Stirling residents love their libraries more than anywhere else on the Scottish mainland.
Stirling Libraries

Figures published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)) last year showed that 4,900 books were loaned in Stirling per 1000 population.  

Only the islands of Orkney and Shetland performed better across all the local authorities. 

Stirling was also ranked second in Scotland for the amount of library visits and enquiries, and scored highly in other categories, including requests and book acquisitions. 

The positive figures were revealed at a meeting of Stirling Council’s Community and Planning Regeneration Committee in a discussion of the Libraries and Archives Strategy for Stirling, which will guide the direction of the service over the next five years in line with Council priorities. 

Councillors agreed the draft Libraries and Archives Strategy for Stirling for consultation and to receive the final report at its November meeting. 

Louise Graham, Digital Services Librarian, gave a presentation to the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee on the work of digital services and how they can be developed in the future. And after being hailed for the inspiring work of digital services, she was invited back to deliver her presentation to all members of the Council.  

The document was presented to Committee by Libraries and Archives Team Leader, Lindsay McKrell, and Council Archivist Pam McNicol represented the Archives Service in the discussion which followed.

Convener of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Chris Kane said: “These fantastic figures demonstrate the strong community support Stirling Libraries enjoy, which is also reflected in the strategy. 

“The presentation highlighted the phenomenal work of Stirling libraries digital services, who have grasped the importance of our libraries remaining relevant in the 21st century, embarking on a remarkable modernisation programme which may have gone under the radar. 

“Stirling libraries do a magnificent job in our communities and are hugely popular among citizens on the evidence of these latest figures. By maximising new technology, the service will ensure libraries will continue to perform an essential role for future generations. 

“The clear Administration commitment to support libraries as 21st century digitally-competent community hubs, and the ambition and innovation of the libraries and archives team, requires a strategy to provide clear direction and priorities.”

“I am confident that libraries and archives will use this strategy to deliver a forward-facing service which will extend access to opportunities and enhance the wellbeing and regeneration of our communities.” 

The Libraries and Archives Strategy was produced following extensive consultation with current and potential library and archive users, focus groups and staff. 

There was an overwhelmingly positive response in a survey of library users, with 98 per cent very satisfied or fairly satisfied with their libraries.

Library staff also came in for praise with 99 per cent of users strongly agreeing or agreeing that they received a high quality of service. 

Vice convener, Cllr Maureen Bennison said: “These are highly encouraging results and shine a light on the dedicated, caring and enthusiastic staff at Stirling Libraries.

“The physical, social, economic and cultural reach of Stirling Libraries means they can both lead and support the implementation of the Stirling Plan in communities by offering a trusted, safe space for local residents and community planning partners to share local needs and solutions.”