Martin Whitfield MSP has joined local councillors John McMillan and Brooke Ritchie on a visit to Prestonpans’ historic Carnegie Library to chat to staff and service users.

In 1905 philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gifted £1,500 to build the library at the request of the community who in turn funded over 3,000 books to fill it. In 2007 the category-B listed library was extended and refurbished by East Lothian Council at a cost of around £780,000.

Like all of the county’s libraries, Prestonpans faced long periods of closure during the pandemic but has bounced back in its role as a crucial community resource and space.

As well as providing a great range of books, the library also has a comfy community space, a sensory tent, computers for members and visitors to use, a great interactive kids space, and run lots of exciting community events/groups – including a new Bookbug session on Saturday mornings.

Speaking after his visit, Martin Whitfield MSP said: 

“I was pleased to join John and Brooke on this visit to the wonderful Prestonpans Library to chat to the staff and users of this historic Carnegie library. Of course, as a Prestonpans resident myself it is a library I know well and have visited many times before, but there is always something new to learn.

“They’ve been through a lot over the last few years, but have maintained their vital service to local people and communities. It was a pleasure to catch up with the staff and hear about what they’ve been doing to help the library remain an important part of life in Prestonpans.”

Ward councillor Brooke Ritchie said: 

“I had a lovely time being shown around Prestonpans Library and its various facilities. The staff there are so passionate about making it a good space for the community, and they do it so well! If you’re looking for somewhere warm, friendly and welcoming definitely pop by like I did today.”

Find out more about what is going on at Prestonpans Library here