For nine-year-old Charlotte Jolly, her local library is a “nice and quiet” place where she can enjoy reading her favorite books in peace.
Ferryhill Library has been an integral part of her life ever since she was a little girl and would often visit it with her nursery, eager to grab a book from the stacked shelves.
The schoolgirl has now joined the fight to save the facility from permanent closure.
The library is one of six to be shut on Thursday after Aberdeen City Council decided to ax them in a bid to plug a £46.6 million black hole in next year’s budget.
Leading Scottish writers – including Stuart MacBride and Ian Rankin – and local residents have since been up in arms in tireless efforts to reverse the decision.
‘I’m not a big fan of e-books’
Inspired by the movement, Charlotte started a petition of her own to ensure the future of the library for other kids and show how valued it is among the local community.
She has collected more than 70 signatures for fellow pupils at Ferryhill Primary School to give voice to the youngest users of the facility.
“I’d be very sad if the library closes,” Charlotte said.
“I think it should stay open because of all the reasons I like it. It’s a nice and quiet space – you can take books and just read them there.
“I feel like I should do it [the petition], because probably more and more children want the same things that I do. I’m not a big fan of e-books, I prefer normal books.”
Support to save Ferryhill Library
Charlotte and her mum Jill Jolly were among scores of residents who gathered outside the council headquarters yesterday with homemade banners to make their voices heard.
Last week, more than 50 people of all ages also held a read-in at Ferryhill Library in protest against the “disgraceful” decision to close it and to prove how well-used it is.
Meanwhile, locals have been putting love letters to staff at the library for the last week to express their love and appreciation for the facility, which serves young and old.
Mrs Jolly has been using the facility for nearly a decade, brining Charlotte and her three-year-old sister Emily regularly to grab a colorful book for a nice read.
The 43-year-old said: “We wanted to give voice to some of the kids who didn’t know about the Love Letters box and also didn’t have access to online petitions.
“All of them have used the library probably at some point – either with their nursery or just going in with their families. It’s a well-used library and we are keen to keep it open.
“We just hope we can do something to save them. It would be a sad loss if we did lose it.”
Councilors will now discuss the closures of the libraries – along with that of Bucksburn swimming pool – at a special meeting of Aberdeen City Council tomorrow.
P&J reporter Ben Hendry spent four days working from the six Aberdeen libraries soon to close – learning about how they are much more than buildings to many people.
Read their stories below
The faces behind the places: The Aberdonians I met in a week working from six libraries being shut
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[Determined Aberdeen schoolgirl, 9, joins fight to save Ferryhill Library]