Campaigners hold ‘read in’ in Pittenweem as library decision looms

Everyone who took part in the Pittenweem Library 'read in' protest on Friday. Pic by George McLuskie.
Everyone who took part in the Pittenweem Library 'read in' protest on Friday. Pic by George McLuskie.

Campaigners in Pittenweem held a ‘read in’ at their local library on Friday to protest against plans to close Pittenweem library and 15 others across Fife.

The peaceful protest, organised by the Pittenweem Readers, gave local people the chance to come together in a show of support for the Fife library service and to explain just how much their local library means to them.

They were also given the chance to speak to June Souter, service development manager for libraries in Fife.

So far, the group has managed to gather 300 petition signatures against the closure of Pittenweem library, with many more collected online.

Ginny Mackie, of the Pittenweem Readers group, said: “We were all really thrilled by the turnout on Friday, and the opportunity to discuss details with June.

“Pittenweem Library benefits so many people, through all stages of their lives, and closing it will isolate so many.

“Our options to travel to St Monans or Anstruther will be too difficult for many people; children won’t be able to walk down after school; job seekers will have to travel to do their online job searches; and the bus fares will be prohibitive on a limited income; those with restricted mobility will be further isolated.”

Ginny, who worked at the library for seven years and who was actually the first customer through the door with her son 26 years ago, said that the building itself is of significant architectural and historic interest, and spoke of her concerns of its future if the library was to close down.

She added: “All of these wee libraries in the East Neuk offer so much that cannot be measured by counting the number of people coming through the door.

“You can’t measure the pleasure of a visit to the library; you can’t measure the effect of the company offered; you can’t measure the inspiration which a library visit might generate and how lives and careers might be influenced.

“And we can only guess at the loss and damage that might result from closures.”

Councillors from across Fife are expected to make a decision on plans to close libraries across the Kingdom at a meeting of the executive committee tomorrow (Tuesday).