Robinson Crusoe could save our library!

Largo's statue of Alexander Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe
Largo's statue of Alexander Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe

A last minute plea has been issued to save Lundin Links library from closure by partly transforming it into a Robinson Crusoe heritage museum.

The idea was put before Levenmouth Area Committee yesterday (Wednesday) by members of Largo Community Council who argued the proposed closure presented “not so much a challenge but an opportunity”.

Chairman Peter Aitken told members that, in 2004, Largo celebrated the 300th anniversary of its most famous resident Alexander Selkirk, the real-life castaway who inspired Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.

“In 2004 we went to Visit Scotland to promote Largo but nothing was done,“ he said,

“People ask us where is the tourist centre, museum and heritage centre? But we have to tell them there is none. When we tell them there’s only the statue, they are very disappointed.”

He added: “The Community Council have dreamed of such a facility for 11 years. Help us make it a reality. The income far outweighs the cost of keeping the library open.”

His colleague Heather Paterson suggested the development of a ‘Friends of Lundin Links Library’ group could enhance the library’s current provision by introducing events, such as author readings.

Also by extending opening hours to weekends, allowing working parents to visit alongside their children and creating junior book clubs with primary pupils.

“It’s nothing flashy, just really simple concepts,” she said.

“As it stands, we are too small to feature in Fife Cultural Trust’s programme.”

Ms Paterson said she expected the building could operate part-time, with additional help from volunteers - but, crucially, could not be resurrected if Fife Council closed it down.

Book borrowing was down only two per cent, she commented, while other libraries not at risk of closure had suffered declines of around 50 per cent.

“It’s not appropriate for us to solve Fife Cultural Trust’s budget problems in finding savings,” she said, “but rather how can we increase the benefits of the library to the community and give better value to something which costs less than £10,000 per annum to run.”

Fife Council is expected to make a decision on the future of sixteen libraries across the region next Tuesday, December 8.

At yesterday’s meeting, Cllr Andrew Rodger said: “I think right up to the last minute we need to persuade the Labour administration not to close Lundin Links library and help them to see it for what it is.

He added: “I really feel we need to find the money from somewhere - I don’t know where - but we have another seven days to find it.”