About The Fund

The Innovation and Development Fund supports pioneering library projects throughout Scotland which link to SLIC's strategic objectives. It is aimed at those who do not benefit from the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) or the School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF).

The Fund is ideal for projects and activities which encourage creative service delivery and development, including the creation of new resources, research and staff training. Previous awards have included the creation of pop-up maker spaces, new library collections and health and wellbeing projects. Learn more about previous projects by visiting our Innovation and Development Fund Awards Page.


Who Can Apply

The Innovation and Development Fund is open to Further Education, Higher Education and Specialist libraries and Information Centres throughout Scotland who are members of the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

Eligible library services can apply to the Fund in two ways:  

  1. Individual Application.

Eligible members can apply to the Fund on its own without any collaboration with other partners or external organisations. SLIC accepts up to two Individual Applications per eligible library service. This is to give each library service an equal opportunity when applying.

  1. Collaborative Application.

SLIC accepts an unlimited number of Collaborative Applications. This is where an application is made by either two or more eligible SLIC members and/or external partners. 

While SLIC encourages multi-disciplinary and cooperative working, Collaborative Applications must be led by eligible SLIC member library service/s. A detailed explanation of what constitutes a Collaborative Application can be found on the Innovation and Development Fund FAQ Page.

What We Can Fund

Every project needs to have a direct link to one of more to SLIC's Strategic Aims. These are: 

  • Advocacy
  • Standards
  • Innovation
  • Partnership
  • Funding
  • Research


Applications will be considered for a range of activities including:

  • Research
  • Impact Analysis
  • External Project Managers/Facilitators 
  • Service Development
  • Project specific staff training
  • Partnership working
  • The creation of new resources or services
  • Preparation of good practice guides


There is no minimum or maximum amount that can be applied for. Innovation and Development Fund projects will normally be completed within 12 months. Library services will also be encouraged to observe the Fair Work First Scheme. You can find more information on the SLIC's Strategic Aims and the Fair Work First scheme on the Innovation and Development Fund FAQ Page.

What We Can't Fund

As the Fund supports creative and innovative projects, SLIC is unlikely to fund applications which are similar to previously successful projects.

When To Apply

The Innovation and Development Fund 2023 is now closed. SLIC will aim to notify applicants as soon as possible after the Funding Sub-Committee's decision. Applications submitted after the close date will not be considered.

How To Apply

The Innovation and Development Fund Application Guidance Form offers a step-by-step guide to applying. It is recommended that you read through the Guidance before filling out our online Application Form. You may wish to copy and paste from a word document to the online form. The Innovation and Development Fund FAQ Page can help with any questions you may have regarding the application process. If you cannot find the answer to your query you can email info@scottishlibraries.org 

Please note: The online application form does not require signatures. Confirmation of signatures, including those of partners will be required, if successful, as part of the Conditions of Grant.