About The Fund
The Public Library Improvement Fund supports creative, sustainable and innovative public library projects throughout Scotland.

The Fund plays a key role in helping public library services achieve the sustainable vision set out in Forward: Scotland's Public Library Strategy 2021-2025. The document outlines 15 strategic aims grouped under the themes of People, Place & Partnership, and maps out an exciting future for Scotland's public libraries. The Scottish Library Information Council administers the Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government. 

Who Can Apply?

Every public library service in Scotland can apply to the Public Library Improvement Fund. A public library service can apply for a Grant Award on its own or in partnership with external organisations. SLIC accepts up to two applications per library service. This is to give each authority an equal opportunity when applying. 

What We Can Fund

Projects need to have a direct link to one or more of the strategic aims of Forward: Scotland's Public Library Strategy 2021-2025. There is no minimum or maximum amount that can be applied for as a project grant. Public Library Improvement Fund projects will normally be completed within 12 months. Library services will also have to observe the Fair Work First Scheme. 

This year, as well as supporting the strategic aims of Forward, priority will be given to projects which support the following:  

  • Bridging the digital divide 
  • Tackling the cost of living crisis (economic wellbeing)
  • Closing the attainment gap 
  • Sustainability

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

You can find more information on the strategic aims of the Public Library Strategy and the Fair Work First scheme on our Public Library Improvement Fund FAQ Page

What We Can't Fund

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

Applications will not be considered for the following:

  • Core business/equipment
  • Refurbishment or fit-out costs
When To Apply

The Public Library Improvement Fund 2022 is now open to applications. The Fund will close at 12pm on Wednesday 2nd November 2022.SLIC will aim to notify applicants of Awards within one week of the Funding Sub-Committee’s decision. Applications submitted after the closing date will not be considered. 

How To Apply

The Public Library Improvement Fund Guidance and Application Form Guidance offer a step-by-step guide to applying. It is recommended you read through the Guidance before filling out our online Application FormYou may wish to copy and paste from a word document to the online form. the Public Library Improvement 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.