This week on the SLIC blog CEO Pamela Tulloch talks about the different ways SLIC supports our membership including funding opportunities and bursaries.  

Team SLIC works incredibly hard for its membership organisations. This happens in lots of different ways – not all of them visible or high profile.

It’s been a busy start to 2019 and Team SLIC has been at the forefront of working with elected members as local authorities set their budgets. The 2019/20 budget setting process has been particularly challenging for local authorities. SLIC has been ensuring elected members remember that public libraries are the most popular service which local government provides. Last year saw over 43 million visits to public libraries in Scotland – making them more popular than Scottish Premier Football League matches and cinema attendances combined.

In addition to ensuring all the fabulous services delivered to Scotland’s communities through public libraries are recognised, Team SLIC has also been promoting the value of the School Library which is embodied in Scotland’s first National Strategy for School Libraries – Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools.

A lot is planned with key partners to bring this strategy to life. Only last week Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Children and Young People, celebrated World Book Day with children from a local primary school at Edinburgh Central Library, illustrating schools and libraries are the perfect partnership.

SLIC Funding

Many of SLIC’s members associate us with access to grant funding which enables members to develop their service. The Innovation and Development Fund (IDF) has just closed for 2019 and the successful applicants will be announced later this month. IDF is available for SLIC members who are not eligible to apply for the Scottish Government Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) or the School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) which are both administered by SLIC.  Previously funded IDF projects can be seen on the SLIC website.

As one fund closes – others open. Both PLIF and SLIF will be opening in April and full details will follow shortly. To support members with their applications, training sessions have already taken place this year so that members are ready to submit application forms once both funds are open. There have been so many innovative projects taking place from previous rounds of each fund that independent evaluations of the projects reinforce the creativity and innovation which SLIC member organisations have. You can find out more about previous PLIF projects and SLIF projects on the SLIC website.

SLIC Bursaries

Every year SLIC makes bursaries available to support members with their professional development. This is in recognition of the important role that sparking imagination and creativity makes as well as the importance of developing a strong sectoral Scottish network.

I am delighted to announce that in 2019 SLIC has supported four individuals to attend the EDGE conference in Edinburgh and just recently informed 21 members of their successful applications to attend the 2019 Annual CILIPS conference.

Over the years SLIC has supported members to present at conferences such as the 2018 Internet Librarian International Conference and the 2018 Health Libraries Group Conference. 2019 sees EBLIP10 – an international evidence-based library and information practice conference - come to Glasgow in June where several papers will focus on work undertaken by SLIC members.

Keeping In Touch

Team SLIC enjoy meeting up with members and a number of visits have already taken place this year to the University of Aberdeen and Dundee and Angus College to name but a few.

More library visits are planned across the year, however if your organisation would like to host a visit or has something to share then please get in touch. Team SLIC is only too happy to learn more about what members are involved with. The more SLIC knows about its members, the better it can represent them.