The Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) supports creative and innovative library projects throughout Scotland. Awarded every year, the Scottish Library and Information Council administers the Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government

Applying for PLIF

Every public library in Scotland can apply for funding through the Public Library Improvement Fund. Projects cover a wide range of different areas such as digital training, health & wellbeing and culture & creativity.  

The Fund plays a key role in helping library services achieve the vision set out in Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland and PLIF projects need to have a direct link to one or more of the six strategic aims of the Scottish public library strategy. This shows that projects contribute to the overarching national outcomes of Ambition & Opportunity.

The six strategic aims are:

  1. Reading, Literacy & Learning
  2. Digital Inclusion
  3. Economic Wellbeing
  4. Social Wellbeing
  5. Culture & Creativity
  6. Excellent Public Services

This year priority will be given to applications which support a COVID-19 response - specifically how libraries can support economic recovery as well as health and wellbeing within communities. Bids are also welcomed for projects supporting the three main ambitions of A Culture Strategy for Scotland. These are: Strengthening Through Culture, Transforming Through Culture and Empowering Through Culture.   

SLIC accepts a maximum of two PLIF bids per library service. However, services can submit an unlimited number of collaborative bids in partnership with other libraries or organisations.

The PLIF Guidance and PLIF Application Form Guidance offer a step-by-step guide to applying. To apply you can download your PLIF Application or use the online PLIF Application Form.

Applications for PLIF 2021 have now closed. If you have any questions regarding the application process our PLIF FAQ page can help. Alternatively, you can email

PLIF Timeline 2020/2021
Monday 5th October 2020 Bids Open
Monday 16th November 2020 Closing date for Applications
Friday 27th November 2020 Funding Sub-Committee Meeting
Week Commencing 30th Novemer 2020 Confirmation sent to successful bids
Friday 18th December 2020 Acceptance letter to be returned to SLIC
Week commencing 11th January 2021 70% of funds transferred
Friday 7th May 2021 Interim Report due
Week Commencing 10th May 2021 30% of funds transferred
Friday 5th November 2021 Final Report and Financial Records to SLIC