Town well-read for 80 years

Library staff Ab Hachemi, Heather Kirkwood and Martin Sherris. Picture by FPA.

Library staff Ab Hachemi, Heather Kirkwood and Martin Sherris. Picture by FPA.

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Nowadays, 80 is the new 70 and at Methil Library, there’s still plenty of life in the old girl yet as the facility becomes an octogenarian.

Next month will mark the 80th anniversary of the Wellesley Road building, which was first opened to the public on July 11, 1925.

Mehtil Library in the 1930s

Mehtil Library in the 1930s

A landmark very weel-kent and much loved by all in its community, generations of families have made their way through its doors and into the wonderful worlds of authors such as JRR Tolkien, Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and more recently, Jacqueline Wilson.

To mark the special occasion, staff are giving locals the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane.

However, the building which houses the library these days hasn’t always been home - the original library opened its doors in 1925 in a small room on the ground floor of the Gaiety Buildings, now better known as The Venue.

But after ten years, the needs of the community meant it outgrew the space, and relocated to a new purpose built facility in Wellesley Road, which still stands today.

The exhibition will be on for the whole week, and maybe a bit longer, and we would love to hear from local people about their own memories of the library and the surrounding area.

Heather Kirkwood

And just as fashions have changed decade-by-decade, Methil Library has also undergone many changes in its 80 years, not least the assimilation of the Local Office in April 2011.

This new integrated facility allows customers to not only borrow books, they can also take home DVDs, use a PC, report a repair to their Council house or even register a birth, marriage or death.

And the library also has its own local archive service, meaning you can trace the steps of those long-gone ancestors.

There will be plenty to see and do over the next week, for all ages.

Mehtil Library in the 1930s

Mehtil Library in the 1930s

Celebrations kick off on Monday, with a special collection of photos telling the story of Methil Library’s journey and the history of the town and surrounding area.

Heather Kirkwood, from Methil Library, said: “We thought it was quite a good achievement to get to 80 and because it’s a good community area we’re in, we thought it would be nice to have a little celebration.

“The exhibition will be on for the whole week, and maybe a bit longer, and we would love to hear from local people about their own memories of the library and the surrounding area.”

For the wee ones,there will be a 1935 themed Bookbug on Wednesday at 2.15 p.m., where they can sing along to the likes of ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ and ‘Polly Put the Kettle On.’ The monthly coffee morning is on Thursday at 10.30 a.m. and will take on a 1930s theme, where visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea whilst listening to short extracts from a range of books from the decade.

Mehtil Library in the 1930s

Mehtil Library in the 1930s

And the celebrations will culminate in an all-day vintage tea party on Friday with tea and cakes served in fine china throughout the day.

Heather said the team were also hoping to recreate a 1930s library too, complete with reading desk - and not a computer in sight!

Also, anyone popping down during the week can try their luck in the ‘Events of 1935’ quiz with the chance to win lots of great prizes, including an iPod and docking station.

For more information on the events and celebrations, contact Methil Library and Local Office on 01334 659374.