In 2020 SLIC awarded £200,000 to six public library projects through the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF). The Fund is administered by SLIC on behalf of the Scottish Government and supports a wide range of creative and pioneering projects throughout the country.

Projects included Inverclyde’s Library of Kindness which was awarded £19,970 to provide a positive library response to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile North Ayrshire Public Library Service was given £13,000 for their Talking Mince project focusing on developing cooking skills using easily available and affordable ingredients.

The awards also included a collaborative bid for technical equipment to improve the online offer of 19 Scottish public library services.

Details of all the successful 2020 Public Library Improvement Fund awards can be found below. You can also find out more about the Fund by visiting our main PLIF page.

PLIF 2020 Collaborative Public Library Projects

Investing In Our Digital Offer

Award: £85, 950

The core aim of this collaborative project is to invest in and support multiple local authorities accessing equipment, training, and resources to take the core library service offers of reading and information services online. This is in direct response to library services operating during lockdown and beyond. There will be a focus on reaching children, families and adults – improving core offers across reading, information services, local history provisions and content.  

The project involves Aberdeen City Libraries, Clackmannanshire Libraries, Dumfries & Galloway Libraries, East Ayrshire Leisure, East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture, Edinburgh Libraries, Falkirk Community Trust, ONFife, Inverclyde Libraries, Midlothian Libraries, North Ayrshire Libraries, Culture North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire Libraries, South Ayrshire Libraries, South Lanarkshire Leisure & Culture, Stirling Libraries and West Lothian Libraries.

PLIF 2020 Public Library Projects

The Library of Kindness

Award: £19,970

This initiative aims to provide children and young people with access to uplifting and positive books, activities, and resources as a response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will also ensure the library service is providing the books and resources young people need most to manage their mental wellbeing. This project is being delivered in partnership with Barnardos. 

Talking Mince

Award: £13,000

Talking Mince follows on from the successful Grow North Ayrshire project, where communities came together to share skills and grow produce. Talking Mince will equip community members to develop the skills required to cook meals using basic, affordable, and easily available ingredients through the development of online resources, cooking workshops and recipe cards.

The project will work with partners across services to gather recipes from North Ayrshire’s diverse communities and address issues around food poverty.


Data Led Library Leadership

Award: £41,800

This project explores a new approach to data analysis allowing ONFife to objectively analyse library customer data to gain a deeper understanding of current, lapsed and potential users. It links with the Culture Strategy of Scotland by developing the conditions and skills for culture to thrive, so it is cared for and protected. It also takes into consideration the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, by making the best use of limited resources.


Award: £5,500

The focus of this project is to equip staff with the skills required to encourage early communication in all babies and toddlers. It aims to help protect the learning prospects of a generation of children adversely affected by restrictions brought about by COVID-19. The project will also help staff develop communication techniques for babies and toddlers with Speech Language Communication Needs (SLCN) in South Lanarkshire.

Ar n-Eileanan / Our Islands

Award: £34,000

The Our Islands project will create a digital heritage portal underpinned by a dedicated Digital Asset Management System. This will enable many historic materials, including significant and distinctive elements of Gaelic culture, to be digitized and uploaded. This process will make these important materials not only accessible to everyone across the Western Isles but internationally. This project links well with the Culture Strategy for Scotland and is run in conjunction with Robert Gordon University.