The School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) aims to support innovative school library projects throughout Scotland and is available to all state run schools. Between 2017 and 2020 The Scottish Government has pledged a total of £1million to the fund.
The second round of the School Library Improvement Fund closed in May 2018, with almost £300,000 being distributed to 19 projects across Scotland and two national projects focusing on information literacy and pupil engagement. These included dynamic initiatives such as a bibliotherapy toolkit in Edinburgh and a sports-based reading project in Inverclyde.
You can find more details of the individual awards below. More information on SLIF and details about how to apply for the next round of funding can be found here.
Supporting Scottish Studies & Scots Language
Amount Awarded: £1500
Based in Banff Academy, this project increases the profile of Scottish Studies and use of Scots language in the school and wider community. It also promotes courses available in the school and encourages pupils to get involved in the all aspects of Scottish heritage.
Library resources have been developed throughout the project to increase the range of materials on Scotland. A series of workshops and talks with pupils has also taken place with collaboration with the Scottish Studies department and local branch libraries.
Mentoring Programme for S2 Boys and P4/5 Pupils
Amount Awarded: £3260
The Mentoring Programme uses sports text and activities to increase engagement with, and enjoyment of, reading amongst boys. As a central part of the project S2 boys have been trained in mentoring techniques, allowing them to work with younger pupils in a primary setting. Angus Active Schools lead the sport coaching aspect of the project.
Looking Beyond Google – Information Literacy Skills for All
Amount Awarded: £6000
Looking Beyond Google aims to develop and promote a robust information literacy programme for young people through a diversified range of activity-based learning – both digital and non-digital. The information literacy activities promote both digital and high-quality text resources which reflect the curricular needs of the school. Importantly, it also l embeds information-based research skills for lifelong learning.
Two Moons – A Festival for Young Adults Linking Literacy to Life and Work
Amount Awarded: £20,095
This project aimed to incorporate a range of different experiences and activities as part of a festival held in early 2019. The focus was on providing an insight into the lives and careers of people in Dundee through sharing experiences of books.
In addition, the project was an opportunity for school librarians to be involved in taking ownership and promoting the festival within schools.
Escape, Connect, Relate: A bibliotherapy toolkit for teens to support their own mental health and the wellbeing of people around them
Amount Awarded: £18,100
This project aims to create a toolkit targeted at young people, which would include fiction to develop resilience in young people and promote positive mental wellbeing.
Used by young people, carers and staff, the toolkit focuses on self-help and providing information. The aim is to create a powerful tool for both young people, professionals involved with their development and parents/carers when they need support with a variety of challenging issues.
Creative writing project working with Roma Community in Holyrood Secondary School Library
Amount Awarded: £13,600
The aim of this creative writing project is to help young people from the local Roma Community engage with school library services as well as develop EAL and literacy skills. As part of the project young people created their own graphic novel or comic strip with the help of the school librarian, an interpreter and an artist-in-residence.
The completed works will be launched at Govanhill Library with family, friends and teachers present.
STEAM as an Enabler to Teach Digital and Information Literacy Skills
Amount Awarded: £10,693
Spanning five secondary schools across Glasgow this project focuses on designing information stories which incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM). Through the use of coding, digital and information literacy, young people will gain the core skills they need to progress in education and the wider world.
It also allows young people to lead and develop on a new innovative, creative approach which will leave a legacy of information literacy journeys. These can then be used by school librarians as an information resource across the Glasgow Schools Network.
Read to Succeed – Parental Support for the Literacy Improvement of Secondary Pupils
Amount Awarded: £2500
Supporting parents plays a central role in the Read to Succeed project - equipping them with tools to better support their children's literary development. Aims include increasing the level of literacy within the family unit, providing a venue for parental discussion, supporting exam success/positive destinations and offering an opportunity for valuable work experience.
Read to Succeed also encourages parents to support their children’s emotional needs and wellbeing through initiatives such as a shared reading program and peer parental support.
Rural Skills Reading Development Programme
Amount Awarded: £1449
Raising reading levels and attainment amongst pupils interested in working in agriculture and creating their own business was the aim of this innovative programme. Representatives from external organisations were invited to speak to pupils about literacy in the workplace whilst library stock related to topics was also purchased. Throughout the project the library worked closely with the Support for Learning and Rural Skills departments to engage with pupils.
