Shetland Library

On a recent visit to Shetland, you couldn’t expect me to stay out of the library in Lerwick – could you? Thought not. Not only do I like visiting libraries, this one has some art work I wanted to see. Last year, Shetland was one of five places teamed up with an artist for Book Week Scotland (read more on the website of Scottish Book Trust which organised the scheme.) I met the artist paired with Shetland, Rosemary Cunningham, when she was working on another project, the wonderful Glasgow Alphabet Map, so I was keen to see what she had done here.

Shetland is rather windy, so Rosie designed a flagpole and a set of flags. One flies proudly outside, the others are displayed on the balcony inside. I love them! One of the staff members told me that the flag is raised and lowered each day – another skill added to the CV of multi-tasking library workers.

Since the early part of this century, the library has been based in the refurbished St Ringan’s Church. It’s beautiful, inside and out.

Previously, it and the town museum shared the rather unattractive building next door which still houses the library admin and reserve stock. One mitigating feature of the building is the carvings by the door of a girl and boy reading.

Overall, I was impressed with the library. It was bright and attractive in décor and stock, lots of people seemed to be using it and the staff member I spoke to was friendly and helpful. Well worth taking half an hour out of my holiday for.


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Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter

I'm a proud Glaswegian who loves to go gallivanting both at home and abroad. Join me in my travels, both historic and current. Credit where credit's due: photography mostly by my more talented other half, John.

11 thoughts on “Shetland Library”

  1. I really enjoyed this post – thank you for sharing your visit to Shetland. The flags are lovely – such a nice idea – I like the idea of every library having a flag!


  2. Hi Anabel – how lovely to have had the opportunity to visit and then to make a point of visiting the library; I guess in a smallish community keeping a library going could be a way of encouraging everyone to read, write … learn to raise and store flags! What a fun place – so clever and thanks for sharing with us … I love the idea the library is in the church.

    Thanks for sharing with us .. cheers Hilary


  3. You’ve done it again — sent me to Google to find out where Lerwick is. And the Shetland Islands. The ‘new’ home of the library is beautiful. It seems to me that a church naturally lends itself to becoming a library. Both are sanctuaries. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing this hour out of your holiday.


  4. What a great idea – taking time out from a vacation to visit a library! I usually end up visiting a cheese shop – I’m a cheese-a-holic!


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