In 2018 nine public library projects in Scotland received a share of £450,000 through the Public Library Improvement Fund. The Fund supports the transformation and modernisation of services through innovation and creativity.

Initiatives included SLIC Library Film Clubs, involving 14 public library services sharing £47,000 of PLIF funding to roll-out film education initiatives. This followed on from the positive results of an 18-month SLIC pilot project funded by Creative Scotland.

Other successful bids included a project in East Renfrewshire to tackle social isolation through the use of virtual reality, and a joint bid from Dundee, Moray and Falkirk libraries to establish a volunteer accreditation framework to support people into employment.

A total of £229,607 was allocated to support the nine projects, five of which were collaborative bids involving more than one library service and partners. The remaining funding was allocated to national library initiatives, such as Every Child A Library Member, One Card and Book Week Scotland.

PLIF, which is managed by SLIC on behalf of the Scottish Government, is an annual fund designed to support innovation. It has a key role to play in helping library services achieve the vision set out by the national public library strategy, Ambition & Opportunity.

PLIF 2018 Collaborative Public Library Projects

A total of five collaborative bids were successful in receiving funding for innovative and creative projects.

SLIC Library Film Clubs

Award: £46,679

This project embedded the development of film culture within Scotland’s libraries. It aimed to improve the provision of film and moving image education across Scotland and to engage communities with public libraries and each other through the medium of film.

Public Libraries Volunteer Accreditation Scheme

Award: £10,850

The project established a volunteer accreditation framework which supports volunteer programmes in public libraries. It enables participants to follow a pathway which assists employability and wellbeing as well as providing formal verification of skills and experience gained.

Library Live!

Award: £35,700

This project built upon a very successful pilot which saw libraries used as music venues. Library Live! now hosts live music events throughout participating libraries and organises associated skills training for staff across Scotland.

Building the Librarian in the Multi-Professional Healthcare Team

Award: £54,336

A new service model was created for this project which connected librarians, citizens, healthcare professionals and the third sector in dynamic teams to support self-management, shared decision-making and health literacy.

Storing Stories

Award: £9,622

Storing Stories rolled out a web-based impact measurement tool which gathers user experience feedback across several public library services.

PLIF 2018 Public Library Projects
Precious Things - Precious Stories

Award: £8,500

This project created a crowd-sourced online community collection. It uses objects and stories that are precious and important to individual contributors.

Virtually Together

Award: £23,500

This innovative project tackled social isolation and loneliness. It uses virtual reality technology as a means of having shared experiences.

Open North Ayrshire: Library Hackathons

Award: £45,000

The project provided a programme of hackathons in North Ayrshire public libraries which explored the council's open data portal and resources in the context of addressing poverty and increasing equity.

Paws to Read

Award: £3,920

This project aimed to instill a love of reading amongst primary school pupils with low levels of literacy through the use of a therapet dog during reading sessions.