Elaine joins library campaign

Elaine C Smith returns home to help local campaigners in their fight to save Newarthill Library from being closed next month.
Elaine C Smith returns home to help local campaigners in their fight to save Newarthill Library from being closed next month.

Newarthill actress Elaine C Smith is supporting the campaign to save the village library from closure.

The Rab C Nesbitt star met members of Newarthill Community Council and the Keep Newarthill Library Campaign when she returned home last week.

Culture NL has announced the library is one of a number of facilities to close in August as it makes cutbacks having had its management fee from North Lanarkshire Council reduced..

Elaine said: “I am absolutely appalled that Culture NL has decided to close Newarthill Library.

“As a child growing up in Newarthill, the library was a vital place to visit and it started my lifelong love of books and reading.

“Scotland’s first Machar, Liz Lochhead, came from the village as have many teachers, artists and writers who would also have frequented the library as children.

“This library is an amazing resource for the old, the young, the vulnerable, and those struggling to make ends meet.

“While I understand the financial constraints that councils are under, surely a resource like this should be expanded and not cut.

“An imaginative approach, to use the building as much as possible for the young, the old, and those most in need.

“Newarthill Library should be a hub for creating, community events and a place for the entire village to gather and unite.

“I wholeheartedly support this campaign and the hard working people fighting to make the council change their mind on this issue.”

Community council secretary Josephine McKenzie added: “Elaine was very supportive of our campaign to keep the library open and fully understands that we are fighting to save this resource for the people who need it the most.

“People and families who are disadvantaged by poverty and can’t afford to travel to Motherwell, jobseekers who need regular access to computers to help search for work, older people and disabled people who may not be able to travel independently and young people all benefit so much from access to a local library.”

Newarthill author Damien Barr’s petition calling on the library to be saved is still attracting signatures two months after it was launched and has now been signed by over 2,500 people.