Supporters of Westerton Library
NEXT MEETING of SWeL (Supporters of Westerton Library) Campaign:
AGM - Monday 14th January 2019 - 6.30pm, Westerton Library.
Get involved. Help Save our Library. All welcome.
The Threat of Closure of our Library
In early November 2018, it was revealed that there was a proposal by EDLC to close Westerton Library. EDLC (East Dunbartonshire Leisure Trust) is a council-owned organisation, which operates cultural services including libraries. Its board voted to close three village libraries (Westerton, Lenzie and Milton of Campsie) as part of cost-saving efforts across the East Dunbartonshire authority area.
Why should we keep the Library?
Some would argue that in these days of internet-downloads, e-readers and the like, libraries have less relevance. This couldn't be further from the truth:
- The Library is a necessary resource for the many disabled, elderly and low-income people who are socially and digitally marginalized, struggling to access increasingly online essential services. (Was ~20% of the population in 2016).
- Where are local children going to go to find new books?
- Where will their parents take them when it’s cold, dark and wet in winter and the TV’s been on too much?
- Where will local toddlers go for story time sessions?
- Where will local teenagers go to do their homework after school?
- Where could you go to print important forms, documents or travel papers from internet/computer, if you don't have printer - or yours is broken?
- What about computers? For people who don’t have easy access to a computer, tablet, smartphone or the internet at home, libraries are a place where you can read the news, apply for a job and do online banking. These are the hardest hit by closure.
Reading is important. A love of books sets children up for life. Libraries are crucial as a gateway to the world of fiction, imagination and fostering a love of learning, as well as a place where kids, adults and the elderly can go to get expert librarian help and guidance to find answers to questions, look things up on the internet and reference books, and discover new interests.
- The Library is an essential amenity for residents of Westerton and a key local Community focal point.
- Active travel routes between Westerton /Colquhoun and the Bearsden "hub" were not included in the EDC active travel survey nor strategy. Bearsden can't be described as a "hub" if the spokes are missing!
- Boclair students just had a 4 month cut in library services due to an unfilled librarian post. Our children are already suffering educationally from lack of Library support in other areas, and closure may disadvantage other vulnerable groups.
- Many experts agree that local public Libraries tackle social isolation and support mental health and well-being. Libraries are vital to improving literacy, and make an important contribution to reducing inequality in the community.
- EDLC's case of low footfall is partly due to fact that Westerton Library's opening hours have diminished so much, that many people, in particular working adults and parents have little opportunity or time to visit. Footfall could be increased a lot, with support and ideas from the community. Give you feedback to EDLC via the links below.
What can I do to help?
Firstly, let your friends, neighbours, and others be aware of these plans before it's too late. Get the word out!
Secondly, JOIN the Library, if you haven't already! Borrow some books. You might even discover some new authors or new interests. Use it and support it!
Thirdly, email/write to all of your East Dunbartonshire Councillors. These are the ones which will vote on the decision by the full Council at a meeting which could be as soon as 20th December 2018.
State your concerns and ask your Councillors to represent you and vote against a closure.
Local Councillors (East Dunbartonshire Council - Ward 3 - Bearsden South):
- Councillor Vaughan Moody (Lib Dem) - email email@example.com
- Councillor Andrew Polson (Con) - email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Councillor Denis Johnston (SNP) - email email@example.com
Write to your local MSPs and MP too!
MSP: (constituency) Rona Mackay (SNP) - email Rona.Mackay.firstname.lastname@example.org
MP: Jo Swinson (Lib Dem) - email email@example.com
MSPs: (West Scotland Regional List)
Fourthly, look to get involved to help your local support group. They are on social media, such as Facebook - use this link, or search for "Supporters of Westerton Library". Contribute your views and thoughts on what we can do to secure the library's future. Alternatively, Campaign Group can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDLC themselves invite comments, feedback and suggestions on their own site at this page. Please give them your views!
Do you have any particular expertise, skills or contacts that might help with the campaign? Every little helps!
ACT NOW -
- JOIN (library and supporters)
- SAVE (write to all your Councillors, preferably before next council meet on Dec 20th). State your concerns and ask your Councillors to represent you and vote against a closure.
- IMPROVE (use supporters Facebook, give library feedback to say what would make the library work for you).