If you are planning on applying to the Public Library Improvement Fund, you can find the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions below.

For information on the funding process, including the application deadline, visit our main Public Library Improvement Fund page.  

If the FAQs can’t help with your query, please email info@scottishlibraries.org and someone will come back to you.  

The Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) is a funding stream which supports creative, sustainable and innovative library projects throughout Scotland. It is available to all public library services in Scotland and is administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council on behalf of the Scottish Government. 

The Public Library Improvement Fund is for initiatives which support the strategic aims of Forward: Scotland’s Public Library Strategy 2021-2025Each year SLIC and the Scottish Government identify priorities for the Fund. Details of the current priorities can be found on the main Public Library Improvement Fund page and the Guidance for Applicants Form.

The SLIC Funding Sub-Committeeapproveapplications on innovation, achievability, value for money, sustainability, and scalability. The SLIC Funding Sub-Committee also looks at how strongly the application engages with Forward: Scotland's Public Library Strategy. 

Forward: Scotland’s Public Library Strategy 2021-2025 sets out 15 strategic aims under the overarching themes of People, Place and Partnership.

These outline the key areas of development within Scotland’s public libraries. Applications to the Public Library Improvement Fund need to relate to at least one of the strategic aims of this document.  

There is a limit of two applications as this gives every library service in Scotland an opportunity to prioritise what is important to its service. 


Library services and their collaborative partners will be required to observe the Fair Work First scheme which encourages and supports employers to adopt fair work practices within their organisation.

SLIC is obliged to ensure that all applicants are fully compliant with the scheme. Details of the scheme are available on the Scottish Government website. 

Please note, the Fair Work Scheme was updated on 1 July 2023 and states that organisations which receive a public sector grant must pay at least the real Living Wage and provide appropriate channels for effective workers' voice. There are limited exceptions to this default position.  

If you have any questions about applying to the Public Library Improvement Fund you can email info@scottishlibraries.org 

You are advised to read the Guidance for Applicants and Application Form Guidance prior to applying as this takes you through the application process step-by-step.  

Please submit your application byfilling in the online form. Please ensure you read the Guidance for Applicants before submitting. You may wish to copy and paste from a Word document on to the online form.  

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. 

SLIC will contact you via email after submissions close, following the final decision of the SLIC Funding Sub-Committee, to let you know whether you have been successful or not.