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News Releases

Throughout the year the Scottish Library and Information Council regularly produces news releases relating to library events, funding and announcements.

You can view our latest news releases below.

Over £20 million has been invested by local authorities in the public library estate in the last 18 months.

The figure represents the combined capital spend on 14 new and refurbished public library premises that have opened in areas across Scotland since March 2017.

As Libraries Week (8th – 13th October), the national celebration of libraries, gets underway, the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) has welcomed the investment as an indication of the strong commitment to public library services in Scotland.

Additional funding has also been allocated towards modernising the library service offer through a range of initiatives, such as the roll-out of free public wifi in all libraries, expansion of Code Club to more libraries, 3D printing resources in all libraries and the introduction of a film education programme.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said:

“Libraries Week celebrates the vital role of our libraries in Scotland and the fantastic service provided by staff and volunteers. I welcome this year’s focus on ‘wellbeing’, which fits in well with the Scottish Government’s commitment to promoting social wellbeing and tackling social isolation and inequality through increased access to library services.

“Since 2014, we have invested more than £5 million to help re-invigorate the role of public libraries, providing funds to support local and national activity. This includes delivering free public wifi in all libraries, delivering Code Clubs aimed at children in all library services and providing health and wellbeing support such as access to health information, supporting people with dementia and tackling social isolation and loneliness.

“I congratulate all who work in and support our libraries and I encourage local communities throughout Scotland to continue to use and benefit from the wide range of services that our local libraries provide.”

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive at the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) said:

“In Scotland, we’re proud to have a national public library strategy and it has provided a framework for the transformation of services in the 21st century.  In some areas, this has led to some venue closures to make way for a more relevant and flexible model of delivery.  However, local government has continued to invest in the estate, demonstrated by the significant capital spend.

“Public libraries have faced a challenging time in recent years amidst public spending cuts.  However, they have shown tremendous resilience and are adapting services to meet the needs of modern users.  Commitment to public libraries remains strong in Scotland, reflected in visit numbers.  Since 2010, premise and virtual visits have increased from 39.8 million to over 43 million.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Issued by Clark Communications on behalf of the Scottish Library and Information Council.  Contact Angela Hughes on 07970 184 198, angela@clarkcommunications.co.uk
  • New or refurbished libraries have opened in Wick, Grantown, Aboyne, Banff, Carnoustie, Montrose, Lochee, Dunfermline, Loanhead, Newbattle, Denny, Tiree, Castlemilk and Strathaven.
  • Stock images of public libraries in Scotland are attached. Please credit Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.
  • The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library matters. For more information on SLIC visit www.scottishlibraries.org

Libraries across Scotland have launched innovative new Code Clubs to inspire the country’s next generation of coding experts. Aimed at 9-11-year-olds, the Code Clubs give young people the opportunity to learn a wide variety of digital skills in a fun environment.

Public libraries up and down the country will host regular Code Clubs where children can learn how to create digital games, build animations and even develop websites. As activities are group based, they will also have the chance to boost their self-esteem and develop people skills – improving their future employability. 

The pioneering Code Clubs were made possible through the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) which trained over 140 librarians in basic coding skills. SLIC worked in partnership with the UK-wide charity Code Club to deliver the digital training during the first few months of 2017.  

Gillian Daly, Head of Policy and Projects, SLIC said:

“Public libraries in Scotland are a place where people can access technology and learn how to use it. Digital technology touches every aspect of our lives and digital literacy is vital to tackle inequality and social exclusion and promote self-improvement. 

“Code Clubs are a fun and engaging way for young people to learn new skills. Most young people these days know how to work a smartphone better than any adult, but we still need to equip them with the right skills and knowledge for their future as technology and computing specialisms become embedded into our careers.”

SLIC was awarded £47,000 in funding from Scotland’s Digital Xtra Fund to deliver the Code Clubs in public library services across Scotland. The fund provides grant support to organisations delivering extracurricular computing and digital activities to young people aged 16 and under across Scotland. It has been developed and funded by the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership whose partners include Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland and tech trade body ScotlandIS.

