THE Reformer was treated to a tour of Rutherglen’s brand new multi-million pound library last week.
For over a year locals have had to do without the library’s full resource, as South Lanarkshire’s second busiest library has undergone its renovation.
As South Lanarkshire Council’s area librarian John Barr said :“The best feature of the new library is that it’s a library designed around the needs of the local people.
“The library is close to a lot of local people’s hearts here in Rutherglen and that is something we don’t see anywhere else.”
South Lanarkshire Council took a note of the needs of the community and used it as a template for the design of the facility.
The main room of the library is bright and airy and certainly appears more spacious than it’s predecessor.
The first thing you see is the “chill out area” which includes a number of comfortable seats with a table and coffee machine for locals to come in and relax.
Above it, there is a television screen which is linked to the internet and can show various activities going on within the council.
It will also be used to show Rutherglen’s heritage throughout a range of DVDs.
Course, classes and different activities that are going on throughout the library will also be advertised using the big screen.
The main room of the library is laid out it so it encircles the buildings famous dome.
As Mr Barr explains: “The restoration we’ve done with the building has been in sympathy with the original architecture.
“The dome is iconic and is very important to local people.
“The dome and other pieces of stain glass were by a company called JC Hall who were quite a significant firm in Glasgow and we managed to preserve these features.
“ We’ve managed to make the most of the dome and show it off at its best, which wasn’t really being done before.”
There are now more books for locals to enjoy, however adults aren’t the only ones to benefit from this project.
In the main hall there is also a children’s area which is brightly decorated and will surely catch the eye of any excitable youngster.
There are several PCs in the area, all with safe guards, which kids can use to research homework or simply to browse the web.
Downstairs there is also an activity room, which will be used by schools and nurseries to entertain children. Everything in the room is changeable, so in the future it could double up as an area to hold workshops.
Arguably the most exciting feature of the new library is the Active IT centre.
As Mr Barr puts it the aim of the Active IT is to teach more people to become PC literate.
He said: “ Say, for example, an elderly lady comes in and wants us to show her how to do online shopping.
What we’ll aim to do is, not only show her how to shop online, but also how to use other features of the PC so she has no problem getting online in the future.”
There will be a series of workshops run to help people become familiar with the technology.
The new ActiveIT centre incorporates purpose-built IT training facilities alongside the popular drop-in PC access.
From January a range of IT training