If you have just arrived in Edinburgh, then you probably need a room, English lessons, a job, leisure activities, new friends, live music, shows, workshops, sport (swimming pools, dance lessons, gyms), etc. Everything that makes you feel at home in your new city.

I imagine you are looking forward to getting a normal life, getting into a routine and enjoying all that Edinburgh has to offer – this city is amazing! Maybe you just need an internet connection for a couple hours a day – wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could get it for free? Maybe you are thinking of sitting in a café where you get wifi. It is a good option, but there is a place where you can plug in your laptop or use a computer for free! And you will be able to do your search in a comfortable and quiet atmosphere. At the same time you could borrow a book or music CD, meet someone new, get a local brochure or map, or take part in a workshop, etc.

There are a lot of reasons to visit or use a library, but perhaps the most important is that you can find all you need, in a peaceful environment - for free.

Join the Library – it is easy! 

Click here to join online. You can also join in person at any library. You will also need identification. Click here for a list of accepted ID.

Here are some reasons for visiting a library:

- Resources; books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, films, music, computers, geographic maps, etc.

- Services: internet access, wifi, clubs, workshops, courses, reading groups (Edinburgh Reads events, LearnIT Labs and I-pad sessions), ESOL Chatabout Reading Group, Six Book Challenge, etc.

- Free online resources for everyone, digital support, audio and e-magazines and collections of digital photos and images.

- The online library catalogue.

- Information about local activities, services and events.

- Making friends at events.

- Calm environment and comfortable seats and sofas.

Useful links about libraries and their events in Edinburgh:

- You can find all the online services available from Edinburgh Libraries here

- For events, activities and workshops click here

The National Library of Scotland

University of Edinburgh Library (you can access the university library when it is NOT exam time)

Napier University Library


English Courses in Edinburgh, UK

General English - IELTS - FCE - CAE - Young Learner

Some interesting vocabulary:

To arrive in - You arrive in a city/country and arrive at a building or other place. DON’T say “arrive to”.

To feel at home - When you start to feel comfortable in a new place.

To plug in - When you connect your electrical things to the wall.

Atmosphere and environment - in science, atmosphere is the gases around the earth and an environment is an area of the natural world. In places like restaurants or libraries, the environment is the physical surroundings but the atmosphere is the mood or feeling you experience in a place. “A comfortable environment and a friendly atmosphere.”

To take part in - to participate in something.

In person - to personally do something, not online or on the phone.


(Photo by ACrockford CC-BY-SA-3.0