Public libraries across Scotland can now apply to the Public Library Improvement Fund to help finance creative projects and sustainable services.
Projects that could be supported under the £450,000 Scottish Government fund include tackling the cost of living crisis, bridging the digital divide, tackling the attainment gap for children and young people, or addressing sustainable development goals.
The Scottish Library and Information Council administers the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. Awards are made in line with the aims and ambitions of SLIC's current strategy.
Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said: “Libraries provide much more than just access to reading material, resources and information. They play a crucial role in empowering our communities, including offering access to IT, supporting children in their early years and running programmes for older people.
“The funding awards will enable libraries to expand and improve on the services they provide with many of the projects helping to reduce inequalities, tackle social isolation and address mental health problems. Our libraries are demonstrating tremendous strength and resilience and as community hubs they have a key role to play in Scotland’s economic, social and cultural life.”
Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council, said: “Focusing on the themes of People, Place and Partnership, the Public Library Improvement Fund allows us to support those leading the way in mapping out a positive and inspiring future for our public libraries.
“A key part of the grant criteria is ensuring that the impact of these projects is sustained beyond the one-year period of the funding. At a time when Scotland’s communities are experiencing economic and environmental challenges, leaving behind a valuable legacy of skills, experience, resources and partnerships that will benefit the community for years to come has never been more important.”