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!

Hamish McHamish – RIP

I must admit that I’m not really a cat person, although I do like the look of ginger cats ( I wonder why that is!) I’ve never owned a cat – actually I believe that cats aren’t owned by anyone it’s probably more like they own people. However I did like the idea of a town having a cat, like Hamish McHamish who lived his life out in St Andrews in Fife. He was a great favourite with everyone, especially the students, but sadly he succumbed to a nasty chest infection and had to be put to sleep recently.

Susan McMullen wrote a book about him called Hamish McHamish – Cool Cat About Town.

You can see images of Hamish McHamish here.

Below is a photo of Hamish beside his bronze statue.

Hamish McHamish