Nine public library projects in Scotland have received a share of a £450,000 fund to support the transformation and modernisation of services through innovation and creativity.

Announcing the successful bids for the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop visited Haddington library to find out more about the East Lothian Libraries Film Appreciation Club, which hosts regular themed film screenings and discussions.

East Lothian Libraries is one of 14 public library services that will share £47,000 PLIF funding to roll-out film education initiatives following the positive results of an 18-month pilot project by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), which was funded by Creative Scotland.

Other successful bids include a project in East Renfrewshire to tackle social isolation through the use of virtual reality, and a joint bid from Dundee, Moray and Falkirk libraries to establish a volunteer accreditation framework to support people into employment.

A total of £238,107 has been allocated to support the eight projects, five of which are collaborative bids involving more than one library service and partners. The remaining funding will be used for national library initiatives, such as Every Child A Library Member, One Card and Book Week Scotland.

PLIF, which is managed by SLIC on behalf of the Scottish Government, is an annual fund designed to support innovation. It has a key role to play in helping library services achieve the vision set out by the national public library strategy, Ambition & Opportunity.

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

“I congratulate Haddington Library and the other successful applicants for having been awarded funding from the Scottish Government’s Public Libraries Improvement Fund.

“I welcome the collaborative nature of this bid and am pleased that this funding will enable local libraries to bring innovative, educational projects – such as Haddington Library’s Film Clubs – to communities around Scotland.

"The Scottish Government places great importance on public libraries. They empower communities, help tackle inequality, reduce isolation and boost the local economy – and it is important that as many people as possible can access them regularly and freely.

“That is why we are maintaining our investment of £450,000 to support innovative ways for people to use public libraries in communities across Scotland."

Pamela Tulloch, SLIC, said:

“Once again, we have been inspired by the level of creativity demonstrated by Scotland’s public libraries and it’s always challenging to select the successful bids. This year, we have also noted a clear shift from individual service submissions towards joint bids, which enhances service provision across a number of areas and strengthens the impact of projects.

"We’re really pleased to see this because it reflects the core principles of the national public library strategy. We look forward to seeing the results of this partnership approach and what we can learn and share with the wider library sector.”

Cllr Jim Goodfellow, East Lothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, said:

“We’re delighted to have secured a share of PLIF funding for library film clubs to roll-out film education initiatives in East Lothian. Creative and innovative projects of this kind can help ensure our libraries remain at the heart of local communities. We’re also pleased to have had the opportunity to welcome Ms Hyslop to Haddington and recognise the value of the East Lothian Libraries Film Appreciation Club.”


  • Issued by Clark Communications on behalf of SLIC. For media enquiries contact Angela Hughes 07970 184 198
  • Photos of the Cabinet Secretary visit to Haddington library are attached.  Credit: Wullie Marr
  • For more information on PLIF and successful bids, visit

  • The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library matters

  • The successful PLIF 2018 project bids are:
  1. SLIC Library Film Clubs, £46,679, Angus Alive; Aberdeen City Council; Aberdeenshire Council; Culture Perth & Kinross; Dumfries & Galloway Council; East Ayrshire Leisure; East Lothian Council; Fife Cultural Trust; Inverclyde Council; Live Borders; Moray Council; North Ayrshire Council; South Ayrshire Council; Stirling Council
  2. Public Libraries Volunteer Accreditation Framework, £10,850, Leisure and Culture Dundee; Aberdeen City Council; Moray Council; Falkirk Community Trust
  3. Virtually Together, £23,500, East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure
  4. Building the librarian in the multi-professional healthcare team, £54,336, Midlothian Council
  5. Open North Ayrshire, Library Hackathons, £45,000, North Ayrshire Council
  6. Paws to Read, £3,920, South Ayrshire Council
  7. Storing Stories, £9,622, Stirling Council; Falkirk Community Trust; Live Argyll; Inverclyde Libraries; East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture
  8. Library Live, £35,700, Falkirk Community Trust; ANGUSalive; Clackmannanshire Council; City of Edinburgh Council; Fife Cultural Trust; Renfrewshire Leisure; Stirling Council
  9. Precious Things – Precious Stories, £8,500, Aberdeenshire Libraries