Community pays tribute to librarian

Judy Thomson (Right) of Mayfield and Easthouses CC is pictured presenting the book to Isi Allen (Left)
Judy Thomson (Right) of Mayfield and Easthouses CC is pictured presenting the book to Isi Allen (Left)

A librarian has been left overwhelmed by comments from an unsuccessful petition to keep her at the library where she spent 27 happy years.

Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council presented Isi Allen (61) with a book of memories and comments from the recent failed attempt to persuade Midlothian Council to reverse its decision to move the popular librarian from Mayfield Library to Loanhead Library - which recently moved into the new community hub in the town.

She said: “I was quite overwhelmed, because it’s probably something I will keep forever then pass it on to my family. It shows that I left a mark on the place. I was overwhelmed by everybody’s comments and well wishes.

“I was born in Mayfield, my parents lived in Mayfield and I still live there so I have strong ties with the place.

“I miss all the people, all the kids coming in and all the groups I started up. But hopefully I make new friends and new ties in Loanhead.

“It has been a challenge coming here so I have got my teeth into it, it’s just a fantastic place to work. When I first started at Loanhead we were busy getting ready to move and it’s now so busy here in the new building I have not had much time to think.”

Isi started working for the council in 1985, first at Library HQ, before moving to Newtongrange Library, Mayfield Leisure Centre and then Mayfield Library in late 1989.

She said: “When I first got there it was just your typical library, you couldn’t talk and there were no computers. And we didn’t have groups coming in. It’s completely and utterly changed now.”

Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council treasurer Judy Thomson set-up the petition and last week handed over the memories book.

She said: “We would like the local community to know that although the petition didn’t work the act itself was felt by the council and by Isi herself. The comments were so well received that we decided to make them into a book for her to keep. We want the community to know that they did make a difference.”