Hit crime writer hails Fife community for saving its library

Author James Oswald, who opened the library, with some of the volunteers.
Author James Oswald, who opened the library, with some of the volunteers.

One of Britain’s most respected authors has praised the vision of those behind Falkland Community Library after villagers saved the cherished facility from closure.

James Oswald, whose crime novels have topped best seller lists, was guest of honour to cut the ribbon and declare the village’s library officialy open.

James Oswald cuts the ribbon to open the library.

James Oswald cuts the ribbon to open the library.

The writer hailed the efforts of campaigners who have taken on an initial five-year lease to run the service having set up Falkland Community Development Trust (FCDT), a charity formed from the dissolution of the existing Village Hall Trust.

“What FCDT has done, here, for the future of the Falkland community is exceptional,” said Newburgh-based author.

He added: “Councils cutting libraries may seem an easy cost to trim but it will cost them down the line because these facilities provide more than just book lending for communities.

“This is the perfect example and it is great to see that those taking this project forward have even bigger ambitions and ideas than before.”

The day of celebration ended a lengthy battle to save the vital service from Council cuts, the village’s library being one of 16 across the regionidentified by Fife Council for closure, much to the shock and disappointment of the community.

Since taking ownership of the keys from the council, volunteers have been operating a modest service to test new systems ahead of the launch.

Revenue from lets of the village hall, which backs onto the library building, will now help subsidise future plans for the community library, which is hoped will become a community hub.

There are even discussions to form a digital archive of rare images held by the local heritage charity, Falkland Society.

“There was a lot of disbelief when it was announced we might lose the library,” said FCDT Chair, Ken Laurie.

“It has always played an important role in the village. It wasn’t just book lending, elderly people saw it as a place to socialise, there was a vibrant kids section and the local primary school visited regularly.

“To see it open again is a source of pride and relief.

“We have fought really hard for two years. People wanted it to continue and wanted to contribute. Volunteers came forward and put their hands up.

“Their contribution going forward, will ensure that the library remains a vibrant place of information, imagination and learning for the whole community.”