Local MSP leads debate on importance of libraries

Thursday March 12th 2015

Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh lead the debate on the importance of libraries at The Scottish Parliament on 12 March. At the debate MSPs from all sides of the political spectrum agree with Mr. Beattie that Scottish libraries are as important in today’s high-tech world as they were in centuries past and must be supported by the Scottish Government.

Mr. Beattie referred to Scottish public libraries as “communities centres which have kept to their original tradition of embracing equality without regard to income or background and thus have continued through the generations to allow those from all backgrounds to come, learn, and enjoy”

Furthermore Mr. Beattie referenced the celebration of National Library Day 2015, which took place last month. He highlighted the good work of the libraries in his own constituency during National Library Day citing the activities held at Dalkeith Library. “In my constituency a “build a biscuit city” activity was held for children at the Dalkeith Library, in addition the same library also provided a textiles workshop at which knitting, crochet, and needle felt were taught. National Library Day 2015 was a great success for all of the participating libraries and I trust that it will continue to be so in the years to come.”

Mr. Beattie also emphasised the importance of free wifi and computer access in Scotland modern libraries referring to this service as “Particularly crucial for those who are disadvantaged or low incomed or who, like the 39% in my constituency in Midlothian, do not have internet in their own homes.”

Lasswade Centre Library

In addition Mr. Beattie highlighted the great work of library staffs across Scotland saying they “are in a unique position supporting our communities and continuing this tradition of dedicated services which we all benefit from. Without them and their commitment our libraries would not be the success they are.”

In closing Mr. Beattie focussed on the future of Scottish Libraries. “All of us in this chamber and across Scotland have a responsibility to ensure a secure future for public libraries. Libraries need our support and it is our responsibility to provide that support and so to protect their future in Scotland.

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