Literary lovers of all ages will have the opportunity to name Stirling Council’s two brand new mobile library vehicles in a ‘pun-believable’ competition.
Mobile Libraries Competition

The local authority’s libraries and archives service are looking for the public to send in their best literary-based puns to adorn the state-of-the-art vehicles.

Everyone can get involved, with two categories in the competition – under 16s and over 16s.

Each winner will have their suggested name permanently displayed in one of the vans and receive a range of other fantastic prizes:

  • £50 of book tokens donated by Waterstones
  • £50 shopping voucher donated by Nu-Track, the manufacturer of the vehicles
  • A 3D scanned bust of themselves (or a 3D print of their choice if class or group is a winner)
  • A chance to go out for a drive in the vehicle they have named (if your class or group is selected as a winner, the vehicle will visit your school/group instead).

The judging panel will include recently retired Mobile Library Officer, Nelson Busby, who spent 34 years driving mobile libraries across Stirling and was central to the design of the new vehicles. Last month, Nelson was named UK Mobile Library Champion of the Year in London in recognition of his years of dedicated service.

Recognisable and memorable

The winners will be announced on 30 January, 2020, at a meeting of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee.

Convener of the Committee, Cllr Chris Kane, said: “I have ‘great expectations’ that people will send in plenty of novel submissions, and it’s fitting that Nelson, who served the public in Stirling with such professionalism and humility for so many years, will help choose the winning entries.

“By investing in these ultra-modern vehicles, we are showing our commitment to continuing an important and inclusive service for the public across Stirling and by having some ‘pun’, we can make the vans more recognisable and memorable within the communities they serve.” 

The local authority has invested £340,000 in the enhanced mobile facilities, which replaced the existing 12-year-old fleet and ensured the Council can continue delivering this high-quality and crucial service for future generations.

Built by specialist manufacturer Nu-Track in Northern Ireland, the vehicles boast a ground-breaking design, incorporating the latest satellite system used by mobile banking services.

Enhanced connectivity via built-in Wi-Fi make them ideal for I.T. use, and they also contain a laptop corner, stowaway counter and stool so staff can help the public access the internet using mobile devices.

Everyone to get involved

Vice Convener of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Maureen Bennison, said: “The new vehicles are equipped with the latest technology and will be fantastic community assets for many years to come – all that’s missing is some creative and catchy names to know them by.

“Whether you’re a ‘Van’ Brown or ‘Road’ Dahl fan or love the Inspector ‘Re-bus’ books, we want everyone to get involved in the competition, and I’m looking forward to checking out the submissions from the public and our young people.”

The first vehicle started operations at the end of May and earned positive feedback when exhibited at a recent mobile library event in London, while the second van started service in October.

The exterior design features the new Stirling Libraries and Archives branding, highlighting the huge potential of libraries to empower their users through the motto: “Imagine. Discover. Connect.”

Competition Details:

Entries must be literary puns, which play on words using character or author names from favourite books, poems or plays. Direct lifts of character names or author names are not eligible.

To enter the competition to name vehicle one, you must be under 16 and live in the Stirling Council area. Children can apply individually and primary school classes and children and young people’s groups are eligible as a single entrant.

The competition to name vehicle two is open to everyone over 16 who lives in the Stirling Council area.

Each entrant for both competitions can submit a maximum of THREE name suggestions.

Entries can be made in person to any branch or mobile library, with forms provided, or via email to the Library Service.  Please make the subject of your email Name our Mobile Library competition. Along with your entries, please state if you are over or under 16 and provide full contact details.

Closing date for the competition is 30 November, 2019.

For more information or queries, please contact the Library Service or call 01786 237535.

Picture details and background info: 

Main picture shows Council Officers from the Libraries and Archives Service and Cllr Chris Kane at the launch of Stirling Council’s Mobile Library Competition to the backdrop of Stirling Castle. Pictured (from left) are: Lesley Russell, Systems and Support Librarian; Lindsay McKrell, Team Leader for Libraries & Archives; Cllr Chris Kane; Toby Tollan, Mobile Library Officer; Allison Crumley, Relief Library Assistant; Shauna Ansell, Mobile Library Assistant. 

Stirling Libraries serve rural and urban settlements across a wide geographic area and the mobile libraries visit isolated communities, schools, nurseries and sheltered housing units with no local library.

Figures published last year showed that people in Stirling use their libraries more than any other local authority on mainland Scotland, with 4,900 books loaned in the area per 1000 population.

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

For more information on Stirling’s mobile libraries and timetables, visit the mobile library page.