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£450,000 to support Scottish libraries

Published: 7 Sep 2016 09:30

21 projects allocated funding to improve services as part of PFG pledge.

Libraries are to offer robotics workshops, coding courses and support to people with dyslexia through funding for a range of projects across Scotland worth £450,000.

Fifteen local authorities are to share in the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), worth more than £240,000, confirmed in the Programme for Government (PFG).

A total of 21 projects, including two national initiatives, are to be awarded funding to encourage increased library use. The remaining funding, more than £200,000, will be used to support activities; including:

• The Scottish Government's 'Read, Write, Count' initiative.
• The 'Every Child A Library Member' programme.
• A pilot to try out a new single library card.
• Book Week Scotland events in libraries and national reading activities.

Speaking during a visit to Wester Hailes Library to meet pupils who could benefit from the support for the Edinburgh Explorers project, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

"The Scottish Government places great importance on public libraries and believes everyone should have access to library services. This funding demonstrates our ambition to ensure libraries engage in creative and stimulating activities.

"The First Minister recently launched her Reading Challenge which will encourage children to read more across all of Scotland. These local projects will support the aims set out in the Libraries Strategy, such as libraries' role in literacy, reading, culture and digital participation.

"We have invested more than £2 million since 2014 to support the development and delivery of our first national public library strategy, which will re-invigorate the role of public libraries and encourage people to utilise the varied services they offer."

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive at SLIC, said:

"The way people use libraries is changing. People are still borrowing books, but increasing numbers of people are using their library as a space to learn, to access digital information and to take part in creative and community-based activities and events. This is clearly reflected in the type of projects that will benefit from this funding. The extra funding for libraries will ensure they continue to deliver relevant services to their communities and help meet the aims of our public library strategy for Scotland."

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener, City of Edinburgh Council, said:

"Local libraries sit at the heart of many communities and inspire all ages with captivating stories and events. Not only do they open up the world of reading and literacy, they provide innovative services which support learning and imaginative play. I am delighted that the Public Library Improvement Fund is supporting our Edinburgh Explorers initiative to encourage more children and young people to visit the city's cultural venues whilst developing a love of reading."

Notes to editors

A breakdown of successful local projects can be accessed here:

http://scottishlibraries.org/funding/public-library-improvement-fund

First Minister's Reading Challenge announced:

http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/First-Minister-s-Reading-Challenge-235a.aspx

The Scottish Government's Read, Write and Count initiative:

http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Read-Write-Count-1c04.aspx