Three members of the Shetland Library staff are heading to Orkney next month as part of a special exchange project between the two island libraries.
The “Librarians on Loan” project has been made possible by funding from the Scotland’s Islands initiative. Shetland and Orkney staff will put on a range of free events in each other’s libraries. The project will encourage the public to use the two libraries, while the staff exchange is an opportunity to gain experience and share best practice. Some of the events will have a particular emphasis on culture and dialect.
The Shetland Library staff are the first to take part in the exchange, heading to Orkney on Friday 9th September. They will be holding a weekend of events including a Shetland Bookbug session for young children and parents, an Open-mic Orkney v Shetland Poetry Night and a Young Islands Writers workshop. All events are open to the public and will take place in the Orkney Library and Archive. Early next year Orkney staff will visit Shetland for the second half of the project.
Karen Fraser, customer service librarian at Shetland Library, said: “We’d be delighted if any passing Shetlanders can come to the Orkney events – particularly to bolster the Shetland team for the Orkney v Shetland poetry night, as we’re up against the George Mackay Brown Fellowship!”
Chairwoman of the education and families committee Betty Fullerton said of the project: “This is a significant partnership project which raises the profile of both island libraries and gives staff some really valuable time to work together.”
The Year of Scotland’s Islands initiative aims to raise the profile of the islands across the UK and internationally, attract more visitors, bolster economic development and strengthen links between the islands and mainland cultural organisations. The programme, which includes over 100 events across 42 islands, will showcase the music, arts, food, sport and history of the islands, as well as highlight their unique beauty as visitor destinations.