To coincide with the proposed introduction of the new Mobile Library van, the article presented below is from the Stirling Observer of 11th June 1960. It introduces the new Mobile Library Service for Stirlingshire villages. This, along with photographs of Stirling’s subsequent van models, is re-produced with the kind permission of the newspaper and of Stirling Archives. It was re-published in Strathard Life, Issue 114, Late Summer 2019, as part of a series entitled ‘Stories from Strathard’.
LIBRARY ON WHEELS WILL SERVICE STIRLINGSHIRE VILLAGES
Seen outside the mobile library are, left to right—Mr A. K. Davidson, county convener; Miss C. E. Morrice, mobile librarian; Mr H. G. Adam, driver; Miss E. A. Liversidge, F.L.A.,county librarian; Dean of the Guild M. Kelly, Stirling, and Ex-Provost P. Symon, Falkirk.
The new mobile library now going into service for Stirling County Council for the villages in the east and west of the county does everything but select the book for you—and we’re sure that the young lady who is the qualified librarian on the branch library on wheels will be able to assist readers with queries for books or information!
This highly specialised vehicle, which provides all the facilities of a modern library service within a restricted space & will carry a constantly changing stock of 3000 books covering a wide range of subjects, was on view at the County Offices, Viewforth, Stirling, on Thursday afternoon before the start of Stirlingshire Education Committee’s monthly meeting.
The mobile library was inspected by the county convener, Mr A. K. Davidson, Cowie, Mr Peter Symon, Falkirk, convener of the education committee, Mr Frank Crawford, Airth, convener of the further education sub-committee, Dean of Guild Michael Kelly, Stirling, vice-convener of the further education committee, Mr W. J. Goldie, M.A., director of education, and other members and officials of the county council.
It was built to the specifications drawn up by the county library and special interest was shown in the planning by Miss E. A. Liversedge, F.L.A., the county librarian, Mr Crawford and Dean of Guild Kelly, convener and vice-convener, Mr C. Muris, assistant to the county librarian.
The mobile library is 26 feet long, 8 feet wide, 11 feet high and is powered by a 5.1 litre B.M.C. diesel engine. A transparent fibre glass roof and windows in the front and rear of the vehicle provide adequate lighting during the hours of day-light. For evening work, the library is lit by fluorescent lights and the lighting system is so arranged that the lighting current can either be supplied from the batteries (via a rotary convertor) or drawn from street lighting standards. An auxiliary lighting circuit has been provided in case any trouble should develop with fluorescent lights. A battery charging set has also been installed so that the lighting batteries can be charged in a garage or when the lighting system is connected to a mains supply at a halt.
During the winter months, the interior will be heated by a Smith’s “Webasto”” type of heater which circulates warm air whether the vehicle is moving or stationary. In the summer, this ventilator can be used to circulate cold air. Additional ventilation is supplied by three “Weathershield” roof ventilators.
The wood used throughout for the book shelves, uprights and other fittings is Makore cherry mahogany. The counter top is finished with red formica and the linoleum is in a matching red. A wash-hand basin and an electric vehicle kettle have been provided for the use of the librarian and the driver.
The exterior colour scheme is sky blue below the waist line with mist grey above. The lettering is in red.
Readers enter the mobile library by an entrance on the near side, which is fitted with hand rails and a step light.
The main contractor was Menzies Motors Ltd., Orchard Place, Stirling who supplied the 5-ton long-wheel-based Austin chassis with forward control. The special bodywork was constructed by John Gibson & Son Ltd., coachbuilders, Edinburgh.
Villages to be served include—Avonbridge, Limerigg, Shieldhill, Reddingmuirhead, California, Red-ding, Maddiston, Wallacestone, Polmont, Brightons, Banton,. Banknock, Longcroft, Dennyloanhead, Whins of Milton, Cowie, East Plean, Blairlogie, Drymen, Gargunnock, Arnprior, Fintry, Kippen, Killearn, Balmaha.
The library will follow a regular itinerary calling at villages either at weekly or fortnightly intervals at advertised times.
You can’t miss the new library. Look out for the colour—light blue and grey!
The librarian in charge will be Miss C. E. Morrice and the driver Mr Hay Adam.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF STIRLING’S MOBILE LIBRARY VANS OVER THE DECADES
1980 to 1990. Served Kinlochard, achieving 190,000 miles. Built by Fraser of Perth
1988 to 2000. Served Kinlochard, achieving 200,000 miles. Built by Keiller of Kellis
2000 to 2007. Served Aberfoyle and Kinlochard. Built by Leicester Carriage Builders