dress up as an inventor (using props provided), get inside our large exhibition cabinet (located outside the exhibition doors) and take their photo for upload.


South Queensferry Library has an event about sundials on 8 February 2014:-

More information about South Queensferry Library here.

No excuses for devoting today’s Five things to our libraries. They are wonderful places. The Tales of One City Library blog is a very good read.