AN in-depth study is underway into how Glasgow libraries will be used in the future.


In recent years, the number of people borrowing books has declined while digital services such as downloading ebooks or magazines has increased.

At the same time, the use of space in libraries has been changing with developments such as the partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

That will eventually result in the charity operating from 33 city libraries to provide information to anyone affected by cancer.

The review of how to ensure libraries flourish in the future and meet the changing needs of individuals and communities is being led by former controller of BBC Scotland John McCormick.

It will consult a wide range of individuals and groups about how the service should operate.

Glasgow Life insists there are no plans to close any of its 33 libraries which get 5.5million visitors a year but to ensure they remain in full use in the future.

Mr McCormick said: "We want to see the city serving its citizens through their libraries and future-proof these great community hubs for years to come.

"We have looked at other library services across the UK, heard from expert witnesses and most importantly, we have engaged with our staff - and now with the public - to ask what they believe is the best way to protect and improve on the service we provide.

"I would urge as many people as possible to get involved as we look to improve our library and community services in the decades to come."

People who use Glasgow libraries - and those who don't - have until the end of March to make their views known.

Glasgow Life chairman Archie Graham said: "What we have found is that libraries are about more than just books.

"While the joy of reading, writing and learning will always be at the core of what we do, we have a duty to the people of Glasgow to look at how we can improve on the service we provide.

"Initiatives like our ground-breaking partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support have already proven we can do more to help more people within our cherish community spaces.

"We have an opportunity to ensure Glasgow's libraries continue to provide opportunity, fulfilment and enjoyment for generations to come and we will do so by listening to our staff and the people of Glasgow as we develop our plan for the next decade and beyond."

It is anticipated over the next 10 years, public libraries will have to adapt to changes including an increase in the city's population.

They will also have to respond to the needs of an ageing population and more lone parent households.

Glasgow Life say the rapid rate of change in technology, especially with the internet, social media and mobile devices, will present significant opportunities, but also challenges for those who feel digitally excluded.

Mr McCormick said much had changed since the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie helped to fund the city's new library service.

He added: "Carnegie said a library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. I couldn't agree more.

"Going forward, we have a fantastic opportunity to build on those values and provide services which allow Glasgow and the people who live in this great city to grow and prosper."

To get involved in the public consultation go to or email