Phil Worms, Computing and Schools Project lead at ScotlandIS, said:

“The Digital Xtra Fund aims to make a real and lasting impact in the provision of extracurricular computing science-related activities for young people aged 16 years and under across the whole of Scotland. We have a range of amazing activities and projects being delivered across Scotland to encourage young people to participate and engage in computing activities, thus developing skills which will be vital for them to thrive in their future careers.

“Working with organisations like SLIC means we are delivering scalability, sustainability and innovation meaning even more young people have access to these fantastic opportunities.”

Lorna Gibson, Scotland Coordinator, Code Club said:

“The benefits of coding are far broader than just developing important digital skills. At a Code Club children are problem solving, collaborating, persevering and creating, all whilst having fun designing games and animations. We want to see a Code Club in every community, so that all children can have the opportunity to make and share their ideas using technology.”

To find out more information about the Code Clubs please contact your local library or visit SLIC’s website www.scottishlibraries.org.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • For media enquiries contact Anna Farley-Allan at anna@clarkcommunications.co.uk 0141 204 7800.
  • The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library matters. For more information on SLIC visit scottishlibraries.org

Digital Xtra was launched in May 2016. It has been developed and funded by the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership whose partners include Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Funding Council, Education Scotland, ScotlandIS, and industry representatives. 22 projects throughout Scotland

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) has today (1st December 2016) welcomed the launch of a new national strategy for public library services in England.  The strategy, ‘Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021’, has been published today by the Department of Culture Media & Sport.

It is launched more than a year after SLIC, the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information services, introduced the first national public library strategy for Scotland. 

Ambition and Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020’ was developed to re-invigorate the role and perception of libraries and to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

As a result of the strategy in Scotland, over £2.3 million of funding has been allocated to public libraries across Scotland to implement projects in support of its aims, including the installation of free wi-fi in libraries, the roll-out of 3D printer facilities to all 32 library authorities, growing numbers of coding clubs and reading groups and activities to support Scottish Government reading, literacy and learning initiatives such as Read, Write Count and Every Child A Library Member.

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive at SLIC said:

“It’s great to see the value of public libraries receiving further recognition with a national strategy for England, following the success of our own strategy launch here in Scotland. 

“In Scotland, we’re making huge strides towards meeting the aims of the strategy with increased investment across several areas to improve services for communities across the country.  Our strategy recognises the need for libraries to adapt to an ever evolving digital world and ensure they continue to reflect the needs of modern communities.  Our libraries are about much more than books and services currently available across Scotland demonstrate the resilient, innovative and inclusive nature of our libraries, from coding clubs and digital skills classes for people of all ages, job seeker workshops and health and wellbeing support groups to film and dance projects, as well as traditional reading clubs. 

“It is a challenging, but exciting time for public libraries and it is really encouraging to see libraries responding to the changing nature of their service.  However, what remains is an enduring love for libraries and a clear demonstration of the value they offer to communities in social, economic and cultural terms.”

Scotland’s public library network has over 500 libraries and last year it received over 40 million visits, including virtual visits; more than six million books were borrowed by children and young people; over three million hours of free PC use were logged by library users; and over 1 million new items were purchased for libraries across Scotland for the public to borrow.

 

Notes to editors:

  • Issued by Clark Communications on behalf of SLIC. For media enquiries contact Angela Hughes 0141 548 8028 / 07970 184 198 angela@clarkcommunications.co.uk
  • The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library matters. For more information on SLIC visit scottishlibraries.org
  • ‘Ambition and Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020’ was launched in June 2015 and is Scotland’s first national public library strategy. The strategy sets out six strategic aims to build on the strong heritage of Scotland’s libraries and to promote reading, literacy and learning; digital inclusion; economic wellbeing; social wellbeing; culture and creativity; and delivery of excellent public services.scottishlibraries.org/advocacy/national-strategy