Lovely libraries

I’ve been out and about this week and I thought I’d share a few of my photos with you. The first come from Westhill in Aberdeenshire. It’s a new build from capital money and located within a primary school. I loved the atmosphere, design and layout. There was a great deal of thought given to space, movement and people. The buggy park, clearly labelled on the way in was the first sign. The second sign of ‘goodness’ was the two girls playing on iPads – which were on security locked fixed stands, with a swivel. They kindly showed me their games.

Next, one of the lovely young mums told me how nice it was to bring the little ones into a bright safe space, with activities and the storytunnel got a big thumbs-up from her little girl. Finally professional staffing had been secured for the first year to give the new branch a boost and to build the audience.

The second set of visits was at Inverclyde Libraries. The Watt Memorial Library was built in memory of James Watt, the inventor. I felt a bit foolish having assumed Greenock was a bit ‘in decline’ because, of course that means it had a glorious past (at one time). I was down to look at a Scottish Government Public Library Quality Improvement project which bought a scanner and computers for the library, which is the local studies/archive part of a larger museum/gallery and lending library complex. It has to be said, there’s room for BIG investment but the people who showed me how they were capturing their memories for Greenock were large on imagination and energy. One was trapping local tales, another using her family connection to early photography in the area to promote images from the 1850s onwards, another on James Watt and so on.

The library visit led to the museum and the Francis Frith images and then the Scottish colourists in the Gallery. My thanks to George for his knowledgeable guide, which made me realise how much I’d missed in the past. Greenock is, of course, the gateway to the workd for Scots and many of the wealthy shipping connections brought home their collections and gifted them to the town.

There’s a lot going on down here with the Central Library about to relocate to an interim home, until it moves back to the original library (vacated in 1967) and a new library at Inverkip and refurbishment at the South West Branch. One the way home i treated myself to a stop at Kilmacolm to see the new library. It’s gorgeous and I love all the glass, stone and wood. The community were determined to have a new library and to support it and it was good to see it all worked out so well.


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