Queuing to borrow a book should become a thing of the past when self service kiosks are installed in Edinburgh Central Library this Summer.
The touch screen machines, part of the "next generation" plans for the 121-year old George IV Bridge building, will enable up to 12 items to be borrowed in any one transaction. Library staff will be on hand to assist people in how to use the machines, as well as providing help and guidance on using the library.
Self Service is already available at a number of Edinburgh libraries including Portobello, Newington, Blackhall, McDonald Road, Stockbridge, and South Neighbourhood Office (Captain's Road).
Other improvements to the landmark public library building include work on the entrance hall and the joining together of two of the Library's Edinburgh and Scottish collections.
Before then, work starts tomorrow (Thursday 31 March) to settle the Edinburgh Room's collection in its new home within the area presently occupied by the Scottish Library, the part of the Central Library which has changed most over the years.
The Council says users of both collections have been canvassed about the change and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, especially since many of those surveyed make use of both collections for research purposes. The new shared collection space will reopen in early April.
A number of options are being considered for the mezzanine space once the Edinburgh Room has relocated, including the possibility of it housing some or all of the Ernest Levy Archive.
Liz McGettigan, Library and Information Services Manager, said the upgrades would make the library and its collections "easier to use and more welcoming to visit."
Later this spring, work will commence on transforming the Entrance Hall, with the aim of making it more welcoming. The entrance barrier currently in place will be removed, and replaced with a new security system, and a new reception desk will greet library visitors as they come in.
The hall will also be furnished with touch screens (pictured) to help people orientate themselves in the building and keep up to date with events and activities happening in the Central Library.
The Central Library was the first free public library in Edinburgh, built in the late 19th century thanks to Andrew Carnegie, who donated £50,000 for the purpose.
Morningside Library Refurb'
Morningside Library closed at the weekend for an upgrade to the building and facilities. The interior design and shelving is being modernised. Other refurbishments include soft seating, a cafe area, study space, community rooms, computer learning centre, improved internal lighting, customer toilets, and new and improved areas for children and teenagers.
The building will also be accessible on two levels, for the first time, creating more space to be used by the community.