About The Fund
The Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) supports creative and innovative public library projects throughout Scotland.

The Fund plays a key role in helping public library services achieve the vision set out in Forward: Scotland's Public Library Strategy 2021-2025. The document outlines 15 strategic aims grouped under the themes of People, Place & Partnership, and maps out an exciting future for Scotland's public libraries. The Scottish Library Information Council administers the Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Who Can Apply?

Every public library service in Scotland can apply for funding through the Public Library Improvement Fund. Library services can apply to the Fund in two ways: 

  •  Individual Application from a Scottish Library Service

A public library service can apply for a Grant Award on its own without any collaboration with other local authorities or external organisations. SLIC accepts up to two Individual Applications per library service. This is to give each authority an equal opportunity when applying.

  • Collaborative Application from one or more Local Authority

SLIC accepts an unlimited number of Collaborative Applications. This is where an application is made by either two or more public library services from separate Local Authorities and/or external partners. 

While SLIC encourages multi-disciplinary and cooperative working, Collaborative Applications must be led by public library services. A detailed explanation of what constitutes a Collaborative Application can be found on the PLIF FAQ page.

What We Can Fund

PLIF projects need to have a direct link to one or more of the strategic aims of Forward: Scotland's Public Library Strategy 2021-2025. There is no minimum or maximum amount that can be applied for as a project grant. PLIF projects will normally be completed within 12 months. Library services will also have to observe the Fair Work First Scheme. 

Applications will be considered for a range of activities including:

  • Research
  • Impact Analysis
  • External Project Managers/Facilitators 
  • Service Development
  • Project specific staff training
  • Partnership working
  • The creation of new resources or services
  • Preparation of good practice guides

You can find more information on the strategic aims of the Public Library Strategy and the Fair Work First scheme on our PLIF FAQ page.    

What We Can't Fund

As PLIF supports creative and innovative projects, SLIC is unlikely to fund applications which are similar to previously successful projects.

Applications will not be considered for the following:

  • Core business/equipment
  • Refurbishment or fit-out costs
When To Apply

The Public Library Improvement Fund 2021 closed on Monday 4th October 2021. 

SLIC will aim to notify applicants as soon as possible after the Funding Sub-Committee's decision. Applications submitted after the closing date will not be considered.

How To Apply

The PLIF Guidance and PLIF Application Form Guidance offer a step-by-step guide to applying. It is recommended that you read through the Guidance before filling out our online PLIF Application FormYou may wish to copy and paste from a word document to the online formThe PLIF FAQ page can help with any questions you may have regarding the application process. If you cannot find the answer to your query you can email info@scottishlibraries.org 

Please note: The online application form does not require signatures. Confirmation of signatures, including those of partners will be required, if successful, as part of the Conditions of Grant.