Islanders on Mull and Iona are using World Book Day today to call for the reversal of cuts to their mobile library and school librarian service.
The wider community has rallied round to support Tobermory High School Parent Council with a campaign to bring together objectors into a force for change.
Argyll and Bute Council voted to scrap the mobile library service and make librarians in all of its high schools redundant at its budget last month, as it made £10million of savings.
With no public library, the Mull and Iona Libraries Action Group (Milag) is asking where the mobile library users should go to get library books.
The two islands are documented as being in the worst 3% of Scottish post-codes for the measure of geographic isolation
Mull resident Ann Eastwood, 76, lives near Calgary on Mull. She said: “I live in a remote part of the island and only leave the house once a week to go shopping and combine this with a monthly trip to the wonderful mobile library service. We will greatly miss meeting our librarian and the other folk who turn out for a chat and, importantly, to get more library books.”
Parents and students fear the consequences of losing a qualified school librarian with, as has been suggested, replacement by a lower grade post.
There is a proposal that the high school library can be run by a library assistant. This would be available to the wider community but only during school hours.
The group has launched a petition and is investigating the council’s legal obligations.
Council Leader Dick Walsh said: “This is a time of unprecedented challenge for local government. Drastically reduced funding means we had a savings target of over £10 million in 2016/17 alone. This means change.”