Following the opening last week of an expanded library service at Hermitage Primary School in Helensburgh, this week our columnist Ruth Wishart celebrates the magic of the printed book...

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Libraries have taken a bit of a beating these last many years, struggling to provide a service which includes all manner of contemporary needs like internet services for those who don’t have access at home. And struggling too, to prove their relevance in an age where knowledge can be downloaded rather than read between the covers.

READ MORE: Ribbon cut on Helensburgh school's expanded library

Yet for all the dire predictions about the death of the book – not least when Kindle e-readers hit the market – the magic of the bound volume stubbornly refused to go away.

Look at the plethora of book festivals blossoming around the land – not least our own one at Cove and Kilcreggan, about to enter its sixth year.

Look at the way independent book shops are fighting back with author events, on site coffee shops, and friendly staff who make the whole experience rather more joyous than the cut price supermarket book buy.

And let’s celebrate the innovative new provision at Hermitage Primary, where a combination of pupil equity fund money from the government, generous private donation, and valuable input from the parent council will ensure that small children will have a proper introduction to the lifelong pleasure of reading.

READ MORE: Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival is made of the write stuff

But it goes further than that, offering storytelling and reading sessions for wee ones who may be struggling a bit to get going.

Parents and community volunteers have become involved in ‘accelerated reading’ sessions as well as helping to stock the shelves with books the children want to have as part of their new Children’s Book Awards scheme.

Today’s primary school readers are tomorrow’s book buyers. Win win all round.