Iisalmi City Library (Finland) and Edinburgh Libraries (Scotland) have been NAPLE Sister Libraries since the beginning of 2019. The correspondence between libraries has been active and we have been keeping in touch with emails and Skype meetings. We have also done some small projects together. These have included country specific book exhibitions, sharing content in social media and joint activities of our book clubs. The exchange of ideas has been fruitful and we have very similar opinions concerning the development of our cooperation.

From the perspective of the Iisalmi City Library, the most significant action has been the decision of the Edinburgh Libraries to allow our customers to register as users of the Edinburgh e-services. Registration is done by email and after that the customerswill  get a full access to Edinburgh electronic collections. We are very grateful for this opportunity and have been promoting it on our library presentations.

In order to fully understand each other’s activities, it is necessary that the staff will meet face to face. This in mind Iisalmi City Library chose to apply for an Erasmus+ mobility project in in this year’s application round. Our project is  called “Learning Librarian – New Skills from International Cooperation”. We applied for four job shadowing mobilities which were all intended to take place in different branches of Edinburgh Libraries. The other aim of the project is to improve the competence of the whole Iisalmi City Library staff in the areas of electronic services, event production, multi-cultural awareness and mobile library services.

We were delighted that our application was approved and we got the funds to fully implement our plans. However, one thing that we were not prepared was the current coronavirus situation, which has also has been putting some limits to our mutual cooperation. Fortunately, all this year’s Erasmus+ mobilities got an automatic time extension so we can postpone our travel plans into the year 2021. We are also waiting eagerly to report the outcomes of the project on this blog.

Text: Tuomo Lindfors (Librarian, Iisalmi City Library)

Photos: Tuomo Lindfors and Edinburgh Central Library