The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government for library and information matters. Its membership includes all 32 local authorities, 15 Universities and the 14 Further Education Colleges as well as the NHS, special libraries and the National Library of Scotland.

Scotland’s first national strategy for Public Libraries, Ambition and Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020, was launched in June 2015. SLIC and the Carnegie UK Trust (CUKT) were key partners in developing this piece of work and the strategy is endorsed by Scottish Government and COSLA. The strategy sets out six strategic aims and eighteen recommendations, clearly linked to the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework and Local Government’s Community Planning Partnership outcomes. Strategic aim six outlines the need for public libraries to move from measuring inputs towards measuring impact.

Project Description

This Invitation to Tender is asking suppliers to undertake an evaluation of the implementation of the key recommendations from Ambition and Opportunity. The research will include all 32 public library services in Scotland and reflect the broad geographic landscape which services cover. It will assess the impact of the key recommendations on service development and staff.


The research will ensure that the decade of austerity in which public libraries in Scotland has operated is reflected in the final report. The impact of partnership working, national policy development and central government support for public libraries should also been included in the brief. It is envisaged that the research will comprise a mixture of desk-research and key stakeholder interviews. Methodology may include developing and issuing a survey to library users.


The evaluation will inform the development of a new strategic direction for public libraries in Scotland – highlighting ways of working which should be replicated and others which require to be moderated. The overall aim is to celebrate the success of the implementation of Ambition and Opportunity and contribute to the successful delivery of a new National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland.

Request an ITT

If you would like to request an ITT for this evaluation, please email applications@scottishlibraries.org for more details. 

The deadline for submissions is 12:00 on Friday February 7th 2020.