SLIC's Head of Policy & Projects Gillian Daly talks this week about the new School Library Improvement Fund and the latest developments for school libraries.


This year has seen some significant developments for school libraries, culminating in yesterday’s launch of the School Library Improvement Fund by Deputy First Minister, Mr John Swinney MSP.

This new fund from the Scottish Government will make £1 million available to support innovation in the school library sector over the next three years. This is an exciting opportunity for school libraries and a timely investment in the sector, both in terms of wider education policy and in light of other developments concerning school libraries.

How Good Is Our School Library?

Over the course of 2017, a SLIC working party, supported by Education Scotland, has been developing a self-evaluation framework for school libraries in line with How good is our school? (4th Edition).

How good is our school library? was published earlier in the month to support the ongoing evaluation and improvement of our school library services in line with national and local priorities. The six quality indicators which feature in this document provide a framework which will enable school libraries to assess and demonstrate their impact across different areas of school life – from supporting the curriculum to fostering wellbeing.

Moving Towards a National Strategy

The work that has been undertaken in developing HGIOSL will be hugely beneficial as we move towards producing a national strategy for school libraries in the coming months. The SLIC team are working closely with colleagues at Scottish Government and work will be underway soon.

Consultation with the school library community will be central to the development of the strategy, and a series of consultation events is planned to ensure a broad range of stakeholders can contribute to the process.

Information Gathering

Another key area of work for the SLIC team will be data collection and information gathering. In order to produce a strategy which is both conceptually relevant and useful on a practical level, we need to have a clear idea of our starting point. The SLIC team has broad experience in this area through Ambition and Opportunity, the national strategy for public libraries. We will also be welcoming new staff to the team in order to support this work.

We are all very much looking forward to working with colleagues in school libraries as we move forward with all of these exciting developments for the sector!

The School Library Improvement Fund is now open – to find out more about the Fund visit our SLIF page.