In 2017 the Scottish Library and Information Council awarded nearly £175,000 in funding through the Public Library Improvement Fund. The annual fund supports a wide range of pioneering and creative projects throughout Scotland.
This year funded projects included film clubs, Autism-friendly initiatives and an employability hub.
Every public library service in Scotland can apply to the Public Library Improvement Fund on an annual basis, with SLIC accepting a maximum of two bids per service.
Every successful PLIF project has direct links with the key aims of Ambition & Opportunity, A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020.
This year a total of three collaborative bids have been funded by the Public Library Improvement Fund. These projects see public library services from throughout Scotland working together to create ground-breaking schemes which benefit multiple communities.
The aim of this collaborative bid is to widen the cultural activities offered in libraries by introducing live music performances and skills development programme for young people aged 14-25 in all participating areas. The targeted libraries in Inverclyde, Aberdeenshire, North Ayrshire, the Highlands, North Lanarkshire and Orkney are all in areas with low levels of cultural engagement and youth aspiration.
Coordinated in partnership with Get It Loud In Libraries, the project offers low-cost or free entry opening up performances to young people who could be excluded from mainstream live music venues. The scheme has links with the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People as well as three strands of Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020. The strand are: Strategic Aim 2: Digital Inclusion, Strategic Aim 3: Economic Wellbeing and Strategic Aim 5: Culture & Creativity.
This collaborative project between Inverclyde and Midlothian Libraries seeks to maximise the opportunities for Autism Friendly libraries across the two participating authorities. Staff from both areas will be trained to support those on the Autistic spectrum as well as those who care for and work with Autistic people. The initiative identifies with two of the key priorities of Ambition & Opportunity, namely Strategic Aim 4: Social Wellbeing and Strategic Aim 6: Excellent Public Services.
Mind an Read Well!
With a focus on young people, this venture will promote and evaluate the ‘Reading Well Shelf Help? Books on Prescription’ collection which both services currently provide.
The project will provide staff training to really encourage and embed its use with young people and their carers as well as inputting locally relevant information and contacts. It relates well to two priorities of Ambition & Opportunity: Strategic Aim 1: Reading, Literacy & Learning and Strategic Aim 4: Social Wellbeing.
This project aims to enhance the employability skills of local young people aged between 16 and 25-years-old. The film-making group will work on a minimum of three films for the library service’s newly established YouTube channel. Funding will also help the service purchase professional equipment including a video camera and editing software. The project relates directly with Strategic Aims 1, 2, 3, and 5 of Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015 -2020.
Library Love Podcast & Vlog
The ultimate goal of the Library Love project is to promote Scottish public libraries (particularly in the Falkirk areas) and reading in general. The initiative will see Falkirk Community Trust staff trained in how to create podcasts and vlogs with sessions focusing on themes such as book recommendations, specific services and agony aunt style slots.
Focusing on reading, literacy and learning as well as culture & creativity, it links well with Strategic Aim 1 and 5 of Ambition & Opportunity. The project will also increase awareness of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018.
Gorbals Employability and Young Entrepreneurs Hub
This initiative aims to connect with teenagers by providing enterprising support. As well as delivering information, advice and supported PC access, the project will ultimately increase awareness of the employability offer to job-hunters and claimants alike.
The employability Hub will be based in Gorbals Library and will incorporate a service development plan replying upon local partner delivery workshops and sessions. The Hub links well with many of the central themes in Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland. These are: Strategic Aim 3: Economic Wellbeing and Strategic Aim 6: Excellent Public Services. The project also identifies with the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018.
The main objective of clubIN@thelibrary is to engage directly with young people in Inverclyde to determine what they need and want from a library service outwith school hours. The results will then form a report that can be shared with other library services to inform and develop their work. The project identifies will all six key aims of Ambition & Opportunity as well as the Year of Young People 2018.
Health Literacy & Self-Management Training for Public Library Staff – A Scotland-wide Cross-Sectoral Approach.
Developing and delivering health literacy and self-management training is the main aim of this PLIF project. The initiative will see public library staff increase their knowledge about long term conditions and health literacy, enabling them to support and offer information to people about their health and wellbeing. Four training sessions will form part of the project- taking place in the North, West, South East and the Central Belt of Scotland.
It identifies with 4 of Ambition & Opportunity’s key priorities, namely: Strategic Aim 1: Reading, Literacy & Learning, Strategic Aim 3: Economic Wellbeing, Strategic Aim 4: Social Wellbeing, Strategic Aim 6: Excellent Public Services.
Get on Board
Increasing the use of library services amongst young people is the objective of Get on Board, targeting 13-17-year-olds in three areas of multiple deprivation. The project will work in partnership with local organisation Comicrazy to organise board game activity sessions in local libraries which will include team and role playing games. There will also be an appointed Games Champion in Renfrewshire Libraries who will lead the project in their area. As well as being particularly linked to the Year of Young People 2018, the project relates well to Strategic Aim 4: Social Wellbeing of Ambition & Opportunity.
Shetland’s War 2017
This project aims to support local volunteers to research and publish accounts of Shetland’s role in the First World War, making them accessible to a wide audience.
The project will promote learning and community awareness through a series of events, promotional materials, display boards and a new website. The initiative identifies with the First World War and Strategic Aim 1: Reading, Literacy & Learning of Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020.
The aim of this PLIF project is to improve self-expression among young people from the most deprived communities in West Lothian. By raising their confidence, they should enhance their interview skills and ultimately their employability opportunities. It relates well to the Scottish Government’s year of Young People initiative and Strategic Aim 3: Economic Wellbeing Scotland’s first public library strategy Ambition & Opportunity.
The Library + project supports the regeneration of Stornoway town centre, establishing a dynamic community space where people of all ages can experience organised activities. These include arts and craft clubs, social get-togethers, digital workshops and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics sessions.
Scheduled mobile provision to the rest of the Western Isles community ensures all residents have the same access to opportunities. The venture supports 3 priorities from Ambition & Opportunity, namely: Strategic Aim 2: Digital Inclusion, Strategic Aim 3: Economic Wellbeing and Strategic Aim 5: Culture & Creativity.