The Stirling Council facility – that reopened in January 2022 following a major refurbishment – was honoured at the Edge Conference in Edinburgh, an annual celebration of good practice in innovative library and information projects.
It came out on top in the physical category of the Awards, thanks to the design and popularity of its new welcoming library space as well as the improved access to digital and technology tools in its makerspace.
A makerspace is a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.
The Bannockburn facility – the first of its kind in Stirling – opened in October 2022 for drop-in and appointment access and includes a suite of creative tools such as 3D printers and laser cutters.
Open to all ages, a diverse group of makers now regularly use the space, including local artists and model makers, volunteers, local groups, care experienced children and adults with additional support needs.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Community, Wellbeing and Housing Committee, Cllr Gerry McGarvey said: “Huge congratulations to everyone involved in the refurbishment of Bannockburn Library and our staff at the facility for winning this prestigious award.
“This ambitious project has transformed Bannockburn Library into a modern and friendly space that meets the needs of the community, while the makerspace has given a wide range of people an opportunity to use technology and creative tools that may have been previously unavailable to them.
“Both the library and the makerspace have proved hugely popular with local residents and businesses since they opened and this accolade is well-deserved recognition for this ground-breaking community resource.”
The award comes on the back of the opening of the £1m Thomas Graham Library in Strathblane on 18 April – the first community-owned library to be built in Scotland for generations.
Stirling Council’s brand new libraries in Cornton and Cowie will also hold their official opening events shortly, with the area’s second makerspace currently being installed at the latter.
Commitment to these key community assets
Cllr McGarvey added: “Our libraries are more than just about loaning books – they are vital community hubs that provide a wide range of services and opportunities to local residents, businesses and organisations, and Bannockburn Library is a perfect example of that.
“Our substantial investment in Bannockburn Library and the recent opening of our other new libraries highlights our commitment to these key community assets.
“I look forward to seeing how our award-winning Bannockburn Library and its makerspace develops in the future and would like to see this innovative work replicated in other community facilities and spaces across Stirling.”
The makerspace at Bannockburn Library is open on Mondays and Fridays for anybody to drop in with their making ideas. Staff will offer advice, support and training to help you realise your project goals - big or small. More information is on the Stirling Council website.