Booking in to launch reading campaign

OPENING UP: helping Catherine Stihler (third right) launch her Open Knowledge campaign are. left to right, councillors Frank McNally and Paul Kelly, MP Frank Roy and MSPs John Pentland and Michael McMahon.
OPENING UP: helping Catherine Stihler (third right) launch her Open Knowledge campaign are. left to right, councillors Frank McNally and Paul Kelly, MP Frank Roy and MSPs John Pentland and Michael McMahon.

A campaign for fair and improved access to e-books from public libraries was backed by politicians when it was launched at Motherwell Library.

Catherine Stihler, Labour MEP for Scotland, brought her Open Knowledge campaign to Motherwell.

And among those who turned out to support the cause were local councillors Paul Kelly and Frank McNally, MSPs Michael McMahon and John Pentland and Frank Roy MP.

Ms Stihler said: “Across Scotland, as well as across Europe, there is a real postcode lottery when it comes to access to e-books from local libraries.

“However I must say North Lanarkshire is performing well on a Scottish level and I am particularly supportive of Culture NL’s scheme which offers downloaded materials to its home delivery service clients and visually impaired book group members.”

Mr Roy, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw MP, said he was delighted to support the campaign and added: “E-books and e-lending are the future and I really hope this campaign will help make this facility readily available all over Scotland.”

Councillor Kelly, member for Motherwell West, said: “I know Catherine was impressed by the selection of e-books and access already available in North Lanarkshire. This is an excellent campaign on a really important issue.”

Councillor Heather McVey, chairperson of the Culture NL board who operate the areas libraries pledged her support to the cause.

She said: “CultureNL views provision of e-books as a natural extension of our library services which offers our customers additional choice in terms of formats and also accessing services.

“E-book provision is an intrinsic part of our virtual library service to enable communities to access them 24/7 at whatever time is convenient to them from the comfort of their own home or whilst on the move.”