The Advisory Group

The National Strategy for Public Libraries Advisory Group was formed soon after the introdution of Ambition & Opportunity. It consists of a combination of Strategic Leads and key stakeholders who meet regularly to discuss the continuing progress of the public library strategy and plan for the future.

The Six Strategic Aims

Ambition & Opportunity sets out six key strategic aims. Each aim is clearly linked to national outcomes and indicators outlined in the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework (NPF). SLIC has appointed six different Strategic Leads to manage each individual aim. Click on each aim below to find out more.

'Public libraries in Scotland promote education and learning for all, develop a culture of reading for pleasure, offer support for everyone from early years to older people and enable people to make informed choices.'


One of the fundamental defining characteristics of the public library service is that they are open to all. No-one is turned away from a public library, no joining fee is required, and anyone can make use of the library space. It is essential this is preserved.


  • Ensure access to library services for all citizens using new technology
  • Develop and promote the core offer from public libraries in Scotland

'Public libraries in Scotland make best use of digital technologies to deliver high quality, efficient and responsive services, enabling access to information and services wherever and whenever citizens want them.'


The way we access information is changing and public library services need to develop to ensure they are providing the most relevant digital resources.


  • Develop Scotland-wide digital access resources
  • Ensure WiFi is available and accessible in all public libraries

'Public libraries in Scotland contribute to Scotland's economic wellbeing, supporting jobseekers, offering courses in digital skills, language courses, and support for small businesses.'


Libraries help jobseekers to find opportunities and apply for jobs online, they run job clubs, offer courses in digital skills training, and offer advice and support for the development of small businesses. At the same time they can help people make the most of the income they have. 


  • Develop national, regional and local partnerships with advice services, job centres and enterprise organisations
  • Mainstream activities to improve STEM skills in young children
  • Test and replicate a model of public libraries providing co-working spaces for small businesses

'Public libraries in Scotland contribute to social wellbeing, tackling social isolation, inequality, disadvantage, fractured communities and ill health.'


Libraries can be key partners in tackling the problems of social isolation, inequality, disdvantage, fractured communities and ill health. They provide an important space and resource for many disadvantaged people in a non-judgmental, public space, open to all.


  • Create strong national, regional and local partnerships with all public services and community planning partners
  • Share best practice on how to create effective and accessible public service or community hubs
  • Bulid on current practice to become champions of community engagement and empowerment

'Public libraries in Scotland promote their role as cultural centres, inspiring people through books and literature, music, film and theatre, and encourage creativity.'


Public libraries are increasingly used as the location for a wide range of cultural activities - from concerts and films, writing groups and author visits, to theatre and creative makerspaces.


  • Develop and strengthen national, regional and local partnerships with arts and culture organisations
  • Pilot a collaborative venture to provide access to eBooks from Scottish publishers
  • Support librarians to become effective voices for freedom of information and expression

'Public libraries must be supported to continuously improve their services.'


As in so many areas of public service, what is measured is what matters. Scottish public libraries need to move from measuring inputs towards methods of measuring participation and impact.


  • Continue to develop methods for reporting on the impact and outcomes of library activities through How Good is our Public Library Service?
  • Develop and implement a learning and development programme for all library staff
  • Explore alternative approaches to generating financial investment
  • Engage proactively with models for efficient procurement of goods and services at national level