EVER wanted to know what was on the menu for the grand opening of Partick Library in 1925?

Or which library was built during its area’s independence from Glasgow?

The city is justifiably proud of its fine network of public libraries and if you want to discover more about them, Glasgow City Archives is a treasure trove of information.

While libraries remain shut, the team - Barbara Neilson, Michael Gallagher, Lynsey Green, senior archivist Irene O’Brien and Nerys Tunnicliffe - is running Ask the Archivist, which gives people the chance to ask questions about the city collections. More details are available on the Glasgow City Archives Facebook page.

Here are seven fascinating facts – including the answers to the questions above - about Glasgow’s wonderful libraries.

Glasgow Times:

1 The original network of branch libraries was created during 1901 and 1907 and comprised Gorbals, Kingston, Anderston, Woodside, Maryhill, Dennistoun, Springburn, Parkhead, Bridgeton, Hutchesontown, Govanhill and Crosshill, Pollokshields and Townhead. Kinning Park joined in 1905. Most have survived. Dennistoun, Govanhill, Maryhill, Parkhead, Pollokshields and Woodside have been continuously used as community libraries. While the original buildings for Bridgeton, Hutchesontown, Kingston and Springburn still exist, they no longer form part of the city’s library system. Anderston, Kinning Park and Townhead were demolished.

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2 Libraries were open to all, although men, women and children used separate spaces. General reading rooms were reserved for men while women used the Ladies Reading Room. Kingston Library’s juvenile reading rooms had a Boys’ Room and a Girls’ Room while Parkhead Library even had a separate Children’s Entrance.

Glasgow Times:

3 Scots-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave £100,000 to Glasgow, some of this financed the building of libraries.

4 If you think you had a librarian ancestor, Glasgow City Archives hold records for the Corporation’s mainly white-collar employees, from 1925 to 1970. If the staff member you are researching worked during 1929 you are luck, as the records include a volume of coloured and pencil caricatures of public library staff.

5 At the grand opening of Partick Library in June 1925, tongue sandwiches were served to guests.

Glasgow Times:

6 Two Glasgow libraries have interior murals painted by Glasgow School of Art students: the large Battle of Langside mural in Langside Library and Possilpark Library’s six depicting the areas of human knowledge - Science, Astronomy, Geography, Poetry, Commerce and Art.

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7 And finally ....Elder Park’s stone balustrade has the figures of a shipwright and draughtsman flanking the Govan burgh arms, a reminder that both the library and the area’s shipbuilding reputation were built during Govan’s independence from Glasgow.

Glasgow Times:

Thanks for the Memories, our series of regular drop-in sessions at libraries around the city. has had to stop because of the coronavirus pandemic - but we would still love to hear your stories about growing up in Glasgow. It would be good to hear your favourite library-related memories too - write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, Print Centre, 125 Fullarton Drive, Cambuslang, G32 8FG or email ann.fotheringham@glasgowtimes.co.uk