The Scottish Reading Strategy for Public Libraries was created in 2014 to draw communities together and bring reading alive. Its vision is to inspire reading across all interests and age groups – improving levels of literacy and contributing to the health and wellbeing of readers.
The Scottish Reading Strategy for Public Libraries has five main Strategic Outcomes: These are:
- Inspire reading across all interests and age groups – from pre-literate to fluent readers
- Encourage people to read widely, trying new genres and exploring new ways of sharing their reading experiences
- Contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of the individual
- Support literacy development and increase the number of confident and capable readers
- Recognise and support language and diversity
The Strategy is led by a Steering Group which is currently chaired by Judy Dobbie, Head of Library & Information Services, Leisure & Culture Dundee. The group supports the development of the Strategy and meets regularly.
There are also three age specific Strategic Groups which meet to discuss progress and share examples of good practice. This ensures libraries are making the most of partnership and funding opportunities and ultimately continuing to support a love of reading. Each group looks at the reading offer available in Scotland's public libraries which covers four main areas, namely: Developing Readers & Improving Literacy, Health & Wellbeing, Language, Diversity & Cultural Heritage and Advocacy & Activism.
The three Strategic Groups are:
- Early Years – This Strategic Group focuses on the reading offer currently available to children in Scotland's public libraries. The Reading Offer for Children diagram gives an overview of what is currently available throughout Scottish library services. The group is chaired by Helen Adair, Learning Development Manager, Aberdeen City Council.
- Young People – The focus of this group is the public library reading materials, groups and activities currently available to teenagers and young people in Scotland. The Reading Offer for Teenagers gives an overview of the services currently on offer throughout Scottish library services. This strategic group is chaired by Rebecca Gunn, Children & Families Development Officer, East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture Trust.
The Scottish Reading Strategy shares similar themes with Strategic Aim 1 of Scotland's Public Library Strategy Ambition & Opportunity. The Aim focuses on Reading, Literacy and Learning – developing and promoting the core offer from Scotland’s public libraries as well as using new technology to ensure access to library services for all citizens.