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Candlelit vigil to mark closure of Pittenweem library

An earlier protest against the library cuts.
An earlier protest against the library cuts.

A Fife community will hold a candlelit vigil to mark the closure of its local library on Monday night.

The current Pittenweem library will close its doors for the last time at 7pm, signalling the end of a hard-fought campaign to retain it.

A new service run entirely by local volunteers will reopen in the Old Town Hall in Cove Wynd toward the end of March.

Pittenweem was one of 16 libraries earmarked for closure by Fife Cultural Trust as part of a cost-cutting exercise in 2015.

Fife Council agreed to the controversial recommendation, saying the “tough decision” would ensure wider services were sustainable in the long term.

The local authority entered into talks with representatives from a number of communities, including Pittenweem, who were keen to ensure services were retained on a voluntary basis.

The Pittenweem business plan was approved by the council in August.

A working group set up in the East Neuk village organised a read-in protest at the start of their campaign in 2015 and tonight’s vigil will observe the end of their valiant struggle to save the library as it is.

Ginny Mackie, chair of Pittenweem Community Library and Information Centre, said: “There is a positive side that we continue to fight on to provide a service run by enthusiastic volunteers who are waiting patiently in the wings.

“I call the working party the Magnificent Seven because they have all worked incredibly hard over the past year and it has not been easy.

“Without their determination and energy, things would have simply faded away.”

The volunteers were given a boost when best-selling author Val McDermid gave them permission to have a quote from a Courier interview in September made into a poster to hang in the new library’s crime section.

The Kirkcaldy-born writer said: “I wouldn’t be a writer today if it wasn’t for the public library system.

“My family didn’t have money to spend on books so the library was my home from home.”

Ginny said the group had been given a provisional date of entry of March 20 but that a specific opening date had not yet been agreed.

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