By Aidan Macdonald, Clydesider Volunteer
Photo by Emma Truscott, Vale in Focus participant
Libraries have always been a vital part of community life in areas such as West Dunbartonshire.
They provide many residents, particularly the elderly, with a lifeline to information, people and stories they may not otherwise have access to.
Now plans are afoot to refurbish both Alexandria and Clydebank libraries and include within them museums to celebrate the local history.
West Dunbartonshire Council’s Cultural Committee has approved the £331,000 project for Alexandria Library which will create a separate multi-use space built on the first-floor which will include adaptable seating and two meeting rooms for multi-purpose use.
Accessibility will also be improved with a lift to the first floor being installed, the work is scheduled to be completed by early in 2020. The library dates back to 1884 and though one of the most popular in West Dunbartonshire the only access to the first floor is a staircase.
For Clydebank library it is hoped its basement will be turned into a museum space which will celebrate the town’s proud shipbuilding heritage, the story of Singer sewing factory and providing a memorial for those who died in the 1941 blitz.
The Council’s Cultural Committee agreed to invest £15,000 for a special exhibition design company to develop a concept for the museum. These proposals will be brought back to the Cultural Committee with the hope being they will be given the necessary backing to go ahead.
A further consultation on a £4.6million plan to turn Glencairn House in Dumbarton High Street into a state-of-the-art library and museum will take place next month.
There will be three drop-in sessions on: Monday 10 June 1pm – 3pm in Church Street, Dumbarton; Wednesday 12 June 9:30am – 12:30pm in Glencairn House, High St, Dumbarton and Wednesday 12 June 5:30pm – 8:30pm in Concord Centre, Dumbarton.