Thursday, 15 October 2015

Last Thursday we were gifted this lovely Orkney Writers/Story tellers map which is now hanging in the Junior section of the library.  It was part of a project funded by the Clore Duffield Foundation to introduce young folk in Orkney to Orkney writers of the past. The map was gifted to the library by Wirdsmit and the George Mackay Brown Fellowship and contains lots of lovely illustrations done by the young people, interspersed with pictures of the Orkney writers.

Do come and have a closer look, it's a great addition to the new library.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

We are always delighted to see young readers enjoying the junior department at the library.  Florrie was having a bit of trouble deciding which was her favourite book. Jimmy Choo need to watch out when she's older! (Sarah)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Yap & Yarn

It's time!

Get your needles at the ready for Yap & Yarn, which starts again on Monday 28th September at the Warehouse Buildings, Stromness, from 5pm - 7pm.

Pop along with your knitting or crochet and enjoy a chat and a cup of tea with fellow yarn lovers. All ages and abilities welcome and there will be help on hand for beginners to get you started.

You may remember the fantastic knitted Christmas tree that the Kirkwall group produced last year, and we thought it would be nice to have one of our own for our lovely new building.

If you would like to help us with this project then we would be delighted to receive donations of squares up to a maximum size of 21cm x 21cm (8 inches) in any shade of green and in various weights of yarn and stitch patterns. We would also love any knitted/crochet decorations for the finished tree.

Let the knitting begin!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Sarah and Carol are working today and this book is available.  Juxtaposition or Oxymoron? 
You decide.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Wi-fi notice

Notice to our customers, but please don't let that put you off.  We have still have a large selection of books, cds, audio books, news papers and magazines for your delectation. (Sarah)

Saturday, 22 August 2015

A Room with a View

It's been a glorious day here and the sunshine most welcome.  It's hard to believe that the Warehouse buildings have been open now for almost three months and we have all been incredibly busy.  We are delighted to say the new facility has been very well recieved with lots of positive feedback.  The biggest oohs and aahs come when people go to the adult lending area up the stairs and see the fantastic view from the seating area. This photo really doesn't do it justice, you'll have to come in and see it for yourselves!

Many people comment how they could easily sit up there all day.  There is a lovely library atmosphere and the upstairs facilities are being well used for people studying as there are also desks in the reference area and GMB room. If you are able to tear yourself away from the upstairs there are many other facilities available including a large junior library selection on the ground floor as well as large print, Orkney books, audio books, public computers, and coucil services.

It's been a real priviledge to be part of a fantastic new set up and thank you all so much for your lovely feed back and positive remarks about the building.  If you haven't been in a look yet we would love to see you so please do pop in and say hello.  Sarah

Saturday, 15 August 2015

A New Chapter

Well here we are in our new home!

A warm welcome to all our readers, new and old, as we start the next chapter of the Stromness Library story in our lovely new home at the Warehouse Buildings in Victoria Street.

As with all moves there has been a period of transition as we get used to the new building, and our new roles as library assistants/customer service assistants.

With the expanded range of services on offer  there are now two of us working at the reception desk. This means the team has grown, with Carol and Becky being joined by Soo and Sarah, along with our relief staff Keely, Angela, Lara and Evelyn. 

We've been enjoying welcoming old and new faces to our fantastic new facilities and services, which include three public meeting rooms, a range of council customer services, comfortable reading and study spaces, and even a coffee machine!

As the weeks go by we'll introduce you to the team on the blog and learn a bit more about life in the Warehouse Buildings.

In the meantime you can read more about the history of the library, and both old and new buildings on the New Chapter website,which was developed for the library by Rebecca Marr, and features an original audio piece First Lines, produced for the project by Mark Jenkins.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Having a yarn

We are always delighted to welcome visitors to the Stromness Library, and even more delighted when they come back for a return visit.

In the last couple of weeks we've had visits from two former writers in residence at Stromness Library, Jan Natanson, and Nalini Paul , as well as our Ravelry friend Westendangela.

While Jan and Nalini shared news of recent writing projects - Jan has a community play in production, and Nalini has a poetry book coming out soon - when knitters get together the talk soon turns to work in progress and recent projects on the knitting needles. 

We were rather pleased to be able to show off our library cushions, and Becky even posed for a photo beside the windows which were the inspiration for the design. 

photo by Westendangela

Watch this space for news about the date of our move to the new building, but in the meantime here is a sneaky preview of the cushions in their new home.

Now doesn't that look comfy?

Just perfect for relaxing with a good book, or even a bit of knitting!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Bookmarks and biscuits.

As we continue our preparations for the move to our lovely new building, we've been reflecting on our favourite memories of Stromness Library, and we would love to hear yours. 

