Today, Pamela Tulloch has announced plans to retire as the chief executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

An enthusiastic supporter of the literary and arts scene in Scotland, Ms Tulloch has worked in the libraries sector for over 40 years, holding a number of strategic, managerial and voluntary posts in library and information establishments throughout her career, as well as senior positions within Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and Dundee City Council.

Ms Tulloch is now stepping down after eight years at SLIC, having been appointed to the role of chief executive officer in 2016.

A Powerful & Articulate Advocate

A powerful and articulate advocate for libraries, during her time as chief executive she has grown and cemented the role that libraries play in all areas of social, cultural and political life, with successful and robust community initiatives which have had an impact on both the provision of funding and clear strategic lead.

Pamela led the development of ‘FORWARD’, Scotland’s public library strategy; ‘Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools’, the first national strategy for school libraries in Scotland; and ‘A Collective Force for Health & Wellbeing’, the first collaborative strategic action plan of its kind. These significant bodies of work have had real, lasting impact, not least through the establishment of the annual Public Library Improvement Fund and School Library Improvement Fund, with projects across Scotland awarded grants to support innovation in their services.

Reinforcing SLIC’s ability to deliver meaningfully and respond effectively to key policy objectives for government, during Pamela’s time at the helm, SLIC also created Every Child a Library Member (ECALM), a scheme to introduce public library membership for children at key stages through early years to improve language, literacy and social skills – which all local authorities in Scotland are now committed to delivering. The Scottish Coworking Network (SCN) was also established, the first national network of its kind, creating accessible spaces in Scotland’s public libraries to allow entrepreneurs and small businesses to work, meet and collaborate.

Significant Contributions

Pamela is also a member of Scottish Government’s Creative Industries Leadership Group, the Designing Libraries Board, the British Library Advisory Council, the Board of the Culture & Business Scotland, the Digital Inclusion Alliance Board and a number of other library and information related alliances.

Pamela Tulloch said: “I am very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve over the past eight years, with significant contributions to education, culture, and social wellbeing. It has been a privilege to champion the transformative power of libraries in our communities, and while never an easy decision to make, the time is right for me to pass on the baton.

“SLIC’s great strength lies in its membership, with each bringing expertise, knowledge and innovation to the sector. At a time of both unprecedented challenges and incredible opportunity, I believe SLIC will nurture these partnerships and collaboration to ensure the sector continues to thrive.”

In its thirty years, SLIC has expanded considerably, building on existing partnerships and creating new ones. It has become responsible for managing and distributing more funding streams and has taken the lead on strategic developments. Last year, SLIC announced the appointment of Alan Clarke as Chair to continue its direction of travel, ensuring that Scotland’s libraries reach their full potential through collaboration, innovation and national conversation.

SLIC Chair Alan Clarke said: “Whilst fully respecting Pamela's decision to retire, we will miss her enthusiasm, professionalism and passion for the Scottish library and information sectors. She should be proud of her career and positive legacy. Through challenging times, SLIC has gone from strength to strength under her leadership. On behalf of current and previous Board members, I would like to say massive thanks for the significant contribution she has made.”

Recruitment is underway for Pamela’s replacement, with plans for her to step down at the end of summer 2024.