ELISA Open Forum -12/12/2018

The annual ELISA Forum will be held on Wednesday 12th December at the NLS starting at 2:00pm.

The theme of the event is Doing things Differently

There will be a number of exciting presentations including:

  • Using Lego to Teach Referencing
  • Access to Own and auto-upgrades for eBook purchases
  • Training and digital literacy
  • Librarians Uncorked
  • NLS Fashion

Tickets are available on Eventbrite 

Refreshments will be provided and there will be opportunities for networking and socialising.





Calling Certification and Chartership candidates in Edinburgh

Are you looking for a short project  to add to your CILIP portfolio for certification or chartership?

If so please contact Fiona from the ELISA Business Committee to obtain further details.

The project would involve a collating and analysing statistics from ELISA events.

It would be a great introduction to the work of ELISA if you haven’t been actively involved with the Group before and would allow you to demonstrate a knowledge of the wider library profession for your portfolio and also make some useful contacts for the future.


ELISA AGM and tour of Enduring Eye exhibition

The ELISA AGM was held on Tuesday 26th September at the National Library of Scotland.
It was a very successful event with positive feedback from the 15 members who attended.

The event started with a tour of the NLS’s current exhibition led by Paula Williams (Curator of Maps, Mountaineering and Polar Collections).   It was fascinating to look at the photographs and to hear the story of the expedition.  Paula is extremely knowledgeable about the expedition and the history of the people, places and sequence of events.  She made it sound both exciting and poignant.  She also gave an insight into what is involved in curating and exhibition and the work that takes place behind the scenes.

The exhibition is definitely worth visiting and the photographs are amazing.

After the tour, there were refreshments and then the AGM.
The AGM deals with the official business of ELISA and with reports from the Business Committee and the financial report.  Then reports from sub groups i.e. the Access Group, Training and Development Group and the Web Group.
These reports will be made available via the website as soon as they are available.


Julie Johnstone

ELISA would like to wish all the very best to our colleague Julie Johnstone, formerly of the Scottish Poetry Library, as she embarks on new and exciting projects.

Best of luck for the future Julie!

ELISA Summer Gathering and AGM – report

This year’s Summer Gathering and AGM was held yesterday at the Advocates Library. Here is a very brief summary of proceedings:

Cleo Jones, ELISA Business Committee Chair, welcomed everyone and opened the meeting with an introduction to the work of ELISA.


Nominations for the Business Committee, 2016-17
Current committee: Cleo Jones, Fiona Laing, Lauren Thow, Jane Condie, Julie Johnson, Clare Donlan , Ellen Peacock, Iain Young, Kirsteen Urquart.

All BC members are happy to stay on. The existing Business Committee were nominated by Elaine Simpson and seconded by Julie Arnot to serve for another year.

Tour of the Advocates Library
After the AGM, myself and Senior Librarian Andrea Longson provided tours of the Advocates Library building and Parliament Hall. There was also a small display of a few treasures from our collection.

Many thanks to Andrea Longson for her time yesterday and while preparing for the visit.

If you were unable to attend, or if you’d like another visit, the Advocates Library will be participating in Doors Open Day again this year. That’s on Saturday 24th September. Also, if you’re interested, you can read more about the sad history of The Faculty Mummy on my blog  🙂

My year with ELISA – a 1st Anniversary review

During my report to the AGM in June, I mentioned my very first ELISA meeting had been the AGM of 2014. Afterwards Fiona Laing suggested I write a post reflecting on being part of ELISA for the last year and how things have moved forward in that time. A lovely idea but I’m afraid it took me a while to get around to doing it.

WP_20150625_005So, being much too late for a reasonable tie-in with the AGM, I will instead use this post to mark the 1st Anniversary of this site itself!!!

The very first post was uploaded on 24 September 2014. With fitting symmetry it was a re-blog of my own report from the 2014 AGM at the Botanics. Looking back over my year (and a bit) as part of ELISA is a pleasant experience. Right from the start, at the 2014 AGM, I felt totally welcomed by this group of very lovely library people.

Blogging is my hobby so, when told there was need of assistance in that area, I immediately volunteered. Since I derive huge pleasure from fiddling around online, I quickly moved from ‘helping out with the website’ to leading the Web & e-Content Group – which seemed to be a pretty sweet deal for everyone involved!

The old website

The TACIT newsletter had just been retired and I wanted ELISA’s website to take its place as an information resource for Edinburgh’s Library and Information Services community. I had a lot of ideas but was limited by lack of access to the website. It was at that time hosted on Edinburgh University’s server and, for security reasons, I could not have full administrative access to it there. It had previously been well maintained by Greg Christie but, though he was exceedingly helpful, he had his own job to do and my intended revamp of the site would have taken months to achieve without direct access.

So, at a Business Committee meeting (probably in August 2014) I questioned how wedded ELISA was to the website as it was. I suggested that shifting to a free site hosted on WordPress.com would give us more freedom and versatility, allowing any and all ELISA members to post if they so wished… Long story short, after a whirlwind few weeks, almost before I knew what was happening, the old site had been archived, and I was sole admin of this shiny new website: http://www.edinburghlibrariesagency.info/

Web Group members

For a little while the Web & e-Content ‘Group’ was just me but I was soon joined by Lauren Thow of Portobello High School and Jose Lopez (formerly of the Advocates Library). When Jose left Edinburgh the group was down to 2 members – until Claire Donlan from Heriot-Watt was persuaded to join us too.


