Monday, 1 April 2019

Accessible Day Out at Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries

The exterior of the library, a brown, new building

*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Visit Scotland

The first full day we had in Fife I spent exploring the Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries, and it was awesome. As a book lover, a history fan and someone that loves to learn, visiting the DCL&G was always going to be a winning day out for me.

I was introduced to Joanna and she took me on a tour of the library. My heart was happy being surrounded by so many books. The books were housed in the original part of the building on big brown shelves that were the shelving units from when the library first opened in the 1800s. Joanna had been reading my blog and noticed that I loved crime fiction so took me straight over to that section first. The library had a vast amount of genres, including a wide-range of graphic novels which I found particularly exciting as it showed that they are aware of that growing market. My local library is so small, so I had never seen a collection quite as vast.

Plus size woman wearing grey snake print leggings, black tee and black jacket, the library in the background

Brown shelves of books in library

Shelves of books in library

Original wooden shelving of books


Joanna taught me all about Andrew Carnegie and how his philanthropy funded the building of the library. We toured the original building and I marvelled at the stone steps that led to the old children’s library with the slight bevel from children running up and down them all those years ago. The building had so much history and it was beautiful.

We then headed to the Reading Room that hosts ordinance survey maps, reference books, photographs and newspapers so you can find out the history of your house, street and even family. I was told that often people ask whether a particular shop used to be on a certain street, and here they’d be able to find out because it was all catalogued.

I also met with another member of staff that shared the ancestry work she was currently doing and it was incredibly interesting; she had letters and diaries, and was piecing together all the information. It was so in-depth and fascinating.

Then we headed upstairs, via the lift of course, for lunch with a few members of staff. I had a lovely toastie in Heaven Scent café and had a really fun time with everyone. They were all so friendly, welcoming and genuine, I kind of wanted to become friends with them all.

Andrew was there for lunch and he showed me around the rest of the building. We quickly stopped in on the shop and then visited the children’s library. This was in a completely separate room from the main library that I had visited earlier in the day. It was so colourful and I could imagine my nephew being there and loving it.

Then Andrew took me on a gallery tour; the first gallery was showing ‘A Brush with Colour’ and the second ‘Encountering Fife – Photographs of Migrant Experiences in Scotland’. We then headed to the museum which is split into industry, leisure, transport, homes, conflict and royal Dunfermline. I learnt all about the history of the towns weaving and mining heritage, viewing the type of clothing that was made, the spectacular and absolutely massive original Meldrum Loom and mining equipment.

Huge loom


I particularly loved the homes; next to each other were kitchens from 1990s, 1960s, 1920s showing how different they all were and it made me again think about how my nephew would find it fascinating. I also loved the large cabinet displaying a wide variety of toys from throughout the years. There was so many interactive things to do and take part in that it would be a really good day out for the whole family; especially dressing up in clothing from the past on the second floor of the museum. Who wouldn’t want to see how they look in a crown?


kitchen from the 1990s, all white

Kitchen from the 1960s and 1920s


Large glass cabinet with a huge variety of toys

There were some amazing views of the Abbey and the Dunfermline landscape with large windows (and some with window seats); it’s worth a visit if just for that! The building is really impressive, the juxtaposition of the old and new show how important it is to bring the past into the present. Not only is it a library, it is so much more, and it really is spectacular.

Outside seating area of the library

As for accessibility, I had no problems. As well as disabled toilets the DCL&G has a Changing Places toilet, hooray! The whole place is level access and has a lift to all floors.

Massive shout-out to all the staff, they were so wonderful, really easy to talk to and personable. Next time I’m in Dunfermline, I’ll definitely be coming back.


Have you ever been to the Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries?
*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored but all views are my honest, unbiased opinion.


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