McAteer Photo was asked by Glasgow Life to create images to illustrate their website. Despite my love for reading, I wouldn’t have thought a trip around the many Glasgow libraries would have been such an enjoyable experience. I was surprised to learn that the sixteen libraries we visited had so much more to offer than books.
I accompanied Alan to a few of the shoots for Glasgow Life and was blown away by the bold and vibrant stain glass window in the Govanhill Library. The striking stained glass windows were designed by the five different community groups, along with Keira McLean from Gestalt Glass. The windows show images and text from the Govanhill People’s History Project, which is a project that seeks to capture the rich history of the area. The library and their fantastic windows are definitely worth another visit.
Elder Park Library pleasantly surprised me with their rather lovely history. The library was built by the champion of woman’s education and a philanthropist Mrs Isabella Elder (1828-1905) in memory of her late shipbuilder husband John Elder who died in 1869. She then donated the library to the people of Govan. What a woman!
I sometimes forget how long the Glasgow School of Art has been spreading its creativity throughout this city. Possilpark Library has six beautiful murals designed and painted by GSA students under the guidance of Professor Maurice Greiffenhangen (1862-1931).
The Maryhill Public Library is richly decorated with renaissance style features and has been a free public reading space since 1823. I love the gold details on the pillars. Nevertheless, it is strange to think that the library used to have separate reading rooms for women while men used the general reading spaces at Maryhill Library.
The Couper Institute Library had a really lovely atmosphere and a cracking 1970s carpet.
Who would have thought that Bridgeton Library has a whole room for the wee book bugs? It makes such a difference to have a fun space to park the kids.
St Francis is a beautiful gothic style church that has been turned into a community centre in the Gorbals. We found the private chapel upstairs particularly memorable. It’s definitely worth a visit.
I love a bright library with lots of natural light. The Woodside Library has my perfect reading conditions.
The Gallery of Modern Art has something for everyone. When asked for a recommendation in Glasgow it’s the first place I would send a visitor. The mirrors in the entrance, the exhibition, the library, the shop and events are just a few of the space’s attractions. It’s also worth just admiring the beautiful architecture when you are there.
Don’t you love the smell of a good old library? Langside Library is a wonderful local library with lots of great events for kids. It’s worth a visit.
And of course, the jewel in Glasgow’s library crown is The Mitchell at Charing Cross. It’s one of Europe’s most prestigious libraries and, as well as its community lending library, it has five floors of events, exhibitions, displays, books, photos and city + family archives. Not only that, it’s home the Business and Intellectual Property Centre which is a free resource for Glasgow businesses.
I could seriously spend all day here. My last visit to the City Archives uncovered the original plans for our house from 1899 and the renovation plans from 1927. I was so emotional when I saw them and now have copies to keep forever. Needless to say, The Mitchell Library has a special place in my heart.