CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
Navigation Close

#LibrariesAreEssential Case Study – Libraries as Keep Safe spaces, Strathaven Library

Category: #LibrariesAreEssential, Blog, Case Studies

In this #LibrariesAreEssential series, we’ll be sharing case studies and contributions from key figures that demonstrate the vital value of Scotland’s libraries, now more than ever, as we look to a brighter future post-pandemic. For details of how to submit your own case study, please click here.

Case study kindly submitted by Maria Moran, Customer Service Officer, South Lanarkshire Libraries

‘I was approached by Police Scotland in November 2019 and invited to come on-board with an initiative they were piloting alongside I AM ME SCOTLAND called ‘Keep Safe’. The I AM ME SCOTLAND organisation was set up to tackle disability hate crime. Investigating further, I learned that the project was developed to support vulnerable or disabled people in our communities, to assist them integrating into community life, free from harassment or abuse relating to hate crimes.

I was excited about developing this further and saw an opportunity to strengthen South Lanarkshire Libraries’ position in promoting libraries as a safe space. Libraries are often at the heart of the community and have a reputation for being inclusive and welcoming. I realised that participating in this initiative reinforces how essential our services are, enabling libraries to bridge a gap within our local areas.

All 23 South Lanarkshire Libraries are now registered as Keep Safe spaces. Signage is visible at library entrances to identify this, and if approached by a vulnerable member of the community, library staff can signpost to relevant organisations or if need be contact Police Scotland on their behalf. Staff have been trained in how the initiative works and how to deal with a vulnerable person who needs help.

As ethical practitioners in libraries, we have a responsibility to ensure that any individual has a right to equal opportunities and be treated with dignity and respect. Creating this safe space environment breaks down barriers for vulnerable members of the community.’

Frances Roberts, Service Development lead for South Lanarkshire Libraries:

‘We are delighted to partner with I AM ME and Police Scotland to publicise that our libraries are safe places where people can be supported and seek help. Looking ahead, we will continue to support the initiative, reinforcing Libraries as safe spaces and continuing to promote the vital role that Libraries play in local communities.’

Skip to content