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.
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.
A total of three collaborative bids were funded in 2017 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 was 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 were all in areas with low levels of cultural engagement and youth aspiration.
Coordinated in partnership with Get It Loud In Libraries, the project offered low-cost or free entry opening up performances to young people who could be excluded from mainstream live music venues.
This collaborative project between Inverclyde and Midlothian Libraries aimed to maximise the opportunity for Autism Friendly libraries across the two participating authorities. Staff from both areas were trained to support those on the Autistic spectrum as well as those who care for and work with Autistic people.
Mind an Read Well!
With a focus on young people, this venture promoted the ‘Reading Well Shelf Help? Books on Prescription’ collection which both services currently provide.
The project provided staff training to really encourage and embed its use with young people and their carers as well as inputting locally relevant information and contacts.
This project aimed to enhance the employability skills of local young people aged between 16 and 25-years-old. The film-making group worked on films for the library service’s newly established YouTube channel. Funding also helped the service purchase professional equipment including a video camera and editing software.
Library Love Podcast & Vlog
The ultimate goal of the Library Love project was to promote Scottish public libraries (particularly in the Falkirk areas) and reading in general. Falkirk Community Trust staff were trained in how to create podcasts and vlogs with sessions focusing on themes such as book recommendations, specific services and agony aunt style slots.
Gorbals Employability and Young Entrepreneurs Hub
This initiative aimed to connect with teenagers by providing enterprising support. As well as delivering information, advice and supported PC access, the project aimed to increase awareness of the employability offer to job-hunters and claimants alike.
The employability Hub is based in Gorbals Library and incorporates a service development plan.
The main objective of clubIN@thelibrary was to engage directly with young people in Inverclyde to determine what they need and want from a library service outwith school hours. The results formed a report which was shared with other library services.
Health Literacy & Self-Management Training for Public Library Staff – A Scotland-wide Cross-Sectoral Approach.
Developing and delivering health literacy and self-management training was the main aim of this PLIF project. Through the initiative public library staff increased their knowledge about long term conditions and health literacy, enabling them to support and offer information to people about their health and wellbeing.
Get on Board
Increasing the use of library services amongst young people wass the objective of Get on Board, targeting 13-17-year-olds in three areas of multiple deprivation. The project worked in partnership with local organisation Comicrazy to organise board game activity sessions in local libraries which included team and role playing games.
Shetland’s War 2017
This project aimed 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 promoted learning and community awareness through a series of events, promotional materials, display boards and a new website.
The aim of this PLIF project wass to improve self-expression among young people from the most deprived communities in West Lothian. By raising their confidence, the project aimed to enhance their interview skills and ultimately their employability opportunities.
The Library + project supported 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.