If you are planning on applying to the School Library Improvement Fund, you can find the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions below. If our FAQs can’t help with your query, please email info@scottishlibraries.org and we will be happy to answer any questions regarding your application.

What is the School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF)?

The School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) is a funding stream which supports creative and innovative projects within the school library sector. It is available to all state nurseries, primary schools, and secondary schools in Scotland with an established library.

SLIF is administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Every Local Authority in Scotland has been allocated a School Key Contact. This could be the Head of Public Libraries, an Education Manager, or a Quality Improvement Officer (QIO).

It is very important that you contact them well in advance of the application deadline and your application is submitted to SLIC through your Key Contact. They will help you with your application, offering suggestions and guidance.

Please contact your Local Authority to find out the name of your Key Contact.

The Key Contact signature confirms that your application has been vetted. If there is no signature SLIC will assume you have not been in touch with your Key Contact and your application will not progress any further.

  • An application made by two or more schools from separate Local Authorities.
  • An application with an external organisation or charity. 
  • An application made by two or more schools from separate Local Authorities and an external organisation or charity.

Note Schools working together within the same authority is not regarded as a collaborative application but an individual application. SLIC encourages multi-disciplinary and cooperative working however Collaborative Applications must be led by school library services.

Examples of previously successful collaborative projects can be found on The School Library Improvement Fund Award pages or by visiting the SLIC blog. 

The School Library Improvement Fund is designed to help schools which already have a dedicated school library and who want to improve their services and provision.

We do not offer funding to establish new libraries. Organisations such as The Foyle Foundation can help those looking to set up a school library from scratch.

There is a limit of two Individual Applications per Local Authority as this gives an equal opportunity to be considered for funding. There is no limit on the number of Collaborative Applications SLIC will accept.

Schools and their collaborative partners must comply with 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. You can find out more by visiting the Scottish Government website.  

Your Key Contact can help you with all aspects of the funding process including offering suggestions and revisions.

Every application has to have a direct link to at least one of the Strategic Aims of Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools - A National Strategy for School Libraries in Scotland 2018-2023.

The Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schools Strategic Aims are:

  • Strategic Aim 1: School libraries in Scotland are a key resource and are central to the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, develop pupil skills for the world of work, and encourage learning that will stay with pupils throughout their lives.
  • Strategic Aim 2: School libraries in Scotland use digital technology to deliver high-quality and efficient digital learning experiences for young people, enabling access to information and creative opportunities.
  • Strategic Aim 3: School libraries in Scotland are central to education for all ages, develop a culture of reading for pleasure, offer literacy numeracy support from ELC settings through to primary and secondary schools, and enable opportunities for family learning.
  • Strategic Aim 4: School libraries in Scotland contribute to health literacy, social and mental wellbeing, and provide a safe, trusted space for children and young people to be nurtured.
  • Strategic Aim 5: School libraries in Scotland are essential to closing the attainment gap, support all curriculum areas, are well-supported by the school management team and operate under a successful working model.

Every application must be submitted through the Key Contact for your Local Authority. SLIC will not accept applications directly from individuals involved in potential projects.

Please make sure you get in touch with your Key Contact early in the application process.

SLIC will inform you by letter via your Key Contact after submissions close.