Clackmannanshire Council is being urged not to make cuts to its library services by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

The organisation's chief executive officer Pamela Tulloch has written to councillors in the Wee County ahead of final decisions being taken on 2024/25 council budget, to not only remind them of the vast benefits a thriving public library service can provide, but to highlight those who stand to lose the most if services are cut.

The latest research by SLIC, Scotland’s Public Library Survey, demonstrated the immense value, trust and appreciation that people across Clackmannanshire place in their library service, with over 93 per cent of respondents agreeing that using the library improved their quality of life.

This was supported by the feedback shared by library users across Clackmannanshire.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC.Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC. (Image: Paul Chappells)

When asked about the positive impact library had on their life, one local user commented: "I love reading and the library offers resources that I could not otherwise afford on a low income. The council has closed many of their libraries and many of the towns and villages in Clackmannanshire no longer have libraries making it harder to access library services."

Ms Tulloch commented: "This sentiment is common and is underpinned by a strong economic case: for every £1 invested into our libraries, there’s a return on investment of £6.95 for the local economy. And it is to the credit of our public libraries that this is the case, despite budgets having been hollowed out over the past 14 years which has resulted in reduced opening hours and staffing levels.

"Indeed, Scotland’s libraries remained the most frequently visited cultural places in 2022, and also enjoy the highest customer satisfaction rate of any local authority cultural service, at 89 per cent.

"Now is the time for Clackmannanshire Council’s elected members to give libraries the financial backing that they need – that they deserve – to continue delivering the public services which have become vital to communities across the country.

"This is more than a bid for culture funding – it’s a plea to prioritise community wellbeing. We hope that all elected members will consider both the financial and social cost of not maintaining these essential services and use the upcoming budget period to protect the services that matter most to their constituents by ensuring continued investment in our libraries."