I refer to Tiffany Jenkins’ article, “Libraries are on a slippery pole” (Perspective, 24 January). Libraries are definitely about books but in today’s world, author visits and book groups are rarely picked up by the press.
In November, we had a whole week devoted to author events as part of Book Week Scotland. Where was Tiffany Jenkins then? Would anyone have picked up on our Love your Library Day if the pole fitness session had not been highlighted? I fear not.
The whole idea about the pole fitness session is to encourage people from all walks of life to get involved in their local library, banishing their undeserved stereotypical “stuffy” image.
It was good to see “libraries” in the dailies without the addition of the word “closure”.
It’s worth noting that libraries have now become multi-use spaces – and anyone who thinks they’re the same as they were 30 years ago hasn’t been in one for a while.
Last October Midlothian Libraries held its first Science Festival. Activities included an appearance by well known author Andrew Crumey. Again, where was Tiffany Jenkins then and why wasn’t she encouraging people to come along?
On Saturday, 2 February, no one will be taking their clothes off. We will also have a great selection of new books on offer. Great Scottish crime authors, including Stuart MacBride, are appearing. Contrary to what Tiffany Jenkins implies, Love Your Library Day is a firm validation of reading and the excitement that a visit to your local library can engender.
It’s great that our unique story has got everyone talking, and I am very pleased that Midlothian, the second smallest authority in mainland Scotland, has generated such national and international interest in our Love Your Library Day programme. I look forward to a very successful day.
(Cllr) Bob Constable
Leader, Midlothian Council