Perhaps you remember coming to the library as a child and have memories of previous librarians, or you visited us while you were in Stromness on holiday. We would love to hear your stories, memories, favourite books and encounters with the library cats. 

Do please get in touch, either through the comments below or by dropping us an email. We are gathering all these stories from and about the library for our New Chapter exhibition which will celebrate the history of the library in Stromness when we move to the new building. We want to capture as many stories as we can from the most important part of any library - you, the people who visit it. 

Over the years we have worked here there have been many memorable moments, some funny, some sad, and some unrepeatable! 

Today we were recalling the many items we have found inside returned books. Along with the more predictable discoveries of bookmarks, letters, bills and the like, we can reveal that we once opened a book to discover a custard cream biscuit between the pages. Whether this had been inserted as makeshift book mark, or left behind by accident during a particularly exciting reading-while-biscuit-eating-session, we will never know. 

When we mentioned our find to a colleague in Kirkwall library, he claimed to have once come across a rasher of streaky bacon being used as a book mark. While we were unable to verify this claim, we would strongly discourage our readers from reading while eating a fried breakfast  - just in case.

If you are in need of a bookmark we have lots here to choose from, including our very own Orkney library bookmarks -  save the custard creams to go with your cup of tea!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Spring Forward!

Don't forget to put your clocks forward tonight as we 'spring forward' to lighter evenings and the promise of warmer days to come. 

On a day of rain and wind we thought it might be good to share the reassuring opening stanza of George Mackay Brown's poem for Robert Rendall, Chorus: ' Soon Spring Will Come': 

Soon Spring will come, and then the thrifty crofter Must yoke an ox, and drive his eager plough Through the wet mould. the sower will follow after,  And cast the good seed, rhythmical and slow, Along the furrows fringed with April snow. 

After a generally rather mild winter, will April be the month that brings us snow?

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Painting Challenge

If you're wondering what to do on a miserable Saturday afternoon why not pop in to the library for a bit of inspiration?

Stromness is of course a community full of creativity, and as regular readers will know there are often exhibitions of the many talented artists in the town.

But for those of us for whom a paintbrush is more of a DIY tool than a means of self expression, the recent BBC television series The Big Painting Challenge may have sparked an interest in exploring our own inner artist. 

If you're looking for a bit of guidance then we can help, we may not be able to offer artistic advice but we can certainly find you a book that can. With titles from 'Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Oil Painting' to 'Reader's Digest Guide to Drawing and Painting' there should be something to help you choose the right materials and tackle your first masterpiece. 

While you're in the library you can also pick up an entry form for The Little Painting Challenge. Create a drawing or painting on the blank side of the postcard and then send in your entry for the chance to win a prize and perhaps even see your work exhibited in the newly refurbished Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester from the 4th of May 2015. 

Entries close on April 2nd so you still have plenty of time to find your muse and get creating. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


We thought you might like to see what the Yap and Yarn group have been working on in preparation for our move to the new Library. 

We decided it would be nice to find a way to make something for the new building which reminded us of the old library, and came up with the idea of cushions for our lovely new comfy sofas. 

As you can see, the design is based on the coloured glass windows in the old library.

We decided to make 6 cushions and here we are working on the final one!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Bookmarks and Bags

We were overwhelmed by the entries to our competitions to design a bookmark for the new Stromness Library and a new children's library bag. The quality of the entries gave our judges a very difficult decision to make but we are delighted to be able to announce the winners.

Congratulations to Erin Rose Bayliss and Magnus Groundwater, joint winners of the bookmark competition. 

Congratulations also to Lucy Barton whose winning entry will be the new design on our children's library bags.

Thank you to everyone who entered. We can't wait to see the winning designs as bookmarks and bags. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Burn's Night

We don't know about you but by this point in January we are in need of a bit of a boost. 

The festive cheer is but a distant memory, as are our resolutions to stay out of the biscuit tin and start a detox/exercise plan/decluttering regime/self improvement scheme etc. So having a legitimate excuse to eat haggis and clapshot, munch shortbread, and drink whiskey is just what is needed to lift the spirits - if also accompanied by the reading of Robert Burn's poetry, some good fiddle tunes and perhaps even dancing we might even forget the howling wind and freezing rain outside!

So have a very happy Burn's night when it comes. We thought you might enjoy the following poem from the bard:

The Book Worms

Through and through the inspired leaves,
Ye maggots make your windings; 
But, oh! respect his lordships taste,
And spare his golden bindings.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Advent Quiz - the result!

Happy New Year to all our readers. 

We hope you enjoyed our Advent Quiz for 2014 - the answers have now been published on each day's post. 

Congratulations to our winner Carola Huttmann.

Carola, if you could email us at we will arrange to get your fabulous prize to you.