Public libraries across Scotland have been awarded funding to support a series of trailblazing projects, as part of the 2022/23 Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF).
Announcing the initiatives receiving Scottish Government grants during a visit to Danderhall Library in Edinburgh yesterday, Culture Minister Neil Gray took the opportunity to highlight the role libraries play in closing the attainment gap, reducing social exclusion and promoting equality of opportunity and reading.
The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), which distributes funding on behalf of the Scottish Government, selected eight initiatives to receive grants from the Fund, supporting sustainable development and innovation within Scotland’s public libraries.
Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “Public libraries are at the heart of our communities and this year’s awards will go towards a range of projects to further enhance the services they provide.
“I’m also pleased to see that many of the eight projects receiving a share of the £200,000 from the Scottish Government funded Public Library Improvement Fund will be delivering their programmes in partnership with other organisations.”
Joining children from Danderhall Primary School for a storytelling session, Mr Gray spoke about Every Child a Library Member - a new drive to encourage parents across Scotland to introduce children to reading and library use from an early age, while highlighting some of the initiatives underway at public libraries across Scotland.
Available to all public library services in Scotland, priority was given to applications which support the strategic aims set out in Forward: Scotland's Public Library Strategy 2021-2025, focusing on ‘People, Place and Partnership’, including an additional support needs training programme in Aberdeen and the creation of ‘Live Well Health’ information hubs across Glasgow.
Other initiatives awarded grants aim to combat social isolation, bridge the digital divide, help close the attainment gap and mitigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
The Library Services receiving funding are; Aberdeen City, Angus Alive, East Ayrshire Leisure Trust, Glasgow Life, Moray Libraries, North Ayrshire Libraries and Orkney Library and Archive.
Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC, said: “The Public Library Improvement Fund allows services across Scotland to enhance their offering to provide support which benefits the communities they operate in most.
“It allows libraries to lead the way in enriching the sector’s offering and with people, place and partnership at the heart of this innovation, the advantages of library use for people of all ages has never been more clear. And that’s why we’re supporting library use from as early an age as possible with ECALM.”
ECALM is focused on embedding a delivery pathway for library membership at key stages throughout early childhood - birth registration, nursery, and primary school enrolment - to support improved language, literacy and social skills while ensuring that every child in Scotland has access to the valuable learning resources available in public libraries.