FURY has been sparked by the decision to close a library that has served its community for more than 100 years. 

There are no plans to reopen Maryhill Library, Glasgow Life confirmed today, after it was left off a list of venues to make a comeback after lockdown restrictions are eased.

The arm's-length body, which runs culture and leisure facilities for the council, is looking for anyone with an interest in using the building to come forward and take it over under new plans to allow external parties control over former public facilities. 

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A spokeswoman for Glasgow Life said the organisation was "exploring how the community library provision can be supported in another venue as part of the city’s approach to community hubs".

Bob Doris, the SNP candidate for Maryhill and Springburn, urged a rethink of the plans. He said: "I urge Glasgow Life to move quickly to bring forward re-opening plans for Maryhill Library at its current location. The local community want access to its library as soon as possible.

"The people of Maryhill should not have to wait whilst Glasgow Life consider any potential community hub plans."

The decision was blasted as "shocking and devastating" for the community by Keiran O'Neill, the Labour candidate for the area, who has started a petition to save the facility. 

He said: "Local services are important assets, but it is clear that those in power have given up on caring for people here.

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"The city of Glasgow has faced severe cuts over the past 10 years and this is the clear impact. Austerity is a political choice that is clearly endorsed not just by the Tories, but by the SNP too who are in power at The Scottish Parliament and in Glasgow City Council.

"These cuts must stop and we must resist these attempts to strip our area of another vital service."

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland has also warned against the decision and raised "significant concerns" about other Libraries which will either remain closed, or face delays to reopening, such as in Milton, Springburn, Pollokshields and Langside. 

Sean McNamara, the organisation's head, said: "These libraries serve large communities, providing essential access to books and IT, as well as improving health and wellbeing and reducing social isolation for the people who use them.

"We realise we are living in hugely challenging times but would ask Glasgow to honour their earlier commitment made by the Council Leader to open every library post-pandemic and not disadvantage the people who rely on them.

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"It is important that the impact of not opening any libraries is fully assessed and local residents are fully consulted before any final decisions are made."

Maryhill Library was one of Glasgow's 12 Carnegie libraries, funding by a grant from the Dunfermline-born American business tycoon and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. 

Susan Aitken, the council leader, said: "I’ve always been clear about how important these services will be to the city’s recovery from coronavirus. Maryhill Library will reopen, although not necessarily at its current building.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow Life said the organisation’s budget was nearly 15% lower than its pre-pandemic level. 

The council pledged £100 million for the reopening of public facilities which will be used to reopen 90 buildings across the city.