22 November 2022

Dog friendly Saturdays come to two Aberdeenshire libraries as part of a pilot scheme

Banff and Stonehaven libraries will be introducing dog friendly Saturdays from 1st December.

Until now the only dogs allowed in libraries were ‘Lassie’, ‘Fang’ from Harry Potter, ‘Snowy’ from Tin Tin and, of course, assistance dogs.

Now, two libraries in Aberdeenshire will be opening their doors to dogs once a month on the first Saturday of the month, as long as they behave!

Live Life Aberdeenshire Libraries are responding to requests from the public to be able to bring their dogs in to the library. Similar schemes have been successful in both Edinburgh and Perth & Kinross libraries and will be piloted in Banff and Stonehaven libraries in Aberdeenshire for a six-month period.

Feedback will then be collected from library visitors and reviewed to determine whether the scheme continues or is extended to other libraries across Aberdeenshire.

There are many benefits to making libraries dog-friendly. It can help encourage people who are lonely, have low confidence or are isolated to come with their dog to the library and meet new people. Having a dog will give people the confidence to start a conversation.

It also removes barriers for dog owners to pop into the library. No longer will they have to leave the dog in the car or tie them up outside while they are borrowing or returning a book.

Julia McCue, Library Development Co-ordinator for Live Life Aberdeenshire Libraries, said: “Today’s libraries are welcoming places and we want more people to visit as much as they can. Of course we will have doggy etiquette guidelines in place to ensure all our canine visitors behave themselves.  Hopefully this pilot scheme will allow more people to use our libraries.

“Dogs are really important in people’s lives and if it gives confidence for new people to come in to the library or our regulars to come in more often, then it has got to be a positive.”