In 2019 SLIC awarded ten Scottish public library services a share of £201,269 from the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF). The annual fund supports the transformation and modernisation of services within the public library sector and is administered by SLIC on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Initiatives which benefited from funding included £32,500 to support ONFife's Libraries Aspiring Learners project. Delivered in partnership with Children’s University Scotland, it encourages library use as a venue for family learning activities. Meanwhile High Life Highland received £5,400 for their Mind Hubs: Mental Agility, Physical Dexterity project to develop welcoming spaces for individuals to participate in various activities which stimulate cognitive functioning.
Other successful projects bids included a Comic-Con style event in the Western Isles, and a West Lothian initiative, Gift O’ the Gab, which provides support and resources to people experiencing communication barriers.
Please find below details of the successful 2019 applications, including collaborative initiatives and individual projects.
PLIF 2019 Collaborative Public Library Projects

In 2019 one collaborative bid was funded by the Public Library Improvement Fund. Collaborative bids are those where public library services from throughout Scotland come together to create innovative projects which benefit multiple communities.

Award: £70,000

This was a collaborative project between Live Life Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City Libraries, ANGUSAlive, Live Argyll, Leisure & Culture Dundee, High Life Highland, Inverclyde Libraries, Culture NL, Culture Perth & Kinross and South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture.

The aim of the project was to procure and implement a single Library Management System involving up to 15 Scottish public library services through a market retendering process. It builds upon the work of the One Card Pilot.

PLIF 2019 Public Library Projects

Read to Me

Award: £4,750

The main aim of this project was to improve children's enjoyment and attainment in literacy and provide new opportunities for digital participation within communities.

As part of the scheme a special collection of books was narrated by pupils, catering staff, crossing patrol staff, librarians and teachers amongst others. The information was then stored in a cloud-based system accessed by scanning a custom QR code. Special pop-up book recording sessions were also carried out throughout the year.

Libraries Inspiring Learners with Children's University Scotland

Award: £32,500

Encouraging library use as a venue of family learning activities was the key factor in this partnership project. This pilot examined the quality and value of family orientated activities libraries offer, with Children's University Scotland offering established guidance on the learning outcomes these delivered. 

Highland Mind Hubs: Mental Agility & Physical Dexterity

Award: £5,400

This project focused on combating social isolation and increasing community engagement.

Through partnerships with Alzheimer's Scotland and High Life Highland's existing High Voltage teenage volunteering programme, the project offered a safe and supportive environment where participants could access a wide range of board games. A comprehensive staff training programme was also delivered. 

Making Waves: Establishing Libraries as Cultural Hubs

£25,570

The aim of this project was to generate creative communities - enhancing engagement with culture and creativity across the local authority and encouraging wider cross-community conversations. 

Activities such as embedded reading and digital literacy were used to promote social wellbeing, community engagement and empowerment.

Innovator in Residence

Award: £25,814

This innovative project established a Creative Technologist in Residence (CTiR) in rural Perthshire libraries, helping to transform our understanding of the role of the library in the 21st Century. 

As part of the scheme Culture Perth & Kinross installed four Makerspaces in their Strathearn, Highland, Kinross-shire and Strathmore Libraries, building on existing provision in the AK Bell in Perth city centre

The CTiR enhanced these physical environments, developing opportunities for creative engagement with technology, demonstrating possibilities and significantly improving the digital skills of people in rural parts of the region.

Renfrewshire eSports Athlete Programme

Award: £7,450

This scheme encouraged young people between the ages of 12-18-years-old to adopt healthy lifestyles and acted as a preventative measure to gaming addiction. 

The project used eSports as a way to encourage new digital activities and helped to equip participants with the skills they need to pursue a career in sports and associated industries.

Bookworms: Libraries as Green Champions

Award: £3,732

Bookworms established two core groups to make positive use of outdoor open spaces in Carnegie and Troon Libraries. It encouraged inter-generational working and aimed to improve the health & wellbeing of those participating.

An integral feature of the project was library membership status, which provided ample access to library resources to help inform.

 

Creating Space: Supporting Children with ASN and their Families

Award: £16,404

Creating Space established a welcoming and flexible library space for children with Additional Support Needs (ASN) and their families within South Ayrshire Libraries.

A combination of specialist staff training and equity of provision ensured people with ASN and their families felt welcome and secure.

Gift o’ the Gab

Award: £5,844

This scheme aimed to facilitate conversation by providing support and resources to people experiencing communication barriers, particularly those recovering from the effects of a stroke.

The project provided a safe and supporting environment for participants, promoting conversation and strived to enrich the lives of those taking part.

Comic Con Hebrides

Award: £3,815

Comic Con Hebrides was a pilot project featuring a range of fun activities for all ages celebrating science fiction, horror, weird and fantasist culture through books, graphic novels, games, film, arts and crafts. 

Activities included an author talk, cult horror movie nights, superhero drawing workshops, a retro-gaming session and a library podcast. In Stornoway, the library’s makerspace became a focal point, encouraging young people to come to the library to meet like-minded people and take part.