With lockdown easing here in Scotland, I was very pleased to return to the Highland Archive Centre yesterday to carry on with some research for my writing.
I was also happy to finally be able to access some books from Inverness Library: the library closed at the first lockdown and since then has not fully reopened. Although there was a ‘click-and-collect’ service for fiction books, the reference section in Inverness Central Library has been inaccessible for over a year. Normally I use the library regularly, and being unable to use the books there has had an impact on my writing. There are reference materials and special collections in the library which I can’t access anywhere else.
However, both the libraries and the archive service in Highland region are operated by High Life Highland, so they were able to work together and arrange for some books from the reference section of Inverness Library to be sent to the Archive Centre, so I could view them at the same time as archival material. This was not ideal, but definitely a step forward.
I am a member of the Society of Authors, who are supporting the CILIPS Libraries Are Essential campaign. Libraries are essential for me as a writer – but also as a reader and a mother. You can read more about the Libraries are Essential campaign here: https://www.cilips.org.uk/advocacy-campaigns/librariesareessential/