Scottish Poetry Library to reopen following refurbishment

Scottish Poetry Library to reopen following refurbishment

The Scottish Poetry Library is set to reopen to the public tomorrow (29th October) following an “extensive” £380,000 renovation.

The cabinet secretary for Europe, culture and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop, will officially open the library alongside the National Poet of Scotland, Liz Lochhead, today (28th October).

The organisers said: “At a time when libraries are seen to be under threat, the Scottish Poetry Library has taken the characteristically bold step of expanding its space and facilities."

The renovation cost £380,000, pooled from funding from Creative Scotland, charities and donations from the public. The new-look building will provide more space for books to cater for the 45,000 items stocked at the library. It will also feature a new, soundproofed space so that “sound and silence can co-exist in the library”, a recording space, more places to read and work and a 'Sound Lounge', for listening to recorded poetry.

Hyslop said: "The Scottish government is committed to supporting our country’s rich culture and heritage and the Scottish Poetry Library on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is truly unique. As the only independently constituted and housed poetry library in Britain, and Europe, it stands for the importance of poetry in Scotland and highlights our exceptional literary talent.

"The extension and refurbishment of the Scottish Poetry Library marks a key milestone. This nationally significant building is home to Scotland’s story. I hope the next generation of writers and poets take pride in the library and put their creative talents to use in this new development."

Lochhead added the development was "a place for our age, and for those to come" and "a help and a haven and a rich resource for all lovers of poetry – which in our country is practically everyone."

The library was first opened in 1999 and is funded by Creative Scotland.