Banff Library to celebrate reopening with community preview event

One of Banff’s historic buildings will reopen its doors next week with a community preview event for the public to have their first glimpse inside the town’s newly-refurbished library.

Banff Library will be open for the event from 10am-4pm on Saturday, September 9 with people of all ages welcome to drop-in throughout the day.

The team from Aberdeenshire Libraries will host Lego and Coding Club sessions, showcase digital resources available to library users and visitors will also be able to enjoy storytelling, a craft table and demonstrations of the 3D printer.

Banff Library occupies the two ground floor rooms of a C-listed building which was built in 1902 with funding from the Robert Carnegie Trust to house both a museum and a new public library.

The building has been closed since May to improve access to the upstairs museum through the installation of a lift along with energy-efficient lighting and heaters as well as an upgrade of the electrics and security systems throughout.

The works have been funded on the whole by external funding from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund which totaled £295,000 and covered the refurbishment of the library and museum and work to the former Meal House on Banff’s Bridge Street to turn it into a creative studio.

As part of the refurbishment, the main library room has been refreshed with new furniture including comfortable seating and themed graphics for the children's area. The reading room now has new sofas with built-in USB and power sources for relaxing or working on your own device and the Local Studies resources have been transferred to the room along with two new PCs.

The refurbished library also now features a table and chairs kindly donated in memory of the late Mrs Mary Masson by her family. Mrs Masson was a very keen library user and wanted to share her love of libraries and reading with the wider Banff community.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education & Children’s Services Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen, said: “The community event on Saturday will give the public the chance to have a sneak peek of the new reading room and take part in the interesting activities on offer before the library reverts to its normal opening hours on Monday.

“We are also asking the community to vote on their favourite photos of Banff around the time the library was built. The council’s Museum service has selected a range of photos showing the High Street and Banff Bay and the most popular ones will be enlarged for displaying in the library.”

Vice-chair of the committee, Cllr Mark Findlater, said: “While the refurbishment took place the library service put in place some excellent alternatives such as a book-vending machine and direct deliveries but I’m sure borrowers will be happy to be able to access their local library once again.

“I would like to thank local users for their patience while the work was being carried out and I hope they look forward to the new and improved facilities in the town.”

Banff Library will revert to its usual opening hours from Monday, September 11 which are Monday (5.30-7.30pm), Tuesday (10.30am-1pm), Wednesday (2.30-7.30pm), Thursday (10.30am-4.30pm) and Saturday (10.30am-1pm).

The library is situated on the town’s High Street, a street currently shortlisted in a new competition to find Scotland’s most beautiful high street.

Voting for the inaugural Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street competition is open through the Scotland’s Towns Partnership’s (STP) website until October 1. The winning town will be announced on November 21 at the Scotland’s Town Conference in Paisley.

To vote in the competition please see http://bit.ly/2hJZNmP