A Love Letter to Libraries from author Maggie Craig

My love affair with libraries began at Knightswood in Glasgow, where I was first given the keys to the enchanted kingdom. All those books to choose from and I could take four home with me every fortnight? I remember devouring Geoffrey Trease's historical novels, Malcolm Saville's Saucers over the Moor and The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff.

As a young mum, I recall the excitement of the new library being built at Westerton. I took my children to borrow books there and later at Brookwood, both part of East Dunbartonshire Libraries. When we went to live in Switzerland for two years, one of the first things I did was sign us all up at the local library. We have very fond memories of the German version of Baby Bear Flies to the Moon!

You always meet interesting people in libraries, on both sides of the desk. You always get a warm welcome

When I started writing my own books I spent many happy hours researching at Clydebank Library with the wonderful Pat Malcolm pointing me in the right direction. Then there's the swish William Patrick Library at Kirkintilloch with its marvellous collection of photos and other information on the Forth & Clyde canal. There are the treasure troves of the Mitchell in Glasgow, the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh Central Library, Inverness Library and the Special Collections at Aberdeen University Library, the latter now at home in a stunning new building.

As an author, I've spoken at libraries from New Pitsligo in Aberdeenshire to Stranraer in Dumfries & Galloway and many points in between. You always meet interesting people in libraries, on both sides of the desk. You always get a warm welcome. As soon as you walk through the door you know you're with your ain folk: those of us who've always got our heads stuck in a book. Libraries, you’re the best!