Trina has worked in the library service for nearly 40 years. Part of her role is organising the packed programme of events for Book Week, taking place from 18 to 24 November.
“Book Week is definitely one of the highlights of the year,” said Trina, who started planning the events in May.
“The theme this year is Blether and nine local authors are taking part in our special Local Blethers events. Some of them are self-published which satisfies that deep desire to write your book, but then it can be hard to get your work out there,” Trina explains. “It’s been great this year to offer them the opportunity to highlight their work and be part of this nationwide celebration."
Crime fiction fans can enjoy a panel discussion with four highly regarded Tartan Noir authors, or a talk by local bestseller Quentin Jardine. Scotland’s natural environment will be celebrated with talks from Cameron McNeish and Peter Cairns.
“Peter appeared to a sell-out audience during Fringe by the Sea this year, so we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome him back to East Lothian. He’s the most gifted and wonderful photographer, and so passionate about our landscape and ecology. His stunning presentation presents rewilding as a bold vision for a wilder Scotland.”
As well as organising events, Trina manages staff at the Haddington, Ormiston, North Berwick and Gullane libraries. “I can’t speak highly enough of all our staff, they’re all very dedicated and they make the libraries what they are,” she said. “It’s such a varied job, they never know what they’re going to be asked or faced with from one day to the next. It can also be exhausting, given that they’re on their feet all day, but it can be a lot of fun too.”
Trina has seen lots of changes in her time. “When I started we used the Browne issue system. Each library member was given 4 cardboard tickets, which were handwritten, and when a book was borrowed the book card was inserted into the readers’ ticket, and physically filed in wooden trays. There were no computers, beeping or barcodes!”
The library offering has also expanded, as Trina explains. “We do a lot for people. The library is very much a hub in the community, it’s the place people come to if they’re not sure where to go or who to ask.”
“Nowadays the staff spend quite a lot of their time helping people with online applications, and giving advice on how to use computers and digital devices. Helping with blue badges, bus passes and Universal Credit is as commonplace as discussing the latest books. The library service also offers fantastic eResources free to members – you would be astonished what you can get. Check out the website!” Trina encourages.
The libraries run groups for all ages, from Bookbug and science clubs to games and book groups for adults. “The social interaction is really important. Loneliness is a terrible thing for people affected by it, and it must be very hard if you’re on your own,” Trina explains. “When you come to a library you’re surrounded by people of all ages. It’s just such a microcosm of community.”