After a hectic but rewarding first year Pittenweem’s community-led library is looking forward to its next chapter.
Volunteers and members involved in the library and information centre held a birthday party to look back at the first year’s successes.
They were encouraged by guest speaker, poet and translator Anna Crowe from St Andrews, who emphasised the importance of encouraging reading at an early age.
She also highlighted the importance of reaching out to keep libraries relevant to the widest possible audience, developing them into cultural centres of the community.
There was widespread dismay when the library, run by Fife Cultural Trust for Fife Council, was axed.
It was a long time before a local team was finally able to take up the challenge, and ensure the library re-opened.
But memories of lengthy and “sometimes disheartening” talks were all but forgotten as the seven-strong band of early volunteers recalled starting out with limited stocks but big ambitions.
Since reopening last July nearly 250 borrowers can now choose from more than 4,000 books, with many more titles ready to go on the shelves as space permits.
A spokeswoman said plans to make the library a welcoming and friendly place have been met.
But she added: “There is still much that could be done, especially on the fabric of the building.
“More than £5,000 will need to be raised each year just to keep the library open and an estimated £10,000 will be required to bring heating and plumbing up to an acceptable standard.”
There are Bookbug sessions, regular visits from primary school children and a newly launched books on wheels service for members who are housebound.
A popular addition is Saturday morning sessions when children who may be hesitant with their reading are encouraged to read to appreciative wee dog Angus without fear of criticism for stumbling.
Storytelling events have also been a great success while Wednesday afternoon Scrabble is popular with a growing band of older enthusiasts.
Expanding services to match the increase in membership has been a constant theme throughout the year.
In the past few days VisitScotland has granted permission to seek to erect brown signs bearing the information symbol.
Meanwhile another service about to be rolled out, dispensing NHS hearing aid batteries from behind the counter, has been driven by local demand.
The library has also published a booklet and leaflet on Pittenweem.
Membership is free and all are welcome.