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Hillhead Library closure claim dismissed as 'false rumour'

The service took to social media after a petition said the library could close.

Glasgow Libraries has said there is no truth in “rumours” that Hillhead Library is to close.

The library service said the permanent closure of the building was not being discussed.

And it said “any claim otherwise is completely false”.

The service took to social media on Thursday after a petition was launched saying the library could close.

The petition on change.org claimed the library was being considered for permanent closure this month.

The page was being widely shared on Twitter and Facebook, with more than 1200 people signing in 24 hours.

Glasgow resident Jen Kirkwood is the person stated as starting the petition.

The detail read: “Community Council feedback has indicated Hillhead Library is under consideration for permanent closure (Oct 2021).

“Please sign below to support the continuation of Hillhead Public Library (Byres, Rd) and to demonstrate that any suggestion of closure or permanent reduction in opening hours is undemocratic and unacceptable to the West End community in Glasgow.

“We want: Hillhead Public Library to remain OPEN

“We want: A return to full opening hours (at pre-pandemic levels)”

Hillhead Library. Photo: Google
Hillhead Library. Photo: Google

A number of libraries have remained closed since lockdown restrictions lifted in the spring.

Glasgow Life, the charity that runs the city’s libraries and art venues, has said the pandemic cost it millions of pounds in lost revenue.

However, campaigns have been ongoing to reopen Whiteinch and Maryhill libraries.

Hillhead Library is among a number that have seen reduced opening hours.

The Byres Road building is currently closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday and on reduced hours on other days.

Glasgow Libraries posted a rebuttal to the claims about Hillhead Library on its social channels.

Its short statement read: “We have been made aware that there are rumours circulating regarding Hillhead Library. 

“We’d like to make it clear that there is no discussion about permanently closing Hillhead Library. 

Please sign below to support the continuation of Hillhead Public Library (Byres, Rd) and to demonstrate that any suggestion of closure or permanent reduction in opening hours is undemocratic and unacceptable to the West End community in Glasgow

Change.org

“Any claim otherwise is completely false.”

Replying to the GL comment on Facebook, Jen Kirkwood said: “Hello. Thank you for this clarification. Such welcome news. 

“If you wish to contact me directly, I'm happy to discuss the source of information regarding discussion and suggestions of consultations for closure. 

“Can you please also offer commitment as to the FULL re-opening of the library to pre-pandemic hours?, which is also the subject of this widely supported petition. Many thanks.”

Glasgow West End Today has tried to contact Jen Kirkwood to find out more about her claims. We have also contacted Hillhead Community Council.

Meanwhile, reaction to the petition was split.

One person said: “People need libraries. Libraries support communities. 

“They are the only place of equal access to learning, IT access etc. A civilised society does not not reduce its library provision."

Another said: “This is a vibrant, busy library and it is beyond unacceptable to consider closing it!!”

'No discussions'

Glasgow Life’s chair Cllr David McDonald took to Twitter to say he didn’t know how “this rumour has started but for clarity there are no discussions about permanently closing Hillhead Library”.

Cllr Kenny McLean said: “There are no plans to close Hillhead Library. It is completely untrue.”

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