Ruther­glen Li­brary lends a hand on Xmas Day

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

NIKI TEN­NANT

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

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