Library will shut its doors next month

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A community library will cease to exist before the year is out after North Lanarkshire Council confirmed closure plans.

Eastfield Library will shut its doors to the public on Friday, November 22, as the lease arrangement with the private firm Stelmain of one penny per year, running since 1995 comes to an end.

The plans were approved by the local authority back in 2009 as part of a review of library services, which was set against a backdrop of financial constraint.

Councillor Barry McCulloch said: “The library should not be closed. If they are planning to close it to save money then it should be relocated to the nearby Forge Community Centre. There it will continue to serve the local community at a reduced cost.”

The council, however, confirmed that once the closure goes ahead, a mobile library service will operate.

It will visit the Forge car park on Ben Lawers Road on Mondays, 2.10pm to 2.40pm, Thursdays, 5.30pm to 6pm and Fridays, 2.25pm to 2.40pm.

On Fridays, it will make several more stops including 2.45pm to 3pm on Southfield Road near Grangeneuk Gardens; 3.05pm to 3.25pm on Southfield Road near Langdales Avenue and 3.30pm to 3.50pm on Binniehill Road near the post box.

Arrangements are in place to set up internet access in the neighbouring Forge Community Centre on weekday mornings. But the internet access at the Forge requires the telecommunications from the existing library to be extended and there will be a period between the closure and the new service being operational.

Heather McVey, chairwoman of CultureNL Ltd, said: “It’s very sad to see the closure of any library. I know that Eastfield was a popular one and its loss will be felt by the community. However, the exceptional circumstances regarding the rent are now at an end and we are unable to afford the commercial rent especially set against the current financial constraints on council services. By increasing the number of mobile library stops and the continuing internet access at the Forge we hope to minimise the impact on the community that the loss of the library will bring.”

Library cards are valid at any of the libraries in North Lanarkshire including Cumbernauld Library and Condorrat Library.

If customers can’t get to a library because of disability, infirmity, illness or are the carer of someone affected by these conditions then the home delivery service can bring items to your home. Call 01698 524790 who will provide more on this service.