A new School Library Improvement Fund has been launched by the Scottish Government, allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.

Launched by the Deputy First Minister yesterday, SLIF is now open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.

The fund will focus on projects which are designed to enhance library provision at schools and forms part of a wider approach to improve literacy skills and educational attainment.

SLIF is administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council on behalf of the Scottish Government. It also works alongside the new ‘how good is our school library?’ guidance published by SLIC earlier this month. Projects will be funded this year on the basis of how well they support the principles outlined in the guidance.

The Vital Role of School Libraries

Speaking at yesterday’s launch at Gracemount High School Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney, said: “School libraries play a vital role in supporting literacy and improving attainment. The launch of the School Library Improvement Fund will further strengthen that role – giving school libraries access to additional resource that can improve the service they provide to pupils.

“This could be improvements to the library environment, funding for additional activity to engage more young people to use the school library or projects that will encourage wider engagement with the local community.

“We want to know what school librarians, teachers and education authorities think would work best in their school.

“It is part of a range of new measures to improve and invest in our school libraries -including new improvement guidance and the development of a new national strategy for school libraries in Scotland.”

School Library Research

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of SLIC, added: “School libraries have a huge contribution to make to education and learning. We know from our research that a well-run, well-resourced school library, with professionally qualified librarians, leads to higher educational attainment and positive attitudes to learning among pupils.

“With this new fund, along with the evaluation framework and the new national strategy, school libraries will be able to formalise and cement their role in learning and education.

“A national strategy will allow us to create a consistent approach to service, meaning all pupils across Scotland will have equal access to learning support from a school library.”

To find out more and to apply visit our SLIF page.