Rutherglen Library lends a hand on Xmas Day
Rutherglen Library took a leaf out of another’s book to become the only library in South Lanarkshire ever to open its doors on Christmas Day to provide company for people who’d otherwise be alone.
Development officer Iain Robertson hit on the idea after reading a newspaper article about a library in Plymouth piloting a Christmas Day opening.
“What caught my imagination was they tried it and were surprised by the range of people who took advantage of it,” explained Iain, who said he expected frequent users of Rutherglen Library to drop in.
“They expected homeless people or people who were particularly vulnerable. In reality, whole families came in. It was a place they could get out to on Christmas Day – a place where there is no necessity or obligation to spend money.
“They were surprised at what a mixed bag of customers they got.
“At a recent team meeting, that thought came back to me. I raised it and everyone thought it was a good idea and there was no down side.”
Three members of staff from Rutherglen library and three from other libraries in South Lanarkshire volunteered to staff the Christmas Day opening event between 11am and 2pm to provide some company to those in the community who may be lonely on the big day.
Volunteers in Christmas jumpers dished out mince pies to those who dropped in.
Votes from regular library users and social media were counted to determine whether Elf, Mrs Santa Claus, Four Christmases or the Christmas Twins would be screened in the library on the 25th.
Chair of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, Councillor Peter Craig, said: “Christmas can be a lonely time for some people and this is a wonderful way for the staff to show their support to the community. I am delighted that we have been able to help them make this happen.”
Christmas opening Rutherglen library