Saturday, 9 February 2013

National Library Day

Orkney Library & Archives in Kirkwall
Responses from Orkney folk when I asked them about their libraries ...

I’ve never known a better library * they are outstanding. Kirkwall Library is a friendly, fun place with helpful, cheerful staff. The atmosphere is great & the reading groups very enjoyable KGS library is also excellent – provides varied opportunities for students to learn & actively encourages reading. (The librarian is largely responsible for this) * Overall a very good service. I have used the internet services and compared to other libraries it is very nice and clean. I also like the casual newspaper area at the front. It feels welcoming. * Well rounded. There is always something for everyone. Easy to find something new. * Very good. Helpful staff. Use of computers. Meetings for work. So work and leisure Meetings in the MacGillivray RoomGood! Better now than ever before. * Very positive – although I have not had the time of recent years to use it – demands of work and family precluded that (and I have thousands of books at home). Have appreciated their short read books at airport & at hairdresser. Any dealing I have had with Orkney Library staff has been exceedingly positive. Staff have been pleasant, helpful, knowledgeable and gone out of their way to help. I intend to use the library much more now that my lifestyle has changed. * I love the Archives. It's such a wonderful resource for research, family history, creative writing. And the Photographic Archives are a treasure trove of Orkney images. * BRILLIANT – the folk are helpful and knowledgeable, funny and always welcoming. * brilliant. I use the mobile library as well as the Kirkwall one and the staff couldn’t be nicer or more helpful Really good and very long time * very goodExcellent, helpful staff. BROWSING, serendipity are important. * Excellent In the Orkney Room they have everything and all the staff are helpful. * fantastic – what a brilliant facility and the engagement of the staff with the readers is tremendous. *excellent. The team is consistently helpful, courteous and innovative Brilliant! * A1 ExcellentFriendly, helpful staff in Kirkwall where I live, and in Stromness, where I go once a fortnight for the Stromness Writing group. We are v. proud of Stewart’s computer skills!! 
Stromness Library

Excellent. I have only used Kirkwall Library. It’s a warm, welcoming, enjoyable building to come in to. The staff are friendly and helpful. I enjoy the Facebook page too! * They are excellent Very friendly staff and a good selection of books. Also no finer!!If all libraries could be like Kirkwall then things would only improve in the world of literature.* Great good very good. With children + by self * brilliant. Lovely staff, very helpfulexcellent. They provide a wide range of books and staff are helpful and willing to order anything not available at once. * Excellent. Very friendly informative helpful staff with a good range of books to borrow. The website has a lot of very useful information too * very positiveCompletely positive. They are both - Stromness & Kirkwall - my home from home. * extremely positive. Very friendly staff, great resources. Good collection + mix of novels + non-fiction. Bookbug sessions are wonderful Excellent. The staff are so friendly & helpful. They suggest books that they think might be interesting. * Excellent. Staff are courteous and extremely helpful. * excellent Having recently moved to Orkney and not knowing my way round the library I have nothing but praise for the staff and selection of books. * totally positivehelpful, welcoming, lively Very helpful + innovative All are excellent. * warm and welcoming and helpful. * Brilliant!!Very good. Staff are extremely helpful. * grand places!Very good, welcoming, helpful staff and family friendly. * very good! – good range of fictional and academic books - a real asset to my academic studies - staff are very genial! * very good choice and friendly staff * excellent First class service. Excellent staff. * Excellent – great range of titles and media, very well-informed and helpful staff, enjoy book groupthe best of all the ones I have been to in Scotland. V positive with helpful, friendly staff * Excellent Orkney library and the very nice staff make it a really important place for me. * great!  a lovely booky atmosphere, the library is splendid in all sorts of other ways – PLUS GREAT STAFF!! * The Home Library Service is an excellent service. It's one of the things I rely on. I like large print. I don't choose the books myself, Steven does; he knows what I like. I'm very well looked after. * I used to go to the library regularly till my mobility deteriorated. So I was really glad to discover I could have books delivered to me. I need good books to turn to. We're very lucky in Orkney. When Steven comes with the van, it's another contact - somebody bringing news from outside. With Steven choosing books for me that I might not have thought of, this service has expanded my reading, widened it. I like something fresh. I would be lost without this service.

This is the Wordle poster of the above words: ORKNEY LIBRARIES

Whether in Kirkwall or Stromness, in the Archives, the Photographic Archives, on the road with the Mobile Library, or receiving boxes of books at home with the Home Library Service, I think it's fair to say that Orkney folk like their libraries! Long may they flourish!  


  1. Used Stromness library a few years back when on holiday in Hoy. Lovely small space. Friendly, helpful staff. Looking forward to visiting Kirkwall too in April.

    1. Yes, Stromness Library is great and is going to be moving to custom built premises at the Pier Head sometime in the coming year.

      And I'm really looking forward to your visit to Kirkwall AND Stromness in April for Orkney Book Festival.


Tell me your stories about reading; share your experiences of Orkney Libraries; let me know your favourite books and tell me why you like them.