A local SNP MSP has welcomed new research that shows that more people in Scotland are using public libraries than ever before.
Last year, there were over 43 million visits to public libraries in Scotland – including both physical visits and virtual visits.
This marked a 2.5 per cent increase on the previous year.
The Scottish Government, via the Public Library Improvement Fund, has invested almost £2 million in libraries across Scotland.
And it recently announced that every public library in Scotland will receive a complete collection of Muriel Spark novels, as part of an initiative announced by the First Minister.
Commenting on this new research, Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) said: “Local libraries are a critical part of our society, which is why it’s so great to see that more and more people are taking the time to use library facilities in Midlothian.
“Literacy and education are vital in ensuring that every child in Scotland gets the best start in life, and for older people visiting a library can be an excellent way of combatting loneliness and mental health issues.
“It’s deeply inspiring to see the work of those library workers and volunteers, who are vital in enabling people to access reading materials and computers, if they don’t have access to these at home.”