This week our Head of Programme Lindsey Henderson talks about the exciting year ahead for SLIC and just some of the innovative projects were now working on.

Doesn’t it just seem like yesterday we were all wrapping up the last few details of 2018, and yet here we are sending greetings from February! What a start to the year it has been – only a few weeks into the New Year and we’ve recruited three times the amount of staff to SLIC as the organisation started with all the way back in 1991.

This has paved the way for an exciting year of projects and programmes. In the coming weeks we will welcome our two new Every Child a Library Member project officers to the team. Following on from the excellent pilot projects, the officers will spend the next six months supporting local authorities to achieve the goal of every child in Scotland being an active member of their library.

The Growing SLIC Team

Once we’ve dusted off the spare coffee mugs, we’ll also be welcoming our new Information Literacy Project Manager. Where 2018 brought us the publication of the first national strategy of its kind for school libraries, 2019 is telling us to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the task of implementing the ambitious vision.

Our new project manager will oversee the development of a toolkit to support the delivery of information literacy to all school pupils throughout Scotland, equipping our school librarians with a resource hub and our young people with the skills to successfully navigate the world.

Thankfully we’re also welcoming two new Business Support Officers to support our members in public libraries and the work of the school library strategy implementation, as well as some IT experts to further explore how we advance the One Library card for Scotland pilot.

Digital Participation & Learning

Some of you may have avidly followed our Twitter throughout November and shared in the excitement of our 3D printing competition. This definitely got us all fired up about the role libraries can play in sharing emerging technology with our communities and the role we play in continuing to support digital participation and learning.

Not only have we been on an under-water experience getting to grips with virtual reality but we’ll soon be on the search for more team members to develop digital skills training. Watch this space! I’m beginning to wonder if 2020 might bring us the recruitment of an office robot at this rate.

Future-Proofing Libraries

With that talk of 2020, some of the eagle eyed amongst you may have notice Ambition and Opportunity: A Strategy For Public Libraries in Scotland comes to an end next year. As well as all the exciting projects happening in 2019, we’ll be on our ‘where next?’ fact finding mission this year at various conferences and events.

We were lucky enough to tour Irish libraries last week and our next stop will be the Edge Conference - where we’ll be cheering on the Scottish Edge Award nominees on February 28th and March 1st.

Further horizon scanning is sure to follow so we can share the best practice and innovative ideas from across the globe, helping us challenge the perceptions of what a library is and show how transformative libraries in Scotland can be beyond 2020.