Amount Awarded: £8050
Nature Explorers offered young people and families the opportunity to engage in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities. Events focused on early years education and young people who wanted to pursue a career or life-long interest in these fields.
Kick off Reading with Morton FC
Amount Awarded: £2000
Using a passion for football helped the school library offer a reader-engagement programme which targeted a group of pupils and their families. Prominent figures from Morton FC collaborated with the school to take 'reading out of the library' and arrange a book-related penalty shoot out. A family/pupil book ‘match day’ meet-up is also held monthy in the library, with football players acting as Reading Ambassadors. Tickets for a Morton FC game are then offered on completion of the programme.
Game on in the LRC
Amount Awarded: £2000
Improving creativity and problem-solving skills are the key aims of Game on in the LRC which has placed quality board games in the school library. Making the space availible as led to the library being seen as an engaging space which responds to student needs and interests. The project has helped to develop literacy, numeracy and social interaction skills through collaborative play.
Write Space - Bibliotherapy in the School Setting
Promoting Mental Wellbeing for Moray’s Young People through Partnership Working between Pupils, Parents and Professionals
Amount Awarded: £7500
Improving support for young people in Moray is the central theme of this project. Two mental health events have been held in the Moray area featuring keynote speakers with a deep understanding of stress, anxiety and other mental health issues young people face. It aims to equip young people, specifically those in the S3 year group, with strategies and resouces help manage mental health issues.
Building Better Readers
Amount Awarded: £44,700
Building Better Readers inspires a reading culture across primary and ASN school libraries, strengthening links with secondary schools and public libraries in North Ayrshire.
Working closely together to inspire and motivate readers, the project uses library reading programmes to reinforce the place of reading at the heart of the school and raise literacy levels. The creation of a reading advocacy partnership with primary and ASN school staff and volunteers, Learning Community Librarians in secondary schools, Family Learning Teams and public library staff will help to nurture a generation of inspired readers and book enthusiasts.
Amount Awarded: £4748
Express Yourself focuses on increasing confidence in pupils when expressing their feelings and anxieties - helping them gain an understanding about how to handle issues as they arise. It aims to ensure pupils are aware of resources and services available to support their health and wellbeing. The project builds upon the good relationship between two school communities, inviting groups of pupils to take part in a variety of workshops, seminars, author and graphic novel sessions. A collection of fiction and non-fiction health and wellbeing books has also been purchased for each school library.
Grow North Ayrshire
Amount Awarded: £9800
This innovative project brings young people, growers and the wider community together to share their skills. The aim is to produce local food in small spaces, helping reduce food poverty and social isolation.
B.A.S.S. – Breakfast Club and After School Service
Amount Awarded: £6640
The creation of the breakfast and after-school club has helped vulnerable pupils develop their digital literacy and creativity. Pupils participate in different forms of literacy such as computers, books and games which is ultimately improving literacy and computing skills.
Learning Community Reading Project
Amount Awarded: £2000
This project aims to improve attainment in literacy among S4 pupils, specifically targeting those who are predicted to achieve National 4 but have the potential to attain National 5.
Learning links with a local care home and early education learning establishment have been created and the existing partnership with the Additional Support for Learning facility has been extended. Pupils are partnered with nursery children and care home residents on a weekly basis to read together. The library is now developing a resource collection to support the three partner groups.
Reading for Resilience – Graphic Novels
Amount Awarded: £3382
Reading for Resilience is a partnership project between Eyemouth High School and all of the primary schools in the Eyemouth cluster area.
It promotes and raises awareness of graphic novels - enabling primary and secondary students the opportunity to take part in a national award by creating their own graphic novel.
The aims of Reading for Resilience is to target reluctant readers, improve literacy and raise attainment. The project also hopes to develop the pupils into more confident readers and promote the potential of graphic novels with staff.
Amount Awarded: £6600
Speak Up is an introduction to the spoken word and performance poetry. It promotes self-reflection and self-expression in young people whilst building up self-confidence at the same time. A spoken word artist and performance poet have delivered a number of sessions in West Dunbartonshire secondary schools.
The project has helped pupils to learn new skills, develop creative writing and literacy skills, and create a platform for young people’s voices to be heard.