External funding of £28,000 has allowed Shetland Library to introduce improvements to its service. Users will now be able to gain access to the internet using free wi-fi at a special built-in laptop bar on the mezzanine.
The development is part of the 1421 project which aims to make the library more attractive to young people. The money has come from the Scottish government’s public libraries improvement fund with support from the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).
Other items purchased for the main library and the eight school branches include new display furniture, information screens, beanbags, digital cameras, DVD players, health promotion materials, music CDs, graphic novels, Wii consoles and games. Staff training has also been funded, and the library is liaising with Shetland Youth Services and NHS Shetland to plan and deliver the project.
Work will now begin to promote the improvements at all branches. The ultimate goal is to encourage more people in the 14-21 age group to make use of library services.
Kat Brack, school librarian at the Anderson High School, explained: “This is an exciting opportunity to promote the library in a fresh and unexpected way. Pupils can come to the library not only to study or to relax with a book, but also for games events, information on careers and university, to borrow CDs (for free!) or to listen to music.”
Councillor Gussie Angus said: “It is splendid news for the library, splendid for our young folk and it’s good to see the library is keeping up with new technology.”