James' Jaunts
Dumfernline Carnegie Library
Dumfernline, Scotland
Ross, Customer Service Librarian

The Dumfernline Library opened to the public in August 1883. It is the first library established by Andrew Carnegie. The library has been extended twice, the first occurring after World War I, and the second time after 1992.

The library collection is a fairly typical collection for public libraries. They feature a fiction and non-fiction collection for adults, a teen section, and a learning center. The children's library also features fiction and non-fiction and reference. They also offer craft sessions, rhyme times and book challenges, and toddler reading times. The whole of the library's collection totals approximately 59,000 books.

They have a Reference Library, not just a reference section. This area is demarcated for private study and is separate from the main collection and rooms. A room is dedicated to their special collections in the Reference Library, but their special collection consists of times like a second folio Shakespeare and a fourth edition Paradise Lost by John Milton. Not items normally found in a public library!

The exhibition room features temporary exhibitions, and the library makes an effort to notify area schools. The current exhibition is “Pharaohs in Fife,” featuring Egyptian sarcophagi and other artifacts.

The Local History Center is fairly self-explanatory. One interesting item is an exhibition case that is used by locals. The library allows them to set up exhibitions involving local history and local heroes. The collection includes regional records, photographs, maps, and newspapers.

The Dumfernline Library will be partnering with a new museum and gallery that is to open next door in 2015; the buildings will be integrated so they can work more closely together.

The librarians who greeted us and provided the tour were wonderful. They offered us a tea and biscuit break, which was very welcome, and gave us a care package to take home. It even included a free book-an unpublished proof of Blood and Ice by Robert Masello.  I just LOVE free books!


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    London Away:
    British Studies
    Summer 2011


    I am a professional student.  I have a formal education--both a Bachelor and Master's degree in English, and I am working on a Master's in Library and Information Sciences.  But I believe that life experience is the greatest teacher anyone can have.  So I am hitting the road to have fun and to learn--and no, that's not mutally exclusive!--and live life to the fullest.



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