Forfar Library’s new role in tackling cost of living

​The library’s new ‘Lend and Mend Hub’ is expected to be up and running later this year.​The library’s new ‘Lend and Mend Hub’ is expected to be up and running later this year.
​The library’s new ‘Lend and Mend Hub’ is expected to be up and running later this year.
Forfar Library has been chosen as one of the first in Scotland to take part in a trailblazing pilot project which is helping to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Managed by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), the West High Street premises will add to its current facilities by hosting a ‘Lend and Mend Hub’, giving the community free access to repair, reuse, rent and upcycle everyday items, to help keep them in use for longer, rather than just being thrown away.

Funded by The John Lewis Partnership’s £1m Circular Future Fund, the library will join eight others across Scotland in developing the country’s first circular community hubs, forming a ‘network’ of sustainable ‘Lend and Mend Hubs’ which include Aberdeen Central Library, Aberdeen; Wester Hailes Library, Edinburgh; South West Library, Inverclyde; Kilbirnie Library, Kilbirnie; Gorebridge Library, Midlothian; Orkney Library & Archive, Orkney; A K Bell Library, Perth and Girvan Library, South Ayrshire.

The new hub is expected to open later this year.

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Kirsty Sutherland, Libraries Team Lead at ANGUSalive, said that staff are thrilled that the library has been chosen for the additional role.

She continued: “We will shortly be reaching out to the local community to ask what type of resources they would like to see in the project so they can get the most out of it. This comes at a very exciting time for us as we continue to show the important role that a library plays in the community and that the service we offer is more than just a place to borrow books.”

Pamela Tulloch, SLIC chief executive, added: “The project has the potential to create a real impact – especially at a time when all of Scotland’s communities are experiencing economic and environmental challenges.

“This network will build on the important role our public libraries play, giving people access to resources they might not otherwise have to support responsible consumption and learning – with the added benefit of it being local and free. And with such wide geographical spread and diverse community reach, we believe this pilot project will provide valuable learnings in promoting the urgent need to adopt a more circular way of living and help develop a long-term model for libraries to be a hub of circular economy activities.”

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The projects follow a co-design approach with all service teams bringing local knowledge and expertise to the delivery to ensure each hub is tailored to community needs. Each hub will also introduce an education programme to support new skills development, helping to reduce inequality through equitable access to resources.

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