In 2016 SLIC awarded nearly £250,000 in funding through the annual Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF). The funding supported a wide range of creative projects including robotics workshops and coding courses as well as clubs, community groups and projects inspired by WW1.
Each year every public library in Scotland can apply for funding through PLIF. Libraries can submit more than one application if they are planning more than one project. As a result, some libraries received more than one grant.
Funding was also awarded to two national initiatives which benefited all 32 local authorities. Focusing on reading, writing & learning, economic wellbeing, social wellbeing and culture & creativity, these national projects incorporated four of the key aims of Ambition & Opportunity, A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020 which was introduced in June 2015.
Below is a list of the successful 2017 PLIF Projects.
Welcoming Dyslexic Readers in Libraries
This nationwide project focused on inclusion – ensuring access to reading is accessible to all by developing public library staff awareness and knowledge of dyslexia. The aim was to promote best practice and make certain Dyslexia Awareness Week is marked in every local authority.
National Reading Promotion: Read the Past – Imagine the Future.
The aim of this national project was to encourage reading throughout Scottish communities and to widen knowledge of local and national history.
Café Workshop @ Aberdeen Central Library
The aim of this project was to establish a multi-purpose, flexible creative community space within the Media Centre of the Central Library. The space is used for creative taster sessions, technology workshops, makerspace sessions, pop-up events, consultation and community engagement sessions delivered by library staff, partner agencies, community groups, local organisations and individuals. This affiliates well with Strategic Aims 3 and 5 of ‘Ambition & Opportunity’ which focuses on economic wellbeing and culture & creativity.
Angus Home Front in WW1
This project produced an accessible record commemorating what life was like on the Home Front in Angus during the Great War.
Collaborative Practices – Supporting the Literacy Learning Needs of Emergent Readers
The aim of this venture was to improve children’s attainment in literacy, an important aspect of Strategic Aim 1 in the Public Libraries’ Strategy document ‘Ambition & Opportunity’.
Creative Community Hubs
This long-term programme promoted the role of libraries in supporting cultural and creative activity – recognising that this improves social wellbeing and community cohesion. The project aligns well with Strategic Aims 4 and 5 in ‘Ambition & Opportunity’, the Public Libraries’ National Strategy, which focuses on social wellbeing and culture & creativity.
East Dunbartonshire’s War
Building on the work carried out throughout 2015/16, this project engaged young people and local communities with their First World War heritage in innovative ways. The project focused on digital inclusion as well as culture & creativity – Strategic Aims 2 and 5 in the Public Libraries’ Strategy document ‘Ambition & Opportunity’.
Libraries Supporting Users with Different Needs
The aim of this project was to make libraries a more welcoming place for isolated or disadvantaged people in society. This included members of the public with disabilities, differences and learning difficulties. Inclusion is a core part of Strategic Aim 4 of the Public Library Strategy, which promotes social wellbeing.
This project created tailored packages of services and delivery to adults at risk of social inclusion. The project supported individuals to engage and reconnect with the community through vibrant library hubs. This relates to Strategic Aim 4: Social Wellbeing in the Public Libraries’ Strategy document ‘Ambition & Opportunity’.
Lock and Leave Libraries
In a bid to increase access to library services and resources, This project focused on offering access to physical buildings outside of core staffed periods. This can be linked to both Strategic Aims 4 and 6 of ‘Ambition & Opportunity’ the Public Library Strategy for 2015 – 2020.
Building upon established links with schools, this project was designed specifically to encourage and promote reading, literacy and independent learning for P1 – P7 children outwith school term times. This innovative scheme links well with three different aims of the Public Libraries Strategy document – reading, writing and literacy, social wellbeing and culture & creativity.
This creative project explored the impact of eBook and eAudiobook services through a range of programmes currently offered by FCT Libraries. Initially focusing on established literacy projects for school pupils, the project was later extended to Chatterbooks groups. The initiative aligns with Strategic Aims 1 and 2 in the Public Libraries’ National Strategy which focuses on reading, literacy & learning as well as digital inclusion.
Community Language Engagement & Participatory Budgeting Project
The core aim of this project was to engage with English speakers of other languages (ESOL) in Glasgow's communities.The resulting insights were then used to influence new resources purchased, reflecting the reading and literacy interests of those communities. The project incorporates three Strategic Aims of the Public Library Strategy – reading, writing and literacy, social wellbeing and culture & creativity.
HIGH VOLTAGE: Teenage Volunteers in HLH Libraries
This project recruited and developed a team of teenage volunteers from across the Highlands to support and deliver a range of events and activities in local Highland libraries. This lead to an increase in wider community engagement and participation – a core aspect of every Strategic Aim in the Public Libraries Strategy document ‘Ambition & Opportunity’.
Read All About It – Online! Moray’s War through the Local Press
The main focus of this project was to digitise the first phase of the 1914 – 1919 editions of local newspaper, the Northern Scot. This has made information more widely available to the communities of Moray, local researchers, historians and families who are interested in their ancestors. Library users can now find out about those who fought in WW1 as well as the battle of the Home Front.
SongBook – A Creative Fusion of Books and Songwriting
This project engaged more people of all ages with North Ayrshire library services – inspiring creativity through ground-breaking songwriting and music making. This is a key aspect of Strategic Aim 5 – culture & creativity – in the Public Libraries’ Strategy document ‘Ambition & Opportunity’.
Code Miners – Library Minecraft and Coding Clubs
Through the use of Minecraft and Coding activities this project engaged with 7 to 14-year-olds and their families. This relates well to Strategic Aims 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the Public Libraries Strategy which focuses on areas such as excellent public services and digital inclusion.
Digital Skills Volunteer Coordinator
A temporary Volunteer Coordinator was employed to create a digital literacy framework to upskill staff and volunteers. Digital tuition has now become part of library planning. This in turn has helped to develop the use of volunteers within the library service to deliver digital skills tuition for members of the public. The project links directly to Strategic Aim 2 of the Public Libraries Strategy, digital inclusion.
Lads and Dads sessions in the Library
This project established a ‘lads and dads’ six-week programme of reading and literacy-related activities – directly relating to Strategic Aim 1 of the Public Libraries Strategy, Ambition & Opportunity.
70 Voices – An Intergenerational Dialogue
This project made a lasting contribution to local heritage resources - giving the young and old the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of cutting edge digital activities. This intergenerational dialogue is now stored for future generations. This incorporates Strategic Aims 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the Public Libraries Strategy document, ‘Ambition & Opportunity’.
Through the use of Lego robotics and coding sessions this programme encouraged creative thinking - nurturing an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This has increased digital participation within Stirling’s libraries.
Focusing on reading, writing and learning, digital inclusion and culture & creativity, this project combines three key aspects of the Public Libraries Strategy, ‘Ambition & Opportunity’.
The key focus of this project was to extend the library service in the Western Isles digitally, creating a range of exciting digital discovery opportunities in libraries and beyond. This was done through a combination of gaming, virtual reality and drone photography. With digital inclusion lying at the heart of this project, it relates directly to the Scottish Libraries Strategic Aim 2 in the Ambition & Opportunity Strategy document.