Voices of Scottish Librarians
£16.99
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ISBN:
9781910900093
Categories
Cultural Studies, History
Imprint
John Donald
Publication Date
16 February 2017
Format
Paperback
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Ltd
Extent
384
Illustrations
4pp b/w plates

Voices of Scottish Librarians

The Evolution of a Profession and its Response to Changing Times
by Ian MacDougall - Find out more about the author

'This is an excellent book that, in the faithfully recorded Scottish intonations of its interviewees, brings to life those decades when a new Britain was being created' – Vulpes Libris

This collection, based on interviews with 14 librarians and other library staff working in Scotland in the twentieth century, tells the stories of their working lives, explaining how libraries developed from the difficulties of the inter-war period and the austerity following the Second World War to become a well-used and important feature of local communities, committed to delivering an expanding range of public services. The book also takes us behind the library counter with tales of how the insecure false teeth of one staff member at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library regularly plummeted four floors down the shaft of the book hoist and had to be retrieved by a colleague; of how Mills & Boon readers, to whom authors and titles meant little, inscribed their personal marks on books they had read to avoid borrowing the same ones again; of how a future leader of a national trade union expanded his mind and honed his political views in a small branch library in Fife; of how the mobile library in Midlothian, like the Pony Express, always got through regardless of the weather. As background to their working lives, the interviewees describe their family circumstances, housing, schooling, pastimes, reading and wartime experiences. Charting the evolution of librarianship, the book reveals how our libraries have served society for generations and confirms Andrew Carnegie’s belief that public libraries are one of the most potent agencies for good.

Ian MacDougall, a long-standing research worker of the Scottish Working People’s History Trust, has played a pivotal role in recording working people’s lives and publishing their stories. He is the author of several works of social history including Bondagers, All Men are Brethren, Voices of Scottish Journalists, Voices from War and Voices from the Hunger Marches.






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