A new ‘One Card’ library card was launched today giving library users across five different local authority areas access to over 120 libraries.
Launched by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, the One Card pilot takes in library services in Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Highlife Highland, Angus Live and Culture Perth and Kinross.
Starting from the today, the One Card Project will last for six months, opening up to 1.6 million books and more than 600 PCs to library users in the participating areas. Members of the communities will also be able to take advantage of free WiFi and a regular programme of library-based events for people of all ages across the local authorities.
An evaluation of the project will then be conducted by the Scottish Library and Information Council, looking into the possibility of rolling out the initiative across the whole of Scotland.
Pamela Tulloch, chief executive, SLIC said: “One of the fundamental defining characteristics of public libraries is that they are open to everyone. No-one is turned away from a library, there is no joining fee, and anyone can use a library and its services, regardless of age and background.
“The One Card pilot will further improve access by removing barriers between services, and will hopefully encouraging more people to take advantage of our public library service.”
The single library card pilot is one of the pledges in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017-18, and will help to deliver the strategic aims of Ambition and Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015 – 2020.
It has been funded by a £15,000 award from the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), a Scottish Government fund administered by SLIC to support creative and innovative library projects throughout Scotland.
Previously, members of the public could apply for a visitor’s ticket. One Card will remove this barrier, improving access across the five participating local areas.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “We place great importance on public libraries and believe everyone should have access to library services. If successful, this pilot will pave the way for a national library card, which will make it easier for people to take advantage of library services wherever they are in Scotland.
“As well as traditional services like book lending, libraries are also places where people can access free wifi, use a computer and socialise. Libraries can empower communities, helping tackle inequality, reduce isolation and boost the local economy.”