Maryhill Library Is Moving, Not Closing, Says City Council Leader

Susan Aitken

In the last two days, more than 3500 people have signed the petition to save Maryhill Library. And now Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken claims there are no plans to close it, just to change its location to the other side of Maryhill Road.

On Tw*****, Ms Aitken wrote:

“Maryhill Library is not closing – it’s just moving, likely across the road to the Glasgow Club.

“Of course, it’s a bit sad when a service has to move from a historic building. But it’s the service that matters and we’re committed to restarting that ASAP.

“We don’t move services without a good reason. The current building is in very poor condition, which might be why it’s one of the least used libraries in the city. The move will make the service more welcoming to more people in an accessible, flexible space.”

This, of course, is not what Glasgow Life said when announcing that the library, which has been closed during lockdown, would not reopen.

In saying the library building is “is in very poor condition,” Ms Aitken neglects to say what is wrong with it, and why the council has allowed it to fall into such a condition. As someone who has spent mornings and afternoons writing in the library, I can testify that it is usually busy, and I have noticed nothing wrong with the place. As for its supposedly not being accessible, it has a wheelchair ramp.

When claiming that the library services are just being relocated, Ms Aitken wrote: “That doesn’t mean the old building will be left to rot. Glasgow Life will work with the community to identify new uses and secure the necessary funding to bring the building up to standard.” Suspiciously, she did not say what the “new uses” might be.

No good reason has been given for not reopening the library in the building it has been in for 116 years. Patrick Grady, MP for Glasgow North, told me:

“I believe Glasgow Life should move quickly to bring forward for plans to re-open Maryhill Library at its current location as soon as possible, and any potential community hub proposals which may then follow must be open to full consultation and public input. It is also important the heritage of the building is respected and preserved as part of any future plans for the Library service in Maryhill. I have written to the Chief Executive of Glasgow Life to seek a meeting to discuss these concerns.”

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