New chapter for school library

Culloden Academy in Inverness is celebrating this week with the opening of a newly refurbished library in the school.

The £30,000 project was funded by Culloden Academy, the school Parent Council and Highland Council’s Culloden and Ardersier and Inverness South Wards discretionary budgets. The new library is stocked with just under 2,000 new books including novels, factual books, encyclopaedias and graphic novellas.

Rector James Vance said: “Schools need good libraries to foster the reading and research. Through partnership between our Parent Council, High Life Highland and our local Highland Council Ward Members we have been able to make this happen at Culloden as we now have a fantastic refurbished library.

Culloden Academy Parent Council started fund raising to help take forward this initiative. They were successful and through the generosity of the Culloden and Ardersier and Inverness South Ward Councillors £9,000 was secured to help restock the library. At the same time the school committed £11,000 of school funds to re-carpet the library area and has provided additional funds for books and subscriptions with a commitment to a further £10,000 over the next two terms.

Members of Highland Council’s Culloden and Ardersier and Inverness South Wards, Councillors Balfour, Ford, Sinclair, Stephen, Caddick, Crawford, Gowans, and Prag gave their full support to the Academy and its Parent Council through their Ward discretionary budgets for the library project.

Alison MacMillan, Principal Teacher of English said: “Staff and pupils are delighted to see the exciting range of books and other resources available in the refurbished library area.  A well-resourced and attractive library is central to pupils’ learning, particularly with the emphasis on active learning in Curriculum for Excellence.  It also helps to foster an enjoyment of reading which pupils can carry with them beyond their school years.”

Head Girl, Katie Snedden added: “The new library is an excellent resource and study area for pupils.  It provides an up-to-date comprehensive selection of materials for everyone in the school. 

Designate Librarian for the school, Sam MacDowell of High Life Highland worked closely with Head Teacher, James Vance to make the project happen.

James Vance said: “Sam was due to retire several months ago but postponed his retirement to see the project through to fruition. Had it not been for his expertise and determination - single-handedly identifying and preparing orders for 1,956 new books, there would not yet be a library. It is with a great debt of thanks that we wish Sam all the best in his retirement.”

Ken Armstrong, Chair of Culloden Academy Parent Council added: “Sam has been a great help to the school as we worked to update the library and has ensured we have a very solid base to build on for the future benefit of pupils and staff. He will be missed and we wish him a happy retirement.”

Councillor Ken Gowans came along to see pupils using the new look library.  He said:  “It is great to see how popular the library has become with the pupils and it really is a credit to everyone involved, especially Sam that the work was completed in time for the new school term.  Sam is very popular not just in the school but also in the public library at Culloden where he has been a feature for many years.  I thank him for his dedication and hard work and wish him well in his retirement.”

The final word went to Sam who said:  “I’d like to especially thank Dr Vance for giving me the scope to end my career on a high.  The last 8 months of work on refreshing the school library have been challenging but very enjoyable.  All the hard work has been worth it when you see how much the pupils enjoy coming along to and selecting what to read from the range of new books.  I’ve found the interaction with the young library users and the whole school very rewarding.”

29 Aug 2013