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.

Since its inception in 2006 PLIF has played a significant part in transforming Scotland’s public library landscape. Millions of pounds have been invested in a wide range of pioneering projects which in turn has had an enormous impact on both individuals and communities alike.    

PLIF also has a key role to play in helping library services achieve the vision set out by Scotland’s strategy for public libraries, Ambition & Opportunity.

Applications for the 2018-2019 Public Library Improvement Fund have now closed. Please check back in spring 2019.

The PLIF Process

Each year every public library in Scotland can apply for funding through PLIF. Projects cover a wide range of different areas such as the creation of homework clubs, the introduction of maker spaces or digital training.

Currently, every project has to have a direct link to one or more of the six strategic aims of the Scottish public library strategy. By showing clear links with the strategic aims, projects are also able to contribute to the overarching national outcomes of the strategy.

SLIC accepts a maximum of two PLIF bids per library service. However, services can submit an unlimited amount of collaborative bids in partnership with other libraries or organisations. Awards are then decided on a case-by-case basis.

PLIF Timeline 2018/2019
Monday 23rd April 2018 Bids Open
Monday 21st May 2018 Closing Date for applications
Wed 30th May 2018 Funding Sub-Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th June 2018 Board Approval
Friday 22nd June 2018 Confirmation sent to successful authorities
Friday 29th June 2018 Acceptance letters to be returned to SLIC
From 2nd July 2018 70% of funds transferred to authorities
Friday 7th December 2018 Interim Reports due
Week beginning 17th December 2018 30% of funds transferred
Friday 7th June 2019 Final Report and financial records to SLIC
PLIF Evaluation

In 2015 SLIC commissioned a team from the Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University to review PLIF. Professor Peter Reid and Caroline Whitehead produced an official Review of the Public Library Improvement Fund which highlighted the high value library services place on the fund. The paper also made recommendations for the future which SLIC has taken on board.

You can read more about The PLIF Review in our Research & Skills section.