Montrose Library Shortlisted for Library of the Year 2019

12 Jul 2019 |

Montrose Library has been included in the top ten libraries in the UK and shortlisted for Library of the Year 2019. The highly coveted award by The Bookseller has put ANGUSalive’s Montrose Library in the top two in Scotland. The other library shortlisted was Shetland mobile library, making Montrose the top library on the Scottish mainland.


Montrose Library reopened its doors in September 2018 after refurbishment with more than 13,000 people visiting the north-east library’s revamped community space in its first two months. Along with welcoming back 491 members the library has also gained an additional 420 new members with numbers continuing to grow. Montrose Library offers a mixture of traditional services and activities including Bookbug sessions for children along with reminiscence groups for older people. The services at the library have continued to be enhanced by a variety of events including hosting author talks from Stuart McBride and Jess Smith for adults to Simon Puttock, Scottish Book Trust and Sheena Blackhall for children.

Events scheduled on weekly and a monthly basis have enabled the library to grow and include Knit & Knatter sessions, Bookbug Babies, Angus Digital Skills Academy who help job-seekers become more digitally enabled, Lego in the Library & Chatterbooks, computer taster sessions, 3D printing sessions and iPad classes. Special activity sessions have also proved popular such as Harry Potter Nights, We’re going on a Bear Hunt and celebrating the Gruffalo’s 20th Birthday along with rotating special collections. The library continues to build on its programme, tailoring activities to the needs of its members and the wider community. Schools, nurseries & playgroups are regular visitors and use the library’s fabulous children’s area.


The great achievement of being recognised as one of the top libraries in the UK highlights ANGUSalive Libraries’ fantastic work, with Montrose Library being given national recognition. Librarian Arlene Henderson says: “My team and I are incredibly proud of our library and of what we have achieved in the past year for our community. We rose to the challenge of moving into our new library with excitement and the reaction and feedback from all our users has been fantastic. Everyone loves the new, brighter space; it’s a much-loved old building that has been brought right up to date and we hope it will serve generations of the Montrose community for years to come.”


Montrose Library’s figures have continued to increase since moving back into the refurbished space, following a monthly average of 2,573 issues prior to moving back, monthly issues have never fallen below 3,000 in the new space. The amount of visitors has also increased dramatically from averaging at 2,513 per month in the 6 months prior to the big move, to 46,338 visitors to our new library in 8 months, averaging at 5,792 visits per month.


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