The judging panel for the 2021 SLIC Award were blown away by the high standard of applications submitted. The Award attracted interest from across SLIC’s membership base from public libraries, Higher and Further Education Libraries, libraries in the health sector and special interest libraries. The range of outstanding initiatives and commitment from library staff in all sectors is truly impressive. It not only confirms that Scottish libraries should be proud of their workforce but also shines a light on talent which has been nurtured within the industry.
SLIC Chair Ian Ruthven said: "What characterises all these nominations, particularly those shortlisted, are the willingness of library teams to find solutions, to put their communities first, and to throw themselves at a challenge.
"So many of the nominations describe a range of initiatives and it was particularly welcome to see how many form the basis of future, enhanced library services.
"It has been hard to select only a few services as a shortlist but we believe these exemplify the amazing commitment and creativity of Scotland’s library services. We congratulate all those who were nominated for their inspiring entries."
Please click below to find out more about the six shortlisted library services.
East Lothian Council Library Services has been shortlisted for an impressive and imaginative response to community needs during lockdown. Their entry describes a thoughtful and comprehensive set of initiatives including a pop-up library, a fascinating range of new digital activities, insightful support for vulnerable library users, and even dedicating library books to children born during the pandemic. A truly stimulating nomination.
Falkirk Community Trust Libraries has been shortlisted for the dedication of their Home Library Service during lockdown. Already supporting those who are unable to attend their local library, this team extended their service to those who were shielding and showed an incredible commitment to understanding and answering the full range of needs faced by their service users. It is clear that this team provides a strongly empathetic and innovative range of support, especially for those who risk falling between the cracks of other services.
Glasgow Libraries Business and IP Centre Glasgow has been shortlisted for their creativity and utmost dedication in connecting with and supporting their service users during lockdown. The centre has supported over 300 entrepreneurs to start or develop their business since lockdown and a particularly impressive feature of this entry was the range of communication and support mechanisms put in place including blogs, skills directories, webinars, twitter events, and an expansion of their Experts in Residence programme. This entry shows a complete and considered response to user needs during a most difficult time for businesses.
High Life Highland Libraries has been shortlisted for their innovation in providing the Bookbug programme during lockdown. Recognising the significant role that Bookbugs plays within family life, colleagues from High Life Highland Libraries ran online Bookbugs sessions, created a bespoke Bookbug delivery programme, and showed an inspiring commitment to widening the reach of Bookbugs through participation in local music festivals, refugee events, and even one member of staff learning Makaton signing to make Bookbugs available to those with hearing impairments. This entry testifies to the commitment of High Life Highland Libraries to one of the most important library activities.
Inverclyde Library Service has been shortlisted for their Techy Teabreak programme and comprehensive digital offering in response to lockdown. Recognising that digital skills would be essential in lockdown, Inverclyde Library Service created a Techy Teabreak programme of videos, launched a Device Advice helpline to offer support to those less familiar with technology, created online discussion groups, and offered an impressive range of online events. This entry was particularly noteworthy for the way that Inverclyde Library Service created a team ethos for solving problems, developing their own skills, and creating a platform for future service innovation.
Shetland Library has been shortlisted for a coordinated, strategic, and forward-thinking response to lockdown. Their nomination is characterised by tenacity, community engagement and the ability to see every challenge as an opportunity. This entry describes new ways of working, new partnerships, and new ways of connecting to their local communities. During lockdown and the recovery that followed, this team looked upwards and outwards.