Irvine Welsh spearheads campaign against library cuts

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh is to spearhead a new campaign against library cutbacks in Scotland.

Irvine Welsh has credited his success as a writer to Muirhouse Library.
Irvine Welsh has credited his success as a writer to Muirhouse Library.

The best-selling author has thrown his weight behind a nationwide drive to be officially launched next month.

He has described his local library when he was growing in Muirhouse as a “psychic portal into different worlds” which inspired him to become a writer.

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All local authorities are being targeted under the “Libraries Matter” campaign being run by the the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland.

Welsh said: “I grew up in a scheme where every house and street pretty much looked the same.

"As a kid it was essential to have your imagination fuelled by a psychic portal into different worlds. That was my library in Muirhouse.

“That was why I became a writer and why camera crews from all over the world and Hollywood film stars and executives descended on my home town for the premiere of the film of my book.”

Catherine Kearney, director of CILIP in Scotland, said: “Now is the time to speak out and tell local councillors and government why libraries matter to each and every one of us.

“Libraries are vital to promoting social cohesion in Scotland’s communities, providing informal learning opportunities, promoting reading for pleasure, helping to improve literacy, developing digital skills, supporting access to benefits and contributing to raising attainment in our education sector.”