In a professional capacity I use Rothesay Library on a regular basis, usually to trawl through old editions of the Buteman to find entries for the paper’s weekly ‘Bits from Bygone Bute’ section, and sometimes to cover their programme of talks and events.
It’s a good thing for me, then, that the library is so well-equipped and the staff so obliging!
It feels like I say some variation on this almost every week, but in a community as small as Bute it really is impressive that its library services are some of the best I’ve seen.
Whether you’re looking for something new to read, making use of the IT facilities or delving into the archives, it’s rare that you’ll leave disappointed.
In doing work experience for the Buteman two years ago when I was still a student, one of my very first journalistic assignments was to cover an event involving war commemoration at the library alongside then-editor Craig Borland.
I still remember how much effort and care went into catering for the guest speaker and the audience alike, setting up displays, laying out chairs and, almost as importantly, providing ample food and wine.
Nothing was too much work for library supervisor Patricia McArthur, or any of the hard-working assistants, and I can tell from calling on their help regularly in my role today that that is no less true now.
Especially in these days of further and further cuts for local authority services when it must be more difficult than ever to provide a good service, it deserves to be highlighted when a group of public servants go above and beyond everyday as Patricia and her excellent team do.
I only wish I had more free time to spend there and pick out some books for myself!