Since being introduced in 2006 the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) has played a significant part in transforming Scotland’s public library landscape. The fund has supported many innovative projects throughout the country – having an enormous impact on people’s lives and the communities we live in.
In 2015 the Scottish Library and Information Council commissioned Professor Peter Reid and Caroline Whitehead of the Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University to review the Public Library Improvement Fund.
During the review process, feedback was sought from Heads of Service from across Scotland. Responses included evaluations of individual projects as well as comments on the PLIF process. Analysis of previous PLIF Awards and PLIF Reports also helped to identify common themes of the Fund as well as key successful factors.
A review of previous PLIF projects revealed a number of common themes which libraries choose to focus on. These include:
- Health information
- IT and digital skills development
- Reminiscence work
- Local history
- Community engagement & consultation
One of the main findings of the PLIF Review is that the fund is highly valued by library services. In many instances it allows services to roll out projects which would otherwise be impossible. Not only does PLIF encourage the sharing of good practice, it can also result in substantial savings for library services.