Readers urged to send love letter to local library

Kate Tough: Mearns Library fan. Picture: Contributed

Kate Tough: Mearns Library fan. Picture: Contributed

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LIBRARIES have been described as “thought in cold storage” and are treasured by bookworms who regularly browse their shelves.

Now the organisers of Book Week Scotland, which begins tomorrow, are urging readers to pen a love letter to their local library and have invited the nation’s leading authors to lead the way. Libraries are at the heart of the third annual Book Week, with organisers seeking as many people as possible to post, email or drop off a billet-doux to their local library.

Among the well-known authors who have risen to the challenge is Lari Don, the children’s writer.

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The author of books such as Mind Blind, Drawing The Veil and a children’s version of Robert Burns’ poem, Tam O’ Shanter, celebrates a number of libraries across Scotland. Her letter describes her love of several libraries, and of visiting Leith Library with her children: “My relationship with YOU, Leith Library, is that of a mum. A local mum, who first brought my children to you when they were tiny, to show them this huge room full of books. To let them become familiar and comfortable with books and stories. To let them feel that these books, all books, were for them.”

The author Kate Tough pays tribute to a Mearns Library in Glasgow in her love letter: “Every community has its own set of needs and, in my experience, libraries work hard to identify and meet those needs. It’s something of which the UK can be very proud.”

As part of Book Week Scotland, five large library artworks will be unveiled in North Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, Edinburgh and the Shetland Islands. Other events include readings, discussions and a poll to discover the nation’s favourite character from Scottish books.

Sophie Moxon, acting director of the Scottish Book Trust, said: “A love of reading is one of the great levellers in society, representing an opportunity for everyone to have an equal chance of success.”

Amina Shah, chief executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council, said: “Book Week Scotland is a wonderful opportunity for reading to take centre stage in our schools, libraries, bookshops and communities.”

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