In November 2018 the School Library Improvement Fund opened for a third round of funding and a share of £150,000 was awarded to 17 projects. The fund attracted a diverse range of initiatives which included themes on school transitions, mental health, reading for pleasure and wellbeing.
The successful bids reflect the popularity of SLIF, which was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2017, and the variety of pioneering projects happening in the Scottish school library sector.
You can find out more about the individual awards below or find out how you can apply for SLIF.
Amount awarded: £6000
This project has three main aims:
- Raise attainment by increasing participation in reading and creative writing.
- Establish a culture for reading for pleasure.
- Positively impact on the use of library space.
An annual storytelling festival will be the main vehicle used to deliver these aims and will revolve around the reading, writing and telling of stories. The project will also be supported in a number of ways including the introduction of a Reading Dog who will work with pupils as they read and perform stories. An author visit and storytelling sessions are also planned in the year ahead.
Amount awarded: £10,000
Balancing the Books aims to support LGBT+ young people by establishing a baseline collection of LGBT+ resources in each East Ayrshire secondary school. Going forward, each school will then further develop its own collection. The collection will include a variety of fiction, non-fiction and audiovisual resources which will be placed on general shelves (with rainbow stickers) to foster inclusion.
The collections will be launched by an inter-school event featuring an LGBT+ author and speaker.
Amount awarded: £5,448
The main purpose of MYstory is to allow participants to experience the benefits of sharing stories and working intergenerationally. The shared reading project is led by St Ninian's High School in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture Trust (Libraries). The four main strands of the project are:
- Training Sessions: For staff and pupils on how to run shared reading sessions.
- Shared Reading Groups: Set up in St Ninians' High School, Williams Patrick Library and one cluster primary school.
- Creative Writing Sessions: Participants writing themselves a letter at a different age.
- Digital & Display Training: On how to put on an exhibition.
The project will ultimately equip pupils with skills to work with multiple age groups as well as read and write for pleasure.
Amount awarded: £15,150
Library Lego Therapy focuses on improving the transition experience of P7 pupils with poor social communications skills. Using non-traditional methods such as lego and Mindfulness in school libraries, the project aims to improve relationships with peers, school staff and librarians. This will be achieved through a combination of Lego building groups, the completion of a Mindfulness journal and an author event which will be related to the Lego therapy work.
My Future East Lothian
Amount awarded: £9500
The aim of My Future East Lothian is to explore thoughts, feelings and aspirations of the future. Through the production of a film learners from Knox Academy and North Berwick High School will work with educators to gain life skills in non-traditional learning pathways. This includes the use of Lego therapy and Mindfulness.
Amount awarded: £6,000
An author-in-residence will be established at Towerbank Primary School to deliver a 12-month project which will engage pupils, staff, parents/carers and the wider community to extend the cultre of the reading for pleasure and develop literacy. This will focus on key school events across the three academic terms.
As well as developing the skills and confidence of pupils and still, it will also support family learning, parental involvement and engage the wider community.
Amount awarded: £10,000
This project aims to support reluctant boy readers and raise attainment across all areas of the curriculum at Hillington Primary in Glasgow. Specific reading dens will be created so that children can relax and enjoy the reading experience. Resources such as iPads, voice recorders and green screen equipment will also encourage boys to use a variety of multi-media technology.
The overall aim is to provide an inclusive and flexible library which supports equity within the school environment.
LGBT Creative Writing & Online Community using GLOW
Amount awarded: £7220
Supporting the wellbeing of LGBT+ young people is the focus behind this digital project which will develop an online community space. The initiative sees the creation of a safe space which will encourage digital creativity through sharing experiences and support.
Amount awarded: £4100
Based at Milton of Leys Primary School this initiative hopes to create a unique and tailored text toolkit for all pupils using high quality children's literature. The toolkit will focus on adverse experiences and issues such as family bereavement, parent separation and anxiety. The school is working in partnership with educational psychologists, social services, mental health charities, parents, carers and school staff.
The text toolkit will help the library play a central part in developing a shared culture of empathy and understanding in the school.
Amount awarded: £2500
Through this initiative a wellbeing hub will be established within Inverclyde Academy Library. The hub will give pupils access to a quality health resource collection in a welcoming environment. The hub will also use the Mental Health Foundation's Five Ways to Wellbeing as a structure for activities.
Amount awarded: £1000
This project is a collaboration between the English Department in Lasswade High School and the School Librarian. Using graphic novels selected by S1 and S2 pupils, classes will explore their experiences of reading and be encouraged to share their findings. A visit from a graphic artist is also planned before students are given the opportunity to explore their own creative skills in this area.
Amount awarded: £8900
Greenwood Making History focuses on using information skills to produce digital and craft artwork for display to the public. The project is aimed at S1 pupils at Greenwood Academy and will comprise of two stages. Phase one will see 14 S1 classes hone their infomation skills to conduct a research project based on local history. The four best classes will then use makerspace skills such as 3D printing, coding and model making to create products such as an ebook, wall hangings, games or models.
Amount awarded: £5000
The aim of this SLIF project is to give pupils transitioning to university more confidence in their information and digital skills. The initiative involves working closely with library colleagues from the University of the West of Scotland.
The project will consist of three main workstreams - a series of development workshops, trips to the University of the West of Scotland library and the purchasing of reading material to coincide with the expansion of the UWS Big Read campaign.
Amount awarded: £5,500
Pupils at Prestwick Academy Library will use 'found photos' to learn about their local area and explore what it means to be a member of a community. As part of the project pupils will create a brand, making and selling merchandise. They will also be given the opportunity to express how they see Prestwick through a variety of formats including podcasts, photography, animation and writing.
Amount Awarded: £5276
The aim of Riverside Digital Readers is to promote the use of digital technology to support reading for enjoyment. Based in Riverside Primary School Library, the project will enhance the existing school and community library space. By purchasing iPads and other technical resources, the library will offer different ways to access reading material to both pupils and members of the local community. The school is working closely with groups such as Dementia Scotland as well as local parents and carers.
Amount awarded: £6000
This initiative focuses on the creation of a Health and Wellbeing Hub in Whitburn Academy School Library, providing a safe and relaxing space for young people and their families. The Hub will give them access to an array of information on health and wellbeing support available in both print and online formats. Through the Hub pupils can gain access to more than 30 trained mental health first aiders, iPads to access online portal resources and a large selection of fiction and non-fiction literature.
Amount awarded: £27,600
Reading Rockets aims to boost literacy and library use among the Western Isles. A series of reader development events will be held in selected school libraries, with each school focusing on a targeted group of pupils. Activities such as synchronized reading events, storytelling, reading groups and library lessons will all help to engage children in reading and ultimately raise the profile of school libraries in the Western Isles.