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Libraries Help You Beat the Crunch

posted 3 Sep 2009, 04:15 by myEdinburgh Admin
In these times of economic downturn, every saving you make can go a long way. The City of Edinburgh Council’s libraries now have over 100 energy meters available to take out on loan for up to a week.

These meters tell you how much electricity your appliances and lights use which can help you reduce your utility bills by making some small changes. The meters can be reserved for free should they all be out on loan at your local library.

To further help people cope with the recession new resources are being made available at libraries across the city. These include books on managing money and managing debt and also books to help you become more self sufficient such as how to grow vegetables and how to cook on a budget, and the best part is these are all available free of charge.

Alongside the traditional book and media lending, libraries can also offer you free I.T training taster sessions to help you get the most from the internet and other computer resources. In addition libraries are working with environmental charity Changeworks to deliver information and advice on energy efficiency in the home.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Libraries Leader at the City of Edinburgh Council said: “Edinburgh’s libraries are a fantastic resource and are at the heart of every community. They can offer advice and information on so many topics and interests and it won’t cost the user a penny.”

Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environment Leader at the City of Edinburgh Council said: "I’m delighted to see the libraries are highlighting ways in which we can become more environmentally friendly. By making some small changes in how we live, we can all save money and also help save the environment – a win win situation.”

This is not the only measure the City of Edinburgh Council is taking during the challenging economic times when it is all the more important to take steps to support Edinburgh’s economy and build for the future. That means joining forces with the organisations which can help residents and businesses weather the downturn. Co-ordinated by the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh organisations are working together within the Economic Action Resilience Network (EARN) to support businesses and individuals. To find out about available support and new services, visit


Edinburgh's Library Service has also teamed up with EverybodyOnline, and ECTA, (Edinburgh Community Technology Academy), to offer accredited Microsoft Office Specialist units in Word and Excel. These qualifications are highly valued by employers. 

Whereas the units would usually cost £500 to £600.00 commercially, learners can register for an Individual Learning Account (ILA) (which covers course time and materials)prior to enrolling, and receive testing and the courses free of charge through Fountainbridge Library.

Cllr Brock said: “I am delighted that through partnership working with Everybody Online, our Library Service is able to offer high quality accredited learning to help people boost their computer skills and enhance their CVs. In this difficult economic climate, it's vital we do whatever we can to help everyone in our communities achieve their goals."

To find out more about the courses, please contact Fountainbridge Library at 0131 529 5620. Those wishing to enrol should register for an ILA with Learn Direct Scotland as soon as possible.