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by Jenni Davidson
28 September 2016
Libraries awarded over £2.3m of funding since launch of library strategy

Libraries awarded over £2.3m of funding since launch of library strategy

Library shelves - Image credit: Arno Burgi/DPA/Press Association Images

Scottish libraries have been awarded over £2.3m of funding since Scotland’s first strategy for public libraries was launched just over a year ago.

At a conference today to mark the first year of the strategy, which was launched in June 2015, speakers looked at progress and showcased activities such as Macmillan @ Glasgow Libraries.

The five-year ‘Ambition and Achievement: a Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015-2020’ outlines how to position libraries for the 21st century, where “immense amounts of knowledge, information and culture can be accessed almost instantaneously”.

As well as promotion of reading, literacy and learning, it also has a focus on digital inclusion, economic and social wellbeing, and culture and creativity.

The funding awarded so far includes £950,000 over two years for the Public Library Improvement Fund, which is open to all libraries across Scotland for projects to support all parts of the strategy.

In addition £700,000 has been given for the installation of wifi in libraries to support digital inclusion, £80,000 for Every Child a Library Member pilot to support reading, literacy and learning and £70,000 for North Ayrshire’s ‘Appiness’, an award-winning project to teach young people and parents to use apps for literacy, numeracy and other subjects.

Since then a strategic partnership has also been set up between the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and BBC Scotland to develop joint information, learning and creative opportunities.

This year the two joint BBC Scotland and SLIC projects are Build It Scotland, where young people are invited to help build a virtual map of Scotland’s landmarks through digital software programmes such as Minecraft, Tinkercad and SketchUp, and Love to Read, a campaign to inspire more people to develop a love of reading.

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC, said: “The strategy has provided library services across the country with focus to move in the same direction together, using our combined strength to build the service, while offering a wide range of partners an opportunity to engage at a national level.

“The value of libraries has been questioned against the backdrop of increasing digital information and technology. 

“But it is the digital age that has helped libraries to deepen their engagement with local communities, forging out new ways to support people in the way they need. 

“People are still borrowing books, but more people are using their library to access digital information, as a space to learn and to take part in community events and as a local hub to access services.”

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