End of a library era – Glenwood in Fife

Everybody knows that local councils around the country are having to make horrendous cut backs, they’re trying to make savings everywhere and the upshot of that is that they decided to close sixteen libraries in Fife. Despite a campaign it has come to pass, some of them are closed already. The powers that be in Fife Council are philistines.

Quite a few of the libraries were only opened for ten hours or so a week, those ones were situated in small villages that already had virtually nothing in the way of amenities. But Glenwood Library was a full time library in Glenrothes, situated in an area with a fairly high level of poverty, well used by people in the community for access to computers, job clubs to help people into employment, reading lessons for adults, it was a collecting point for food donations to the local food banks (how my parents would have been shocked by that modern phenomenon) and with a really good stock of books. Local authors such as Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and James Robertson got involved in the campaign – to no avail.

A local neighbourhood community association was supposed to be taking over the running of the library but it now looks like this is not going to happen, it’s going to be a big loss to that community. Of course lots of librarians and library assistants are losing their jobs, thousands of library workers across the UK have been thrown onto the scrapheap over the last few years.

Glenwood Library Shelves

In recent months over the winter the library staff have been allowing some local cats to take advantage of the warmth on offer. Well who wouldn’t enjoy stretching out on a floor warmed by underfloor heating, especially if the alternative is a cold street?!

Glenwood Library Cat

Glenwood Library Cat 2

This ginger cat was usually in there whenever I visited the library, he/she just cocked an eye at you as you browsed, and then went back to his/her dreams when he rated you as no danger and not being likely to stand on him. Today I took a last visit to Glenwood and ginger cat had taken up position on on one of the wee sofas. Possibly the underfloor heating has already been switched off. It occurred to me that we went about that keep the libraries open campaign completely the wrong way. If we had had a keep the cat shelter open campaign it would probably have had a better chance of succeeding!

10 thoughts on “End of a library era – Glenwood in Fife

  1. It will be very disappointing if after all the community loses the library and its associated services.
    Nice cat, looks very comfortable!

    • Valerie,
      This was a very well used library and I was really shocked that they went ahead and closed it. Fingers crossed that a community association will eventually take it over.

  2. Government is so short-sighted. Libraries provide so many resources for low income people, children, and those of us who just love libraries. Your government, my government (U.S.) are idiots!

    • Joan,
      It makes me so angry, they are making it so difficult for youngsters to develop a love of books – something that can be absolutely life changing for the better. We all deserve better politicians than we have, that’s for sure.

  3. It is very sad that this happening. It’s nationwide. I have recently joined our local library here and it’s opening hours are good. But I wonder how long it will remain.

    • Sandra,
      I’m sure I read that 60,000 library workers have lost their jobs over the last few years. I hope your library will stay open – use it or lose it as they say!

  4. I /lived/ in that place as much as possible during the late 70s and early 80s. It’s interesting to see your photo of the interior – I’m surprised but not shocked to see the density of storage much reduced. In ‘my day’ there was little room to walk between the shelves in the main library. So, at the fag end of 2018, what news is there of the library? And, indeed, the Glenwood centre?

    • Ken Davidson,
      All of the libraries in Fife were ‘modernised’ some years ago and the upshot was that most of the books were ditched, I’m not sure if they sold them off or what. Everything has to be wheelchair friendly I think so no more tight spaces or high shelves. Kirkcaldy library is shameful now and they have hardly any non-fiction, it used to be a great place. Glenwood was supposed to be taken over by a neighbourhood committee as some others have been but for Glenwood it hasn’t happened and it’s still lying unused – with the books still inside it – just mouldering by now I imagine. I think there is only one shop open in the centre. The Jasmine is still open though.
      Thanks for dropping by.

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