This week on the SLIC blog our Project Officer Rachael Laburn talks about the exciting progress of the new National Strategy for School Libraries, the refresh of Scotland's Public Library Strategy and the start of the Year of Young People 2018.


A New Year can bring a fresh start with a desire for new opportunities and Scotland’s library sector is no exception. Since starting my role as a Project Officer with SLIC in October last year, I have had the opportunity to work on a number of different projects.

Preparing for the new National Strategy for School Libraries has been the main focus of the role so far, which has involved field visits to schools across Scotland, groundwork on current school library data and research into international best practice.

New Opportunities

Open Plan Library at Garnock Community CampusHaving undertaken roles at the National Library of Scotland and worked (very nearly!) towards a Masters in Arts and Cultural Management, I have had previous experience in researching policy and conducting projects. Until now however I have not had the opportunity to work with schools and for me, this has been a rewarding and inspiring experience.

It’s clear from my short time with SLIC that libraries across Scotland are embracing new and innovative ways of designing their services, and working with other organisations to provide exciting programmes for their local communities.

From digital learning in North Ayrshire to reader development in Falkirk, libraries across local authorities are collaborating and utilising their resources to continue to provide excellent services. We are currently planning our site visits for 2018, so if there are new developments underway at your school library or you just want to let us know about what you’re up to, then please get in touch!

Enriching Communities

In addition to the National Strategy for School Libraries, I have been working with Young Scot on a co-design project for the Year of Young People 2018 and the refresh of Scotland's Public Library Strategy.

More information about how libraries can contribute to YOYP 2018 will be announced in due course, but it’s guaranteed to be an exciting year with the potential to give libraries the opportunity to collaborate with others on new projects and programmes.

The refresh of the Public Library Strategy for Scotland will also take into consideration some of the successes of the library sector since its initial publication in 2015 - from rolling out wifi across all public libraries to the increase in access to 3D printers, the success stories of Scotland’s public libraries are plentiful. The next steps are to identify areas which require development, and to promote new recommendations to ensure Scotland’s libraries continue to enrich and fulfil the potential of its communities.

The return-to-work after the festive season can be tough, but with a plethora of opportunities and new developments on offer, 2018 has the potential to be another successful year for Scotland’s libraries.