SUSAN Aitken has again insisted all libraries in Glasgow will remain open – despite plans to pull down the shutters on at least two in the city. 

The council leader, who last year promised none would close, has argued Maryhill and Whiteinch’s hubs will not be shut permanently after it was revealed their existing buildings will no longer be used. 

Councillor Aitken insists the libraries will still be “open” even if they move location and her pledge comes amid a furious backlash from thousands of locals and a previous guarantee from the Langside councillor. 

READ MORE: SNP leader Susan Aitken promises no Glasgow Life libraries will close amid Covid fears

In August last year, cllr Aitken wrote in our paper: “Despite what some Glasgow Times readers may have heard in the past week, there are no plans to close any of Glasgow’s libraries. 

“And no libraries will remain closed for any longer than is absolutely necessary. I say that as leader of the City Council on whose behalf Glasgow Life delivers its services. 

Glasgow Times: Maryhill Library Maryhill Library

“Public libraries have been at the heart of this city’s communities for the last 150 years, founded on a powerful sense of equity and justice and built on the principle that no-one should be excluded from making a better life because they did not have the means to access the power of reading, information and discovery. 

“That remains as true today as it did for our Victorian ancestors.”

Cllr Aitken stressed libraries could be reimagined as community hubs, something which has again been brought up by both Glasgow Life and the council this week. 

Cllr Aitken’s previous column continued: “Our libraries and the services they provide will not only be key tools to help Glaswegians to recover from the trauma the city has endured this year, but also to rebuild our communities in the months and years ahead. 

“Closing them would not deliver that. The SNP in Glasgow is not in the business of diminishing such vital community resources.” 

News the buildings of both Whiteinch and Maryhill libraries will not reopen – confirmed this week by Glasgow Life – was widely criticised, with thousands signing petitions against their closures. 

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Maryhill Library: No plans to reopen historic venue sparks fury

When asked why libraries are closing when she had previously said this would not happen, cllr Aitken said: “I’ve always been clear about how important these services will be to the city’s recovery from coronavirus and Maryhill Library will reopen; although not necessarily at its current location.

“The council and Glasgow Life are  assessing options for where that service can best be delivered and we’ll share the results as soon as we can. However, the bottom line is that there will be a library.”