The title of ‘most hilariously deadpan caption of the week’ goes to The Guardian, which this past Friday ran a photo of two women spinning around poles accompanied by the text ‘Midlothian council believes it is the first local authority in Scotland to hold a pole-dancing class in a library.’ Well, yes, quite. That dubious honour has been claimed by the council in aid of Love Your Library Day, taking place on February 2nd in support of the embattled publicly-funded institutions. Anyone looking to work on their core and their issues with their parents simultaneously will be able to participate in the dance session for free at Mayfield Library in Dalkeith, unless someone has failed to capitalise a word somewhere along the way, in which case you may be disappointed.
Midlothian council cabinet minister for public services and leisure (and star of his own eponymous big-town bobby gets put on the country beat Sunday night TV show, maybe) Bob Constable expounded upon the day and its activities thusly: ‘Love Your Library Day is a marvellous opportunity for us all to celebrate the hugely important role libraries play in the heart of our local community. The pole fitness session is a fun and interesting way of encouraging more people into our libraries, trying out all the services on offer and ultimately borrowing more books. But it’s not just pole fitness on offer.’
Constable could have stopped there, content in the knowledge that, with ‘But it’s not just pole fitness on offer’, he had spoken one completely perfect sentence, but instead continued: ‘I’m delighted to see such a wide range of free and exciting events organised to mark this special occasion.’
If the Pole Dance Your Way To Literacy campaign doesn’t quite grab your attention, or you’re under 16 and thus unable to attend, other libraries in Midlothian are also participating in the day’s festivities, with XBox challenges, head massages, country dancing sessions and musical performances. There will also be books, but then again, that’s how the libraries got into this mess in the first place.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.