Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Edge 2010 conference at Edinburgh Castle – and what a fantastic conference it was! The speaker list was top class and thanks to some excellent programming from the event organisers I didn’t have to miss any of the sessions. This was such a relief because there’s nothing worse than getting all excited about the speaker list then realising that all of the big names are on at the same time. But The Edge managed to avoid this pitfall and offered delegates an impressive list of sessions that truly were all killer and no filler!
The journey up to Edinburgh Castle was stunning and delegates were filled with a real sense of occassion before the conference even started. The conference suite was jam packed by the time I arrived and there was standing room only for Susan Benton’s keynote speech. A wonderful sight, especially considering the audience was made up, not only of librarians but also high profile councillors, MSPs, Chief Executives etc.; all joined by a collective desire to “push the boundaries of public service delivery“.
Up first was a truly inspirational speaker - Susan Benton, President and CEO of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC). Unfortunately, thanks to some freak snowstorms in the West of Scotland I missed the start of Susan’s keynote speech but I managed to catch her final remarks. Susan spoke passionately about the public library as a “trusted neighbour” in our communities, highlighting the vital role that they play in “bringing diverse entities together” and the need to “strengthen the public library as an essential part of urban life“. I’ve been a huge fan of the ULC for a while now and Susan’s speech reflected some of the wonderful research they’ve carried out in recent years to communicate the value of public libraries in communities in the US. A selection of these publications are linked to below: