Storytelling session at Troon Library

August 28, 2014

Local author Lorraine Johnston joins us for a storytelling session


Saturday 6 September, 2014 from 2pm – 2.45pm

Later Tartan Gator, A New Orleans Tale

Gator gets a shocking fright after some visitors to Audubon Zoo ignore the signs saying: “DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS AT ANY TIME.” How will Gator solve his colorful problem? Will anyone or anything come to his rescue?

Come along and enjoy this story, and some crocodile tales. For children aged 3 – 6 years.

This is a free event, but booking is required.  Please contact Troon Library for more information.

Troon Library, 5 South Beach, Troon KA10 6EF Tel: 01292 315352

Live at Troon poster exhibition at the library

August 26, 2014


Troon Library have a colourful exhibition of posters by local school children brightening up their library walls. Children from Troon, St Patrick’s, Struthers, Muirhead, Barassie and Dundonald Primaries were asked by Live at Troon to draw a picture of what they liked about their town.  They were delighted with the huge response they received, and the children should be very proud of these great posters.

Books that will make you smile

August 21, 2014

They say laughter is the best medicine, and we agree it’s important that you regularly give your chuckle muscles a workout. Our adviser Dr. Belle E. Laffs advises 3 titter sessions a day. Before meals, obviously. (Chortling during meals will just create such a mess, especially if you’re having soup).  So, ever helpful, we’ve put together a selection of titles to make you smile, or maybe even laugh out loud. We have everything from one-liners, to cartoons, to humourous fiction and poetry.

And we will sign off with the winner of this year’s Dave award for funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe. Congrats to Tim Vine!

‘I’ve decided to sell my Hoover… well, it was just collecting dust.’

Fiction for foodies

August 15, 2014
If you’ve subscribed to this blog for any length of time, you’ll know one of our most favourite topics is food, especially the cake variety. And as Mary and Paul are back on our screens with the Great British Bake-Off, we thought we’d put together some reading for the cooks and wannabe cooks out there. Fiction for foodies, if you will. Know what we found? Stories featuring cookies (The cookie club by Ann Pearlman), honey (The wedding bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch), chocolate (The Chocolate Lovers Club by Carole Matthews),and cakes (Baking cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin); stories about folks running their own bakery (The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan) or cafe (Café Tropicana by Belinda Jones); even stories by real-life chefs (Vanilla salt by Ada Parellada); and there’s a whole sub-genre of mystery stories called ‘culinary crime’ (Agatha Raisin and the quiche of death by M. C. Beaton) – well, whoever  married ‘baking’ with ‘low-fat’ should have known that that was only going to lead to all sorts of trouble. And some lovely authors have even included the recipes for the goodies mentioned in their stories, so you can make some to nibble on while you read (Cinnamon roll murder by Joanne Fluke).

To whet your appetite, here’s an extract from a new novel, The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan. It’s about 5 people who enter a baking contest. Sound familiar? Claire works at the checkout in a local supermarket, little knowing her mum has just entered her in the competition…

She begins to scan the items, the scanner beeping with monotonous regularity. Nappies, beep; wipes, beep; milk, beep; butter, beep; Dairy Milk chocolate, beep; beep; beep.

‘On special offer.’ The mother gives a guilty grin.

You can tell a lot about people from their shopping. You don’t just root out the bulimics or the alcoholics, but the obsessives, the ones who stick rigidly to their lists; the ones who never cook; and the ones who cook perpetually.

Take this mother. Now her haul is getting more interesting. Perhaps she was wrong to judge her over her kilo plus of Dairy Milk for here are organic eggs, icing sugar, caster sugar, mascarpone, cream cheese, vanilla essence – the expensive stuff in its tasteful brown bottle, not the extract – digestive biscuits.

‘Making a New York cheesecake?’ The question is involuntary.

Claire lowers her head in embarrassment and goes back to the scanning. Self-raising flour, beep; raisins, beep; carrots, beep; courgettes, beep – both organic.

‘Yes.’ The mother smiles. ‘However did you guess?’

I could recite the recipe, thinks Claire. Is she doing Nigella’s version, she wonders, Rachel Allen’s or Mary Berry’s? The question flies out before she can stop it.

‘Nigella’s,’ the woman replies. ‘Do you like to cook?’

‘I just read recipe books,’ Claire replies with a quick beam.

A delicious looking library cake we found on Pinterest

A beautiful and delicious looking library cake we found on Pinterest.

Have a taste of some more foody fiction…

South Ayrshire Libraries Readers’ Day 2014

August 12, 2014

Readers' Day

A day for all those who enjoy reading

Join us for competitions, cream tea and a nice lunch on Sunday 28th September, from 10.30am-4pm.  Tell us all about your perfect read and discover new authors at our annual Readers’ Day celebrations.


Featuring guest speakers

Catherine Czerkawska joins us again to share her new book The Physic Garden.  Catherine is an Ayrshire based author of historical and contemporary novels, poetry, short stories and stage plays.

I try to write the kind of books I love to read.  I hope you enjoy reading them too.  Catherine Czerkawska

Alex McCall is a twenty year old, newly published author.  Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens is his first novel published.  It was the winner of the 2013 Kelpies Prize, which is part of the Edinburgh Festival.  Alex has had both poetry and short stories published in competition anthologies.  He is currently studying on the Screenwriting and Filmmaking course in Ayr, at the University of the West of Scotland.  Since being published he has done talks in several schools and appeared at the Glasgow Wee Write! festival at the Mitchell Library.

Michael J Malone is another returning guest.  He was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country.  He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize.  At this event Michael will talk about his latest book The Gullotine Choice which is based on a true story.

Uuganaa Ramsay was born in Mongolia and grew up in a yurt, living a nomadic life eating marmot meat and distilling vodka from yoghurt.  After winning a place on a teacher-training course she came to the UK, and now lives in Scotland. Her first book Mongol won the Janetta Bowie Chalice Non-Fiction Book Award from the Scottish Association of Writers.


10:30am Registration & Coffee

10:45am Catherine Czerkawska

11:30am Alex McCall

12:30pm  Lunch – Competitions

1:15pm Afternoon registration for half day ticket holders

1:30pm Michael J. Malone

2:30pm Uuganaa Ramsay

3:30pm Cream Tea & Competitions

4:00pm Finish & Prizes

Booking Information


£15 full day (includes cream tea and lunch)
£7.50 half day
 (includes cream tea with afternoon ticket)

To find out more information about this event or for ticket information please contact:

Carnegie Library, 12 Main Street, Ayr KA8 8EB Telephone 01292 286385

This event is part of Septembayr celebrations.  Visit for the full programme of events.

Septembayr logo


New Bookbug Sessions August to December 2014

August 9, 2014

Bookbug banner
Come along and join us for these free, fun and friendly events for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families to enjoy together.

Each session lasts around 30 minutes and includes songs, stories and rhymes. There is usually no need to book (except for Troon Library Sessions), they take place in a very relaxed environment and are a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your little one.



New Bookbug Plus sessions have been added for children aged 5-7 years at Carnegie and Girvan Libraries.

Session dates, time and locations

The new sessions dates, times and locations are available to view on our blog, online events calendar or download our Bookbug Sessions leaflet.

Catch the reading bug at your local library!

Discover your family history with exciting new resources and expert help at Carnegie Library

August 6, 2014

ann5Who do you think you are?

Explore your family history at the Local and Family History department in Ayr’s Carnegie Library. The department houses a unique collection of books, pamphlets, directories, maps, plans, local newspapers and photographs. Members of the public who wish to conduct their own family history research are welcome to visit the department to use the resources we have available. The most frequently used items are available for readers to browse through and select for themselves, but some of the stock is stored ‘behind the scenes’ and is obtainable on request.

Staff will help identify appropriate sources and give guidance on using the collection. We are happy to help with enquiries anytime, but if you would like to book a ‘Starter Session’ with regards to family history please contact us and we will give you a timeslot and information on what you need to bring along to help get you started with your research.

New for this autumn

We will be holding a number of Beginner’s Family History Classes this coming winter (dates still to be confirmed). If you would like to embark on this fascinating journey to your family’s past keep an eye on our blog posts for details.

If you would like more information you can contact us by Email: or  Tel: 01292 272231

Access to the following resources from within the library is free of charge:

Ancestry Library Edition
Discover your family history and build a family tree with the world’s largest genealogy website. Search birth records, census data, obituaries and more free from any South Ayrshire Libraries computer.

The library has taken out a subscription to Find my Past which enables users to have free access to English and Welsh records and the Scottish Census using the PCs in the department.

Births, Marriages and Deaths from the Ayr Advertiser 1803-1885
This online index is a joint project between South Ayrshire Council Libraries Service and Opportunities in Retirement Family History Group Ayr.

Scotsman Historical Newspapers Archive (1817 – 1950)
Find significant moments in the history of Scotland, or discover if your ancestor appears in our births, marriages and deaths notices.

Scotlandspeople Vouchers – Are available to buy in the department and can be used in the library and at home. Starter vouchers £7.00 for 60 credits Top ups £5.60 for 30 credits.

First World War Genealogical books for loan

Tracing your First World War ancestors using local newspapers

The Local and Family History department in Carnegie Library also holds the local newspapers covering the conflict, lists of casualties, deaths and distinctions that were published in increasing numbers as the war progressed.

South Ayrshire Great War Exhibition and Events at Carnegie Library

To commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia are on show in Ayr’s Carnegie Library. There will also be a film show ‘The Great War Home Front on Film: A Scottish Screen Archive Selection’ and a talk given by our Local History Librarian Tom Barclay on ‘Ayrshire’s Great War: The local impact of the global conflict 1914-1918′.

Visit our History Blog for more details about the exhibition or booking for the events.

Escape with a great summer read and pretend the sun is shining

July 30, 2014

If your’re looking for some escapism as you relax on a sunny beach, or in your own back garden (with an umbrella handy and a jumper on today), we have lots of great summer reads for you to choose from.

If find a title you would like to borrow and it’s not available in your local library, you can always place a request for free and have it delivered to any of our branch libraries.

Download eBooks and Audio books and enjoy a good read anytime, anywhere…


Don’t forget we also have a great selection of summer reading titles available in eBook and audio book format to download from our eBook collection website. Perfect to take on holiday!


Additional summer dates added for job application drop-in sessions

July 26, 2014

Would you like a helping hand to get a new job?

hands typing on a computer keyboard

Carnegie and Maybole libraries will be continuing with the free and friendly CV drop-in sessions over the summer months. So if you would like some help and support creating or updating your CV, setting up an email address or applying for jobs on-line, please drop-in and see us.

Monday 2-5pm – Cyber Centre, Carnegie Library, 12 Main Street, Ayr KA8 8EB  Tel: 01292 618492

Thursday 2-5pm – Maybole Library, 1 High Street, Maybole KA19 7AB Tel: 01655 883044

The dates of these additional sessions and future sessions being held in other libraries can be viewed on our events calendar.

Some great titles for sport fans to check out

July 21, 2014

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Summer of Sport

Are you enjoying the summer of sport? We’ve already had the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Wimbledon, the Open at Royal Liverpool, and the Commonwealth Games have started in Glasgow. And there’s more to come – Grand Prix racing, Glorious Goodwood, and the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France, to name just a few. Here’s a selection of titles for sports fans available from your local library

Request a title

If you find a title you would like to borrow and it’s not available at your local library, simply sign in to your library account and place a request free of charge.  If you are unsure how to do this, visit our sign in help or our request help section. Or contact your local library and have them place the request for you.


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