My main focus is the design and up-keep of the website. I built the layout and pages, adding various widgets like the Twitter feed and a link to ELISA’s Eventbrite account. I work to create an online following (here and on Twitter) and try to chase up interesting content – to the extent that I suspect many ELISA folk are scared to talk to me these days since I’m always demanding new posts for the site. I’m also part of the Business Committee.

Lauren is our Photoshop diva. As well as being the new chair of the Access Working Group (congrats Lauren!) she is designing the beautiful new Libraries Passport and related documentation.

Claire is our link to the excellent work of the Training & Development Group. She initially set-up our Twitter account – @elisaEDINBURGH – and is great at live Tweeting ELISA events. Claire also takes beautiful photos.

Online stats

ELISA currently has 328 online followers.

  • 160 directly through this website
  • 168 via Twitter – there is likely to be some duplication here but I have no way to quantify that.

In the first year the website had:

  • 7,606 views of 102 posts – by 8 authors (and several more contributors) – but only 24 comments
  • hits from 79 different countries staggeringly! Though the majority of our 2678 visitors have probably been more local.
  • its best day ever on 22 October 2014 with 212 views!

The Twitter account was created on 7 November 2014 and since then we’ve tweeted 264 Tweets to 168 Followers.

Guest posts

Gifted: The fascinating tale of ten mysterious book sculptures gifted to the city of words and ideas

As noted above, I’m always trying to find people willing to contribute something for publication on the site. In the last year we’ve had posts submitted by:

I was very pleased when Christine De Luca agreed to write a piece for the website last year. Her illustrated submission was ‘serialised’ in 3 parts during January 2014. It was very successful in drawing subscribers to the site and raising its profile. I’m very keen to showcase other guest writers in the future. This is an ongoing scheme so please, please send me your submissions or suggest names of people I could invite to contribute in the future.

The year ahead

I feel (I hope!) that the Web & e-Content Group, with our various links and interests, provide a kind of unifying force within ELISA. We gather information about the BC and Working Groups’ meetings, projects and events and disseminate them to the wider ELISA community. We also supply a conduit for that community to send out its own info too. I want our website to become central to ELISA’s work and to Edinburgh’s library, museum, archive, records management and information community.

I’ve very much enjoyed my first year with ELISA, I’ve loved meeting and working with so many lovely library professionals and I look forward to the years ahead. Please, as always, contact me with any questions, suggestions or feedback you have.

Thanks for a lovely year ELISA!

Jane A Condie
Advocates Library, and ELISA Web & e-Content Group leader

ELISA Summer Gathering and AGM – event report

A brief report about the ELISA Summer gathering and AGM which was held on Thursday 25th June 2015 at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.  It was a successful event with a good turn out of more than 20 people – excellent talks, conversations and networking opportunities.
The librarian, Sarah Jeffcott at the Portrait Gallery provided a tour of the library and gave a very interesting and informative talk about the collection and the enquiry and research work that she does.  The collection consists of prints, drawings and photography collections and Sarah showed examples of some of the collection.  She also explained about the the Sitters’ Files which are copies of portraits in collections and the Artists’ Files which are photographs of portraits by Scottish artists. They are also working on digitising some of the National galleries collection so there is a digitisation station.
There was time for questions and everyone appreciated Sarah’s time and expertise in showing us round the library.



The main business of the AGM consisted of a report from the Business Committee including the Treasurers report. Also brief reports from the working groups – the Access Group, the Web and e-Content Group and the Training & Development Group.
he event was an excellent opportunity to network and chat to other people involved in the library world in Edinburgh.  ELISA events provide a useful environment for sharing knowledge and experience across sectors and promoting and advocating libraries.
There was even time for drinks and snacks.


ELISA Summer Gathering and AGM

Hello all

Portrait Gallery ceiling

This year’s Summer Gathering and AGM will take place on Thursday 25th June 2015, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, from 4-6.30pm.

The meeting will be held in the Gallery’s AK Bell room where refreshments will be provided. Sarah Jeffcott, Librarian and Research Assistant, will also give us an introduction to her library/print room where we’ll see some highlights from the Scottish National Portrait Gallery‘s prints, drawings and photography collections.

Please register your attendance via Eventbrite.

ELISA Summer Gathering and AGM
Thursday 25th June 2015, 4-6.30pm

AK Bell room
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street
Edinburgh  EH2 1JD

Winter Warmer social – final reminder!!!

ELISAlogo-v1-red - Version 2Hello all

Just a final reminder to book your place for the ELISA Winter Warmer social at NLS next Monday, 9th February at 5pm

Come along to the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge for a special tour of the winter exhibition Game of Crowns: the 1715 Jacobite rising led by curator Robert Betteridge.

There will be refreshments served and an opportunity to chat and catch up with ELISA colleagues.

Due to the need to finalise catering, booking will close tomorrow. So please be quick and book your place through eventbrite 

Business Committee meeting – Dec 2014 – brief report

The ELISA Business Committee held its last meeting of 2014 yesterday.

There was praise for the organisation and success of ELISA Open Forum 2014 – and kind words about the set-up and functionality of this new website.

Membership costs and renewals were discussed, as was the need for links between the BC and ELISA’s other Working Groups

Plans were begun for the organisation of a mid-winter social early in 2015 and for next year’s summer gathering and AGM – details of these to follow.

BC meeting dates pencilled in for 2015 are:

  • 11 March 2014, 3-5pm
  • 10 June 2014, 3-5pm
  • 9 Sept 2014, 3-5pm
  • ?? Dec 2014, 3-5pm