In September 2017 the Scottish Government announced the introduction of the School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF).
SLIF aims to support innovative school library projects throughout Scotland and is available to all state run schools. Over the next three years the Scottish Government has pledged a total of £1million to the fund.
In the first round of funding £100,000 was awarded to 15 projects throughout Scotland. These included pioneering schemes such as a teenage sensory reading programme in the Highlands and a mental health and wellbeing initiative in Clackmannanshire.
The successful bids not only reflect the popularity of this new funding stream but the sheer variety of projects happening in the Scottish school library sector.
You can find more details of the individual awards below or learn more about applying for SLIF.
Book Connections: Intergenerational Reading Project
This project will establish a shared reading programme involving pupils from city secondary and primary schools or with elderly care home residents. The project will see older pupils support younger pupils with their reading or pupils will undertake shared reading with care home residents.
Small collections of picture books with supporting materials will be made available with pupils encouraged to create book bag and dementia awareness items. These will then be made available for city-wide loan. Pupils will be trained in storytelling techniques, dementia awareness and suitable author visits will support the project.
Healthy Libraries: Shelf Help and the School Library
This project will create a Shelf Help toolkit for School Libraries. A specialist trainer will run CPD training events for library and teaching staff on how to improve the library space, and the best ways to develop and promote a Shelf Help area in the school libraries to support the mental health and wellbeing needs of young people.
Schools across the city will be encouraged to “Rave and Wave” on social media, reading and sharing the best fiction and non-fiction Shelf Help books. The project looks at ways of engaging pupils and staff in reading for pleasure to support and improve their own mental health.
Inspiring Improvement in School Libraries
This project will develop the skills and knowledge of school managers, enabling them to make informed, evidence-based decisions on resourcing their school libraries. The project will also provide a fresh opportunity to update schools on the developing range of services and resources available through library services to support learning and teaching. Content will be designed to inspire and empower participants to improve library provision.
Mental Health & Wellbeing Collection Development
This project will raise awareness of health and wellbeing issues in schools through enhancing personal support and empowering children and young people to understand, manage and improve their health and wellbeing via self-help reading.
The project will involve developing a collection of books and resources about mental health and wellbeing for each secondary school library. Primary school pupils will be supported with the provision of an age appropriate collection to be used and circulated between schools. The libraries will provide access for all school pupils to information, support and advice on a large number of mental health and wellbeing issues.
Mental Health First Aid Kit and Graphic Novels
This project will equip libraries with a consistent supply of resources and assistance to pupils who are experiencing issues with their mental health and wellbeing.
Pupils will be given the opportunity to borrow a range of resources in the form of First Aid Kits offering distraction, support, and advice to help them. Kits will contain items such as movies, books, colouring in and writing materials and more.
This project will promote teen mental health and social wellbeing by showing pupils - through fiction and shared reading/writing - that they are not alone.
The project will involve three strands, the first being where pupils will be asked to write about a book that has helped them through a difficult time, to be made into a booklet for all pupils. Secondly, contributions will be invited from librarians and pupils to produce online fiction reading lists that feature characters dealing with mental health and wellbeing issues. Thirdly, the schools will host teen mental health experts who will speak to S3 pupils about mental health awareness.
The project will allow pupils a platform to express themselves, as well as open a dialogue on teen mental health that identifies the school library as a key resource for health and wellbeing.
East Lothian Literacy Festival
This project aims to break the barriers of the socially excluded, disengaged and reluctant learners by using the non-traditional pathways of graphic novels and health and wellbeing materials in school libraries, thereby raising self-esteem and wellbeing amongst pupils with the expected benefit on attainment.
Throughout the Year of Young People 2018 school librarians will host a literacy festival led by young people in conjunction with the school librarian, with strands focusing on creativity and health and wellbeing. Workshops around graphic novels and health and wellbeing will take place in each of our 6 secondary school libraries alongside other related events. A day long festival designed and led by the young people taking part in these events will take place to recognize the work that has been carried out.
This project will encourage as many pupils as possible to read around social subjects; contextualizing classroom topics, developing critical thinking skills and sharing their experiences with peers, parents and beyond.
Social Subject pop up libraries will be developed to promote the personal reading of around 900 pupils, and strengthen the working relationship between the school library and social subjects department.
School Librarians Raising Achievement of Children and Young People with English as an Additional Language
The aim of this large-scale project is to improve the literacy skills of children and young people with English as an Additional Language (EAL). The initiative will create an Advisory Board of EAL young people to develop collections and recruit a Writer in Residence to work with every secondary school and two primary schools in the area. The project will conclude with the production of a book written by the pupils exploring the theme of identity.
Teenage Sensory Reading Programme
This project focuses on raising attainment in literacy, primarily focusing on Additional Support Needs / Support for Learning pupils. The strategy will involve the establishment of a sensory reading programme and groups, allowing pupils to explore all types of reading materials. Multisensory techniques – which can aid learning – will also be used to encourage literacy progression.
Makerspace @ PGCC: Equipping young people with the skills needed for their future
This library project will see the creation of a Makerspace in Inverclyde’s Learning Resource Centre to equip young people with creative and social skills. Using fun and engaging learning methods the Makerspace will deliver project-based activities, promote problem-solving skills and contribute positively to the social wellbeing of students.
The Learning Resource Centre is in the Port Glasgow Community Campus and offers a shared library between three schools – Port Glasgow High School, St Stephen’s High School and Craigmarloch School. As such, the new Makerspace will help promote the use of the school library as a learning hub for both students and staff.
Magic Torch Masterclass
The focus of this pioneering project is for pupils at Inverclyde Academy to produce their own graphic novel. Working with Magic Torch comics, pupils will research a real historical event before bringing it life through their own words and art. The project will conclude with a comic launch, showcasing the pupils’ achievements.
Our School Library!
The Our School Library project will empower young people to contribute to literacy development and shape the future of their own school library. Based in Largs Academy Library / Campus Library Resource Centre, the project offers each P7 and S1 class a budget to produce a list of books for the school library. This will motivate pupils in their own learning and champion the books they have chosen.
The new Resource Centre will support the learning of over 1600 young people when three primary schools and one secondary move to a shared learning campus in March 2018.
Breaking Down Barriers - Reading Enjoyment for All
This project aims to break down barriers and foster a life-long love of reading for enjoyment. The initiative will increase the range of resources currently available to pupils including non-fiction books and accessible texts. By targeting primary school pupils, the scheme hopes to associate reading with pleasure at a young age.
The Library Links project will develop ties between public libraries and schools, supporting the development of a more formal partnership. This will involve several library and school staff training opportunities, including class workshops, awareness sessions and literacy information meetings.
This will ultimately result in increased reader development activities as well as the promotion of ongoing information literacy sessions.