Libraries in Scotland: Supporting Communities and Improving Outcomes

This briefing will examine the role of libraries in the 21st century to deliver services, meet the needs of communities and help support national and local priorities

The context

In an era of public service reform and increased financial pressures, libraries have a unique ability to reach and impact within local communities.

Published in 2015, Scotland’s first ever national strategy for public libraries, developed with the library profession and stakeholders from across sectors, sets out six strategic aims each linked to national outcomes and indicators outlined in the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework.

The event

Two years into the strategy, what progress has been made and how can libraries support and add value to a range of local and national policy priorities? Attend this Holyrood event for an up-to-date brief on the latest policy and practice in how libraries can innovate, engage and serve the needs of their communities.

Key learning objectives

  • Get an up-to-date brief on the current policy landscape, the role and potential of libraries in the 21st to improve outcomes
  • Consider guidance and the next steps from improving service provision
  • Gain insights into practical examples of libraries engaging communities, delivering innovative and effective services


09:15 Registration and refreshments

10:00 Welcome and introduction by the Chair

10:05 Session 1: Libraries in Scotland in the 21st century

  • Implementing and delivering the National Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland
  • The potential of libraries to engage people, deliver 21st century public services and national outcomes
  • Libraries responding to the changing needs and aspirations of communities
  • Maintaining sustainability, adapting to ongoing pressures, reforms and the digital age

10:05 Enriching Lives through Libraries 

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive, Scottish Library and Information Council

10:25 21st Century Librarians: Enabling and Engaging with Scotland’s Communities​

  • The modern skillset of an information professional
  • The needs of Scotland’s communities and how libraries and librarians are meeting them
  • Librarians – what might the future hold?

Sean McNamara, Policy and Digital Officer, CILIP in Scotland

10:45 Shining a Light

Key findings from the Trust’s 2017 report ‘Shining a Light’, based on interviews with 5,000 people from across the UK on their use of and attitudes towards public libraries.

Douglas White, Head of Advocacy, Carnegie UK Trust

11:05 Questions and Discussion

11:30 Refreshments and Networking

11:50 Session 2: Maximising The Impact

  • Positioning libraries as community hubs
  • Providing innovative and effective forms of engagement
  • Evaluating the quality and effectiveness of outreach, partnerships and service provisions

11:50 Values In Action: Making it work for the ‘easy to ignore’

Glasgow Women’s Library is a unique resource in Scotland. Their Co-founder Adele Patrick will discuss:

  • How inclusion informs innovative at GWL
  • How GWL works g/locally
  • How a recent project galvanised a community and put GWL on the map

Dr Adele Patrick, Lifelong Learning and Creative Development Manager, Glasgow Women's Library

12:10 Delivering Services in Challenging Areas and Being Proactive

Andrew McTaggart, Lifelong Learning Strategy Officer, and Diane Yule, Lifelong Learning Development Leader, Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services

12:30 Questions and Discussion

12:50 Lunch and Networking

13:30 Session 3: Good Practice Seminar

  • A series of case study examples will share insights and learning into libraries delivering innovative and effective practice, supporting local communities and improving outcomes.

13:30 North Ayrshire Libraries: Appiness to DigiDabble

  • Engaging young children and parents with appropriate apps to improve learning
  • Showcasing our digital toolkit to engage, excite and enthuse children, young people their families and communities about new technology and learning

Alison McAllister, Systems and Support Officer, Economy and Communities, North Ayrshire Council

13:50 Case study - Living Voices: Using story, song and poetry to prompt conversation with older people

Lilias Fraser, Projects Manager, Scottish Poetry Library

Ken Cockburn, Facilitator and Co-ordinator, Living Voices

14:10 Case study - Midlothian Bibliotherapy Service: Supporting communities through increasing confidence, self-esteem and emotional health literacy

Jane Milne, Customer Services Manager, and Fiona Bailey, Healthy Reading Bibliotherapist, Midlothian Council

14:30 Questions and Discussion

14:55 Summary by the Chair

15:00 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


NASUWT, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh EH2 4JD | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT)

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635 

7 February 2018



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