Celebrated author hands out books during protest at Kirkintilloch library

Author Theresa Breslin giving out free books to youngsters to raise awareness of campaign against plans to create a com hub in the library.
Author Theresa Breslin giving out free books to youngsters to raise awareness of campaign against plans to create a com hub in the library.

AN award-winning writer hopes the pen is mightier than the sword – after handing out copies of her own books to protest against changes to a beloved library.

Lenzie author Theresa Breslin is leading the fight against controversial plans to create a community hub in Kirkintilloch’s William Patrick Library.

She delighted youngsters by giving away copies of her books to highlight the issue.

And then she and fellow campaigners staged a protest at a meeting of the full council calling for work to be halted on the £500,000 project.

But when their efforts to have the issue discussed were thwarted the group of five revealed t-shirts emblazoned with William Patrick and told councillors “you should be ashamed of yourselves” before walking out.

Mrs Breslin said: “I can’t believe they didn’t discuss it. It’s a betrayal of democracy. We wanted to stop the work so that the plans can be looked at again.

“We will have to go to the ombudsman and take their advice on what’s happening.”

Work is currently taking place at the library. The ground floor was closed for 12 weeks on June 3 and the books have been temporarily taken away.

Campaigners claim the community hub will lead to a reduction in library stock and services.

A petition has received over 1,600 signatures.

Head of legal and democratic sevices, Alistair Crighton, said: “Under the council’s standing orders a motion for consideration at a council meeting requires to be made by a councillor and at least 10 days notice of the motion must be given.

“For the council meeting on June 28, no motion on this issue was received from any councillor within the timescale laid down by the standing orders.”

Council leader Rhondda Geekie told the Herald: “When local people and stakeholders and community groups have listened to the facts about the proposals, they are very supportive.

“This approach of providing library and other services under one roof has been tried and tested in other areas of the country and is successful.

“It’s unfortunate that the lead petitioners have a very narrow view of what we are trying to achieve with the new hub. We are trying to encourage people of all ages and all backgrounds to use the library. This is what the library and the town needs and that’s what we’re doing.”

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