PUBLIC libraries across Scotland have received a major funding boost to support a new series of projects.

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), which distributes funding on behalf of the Scottish Government, has selected eight initiatives to receive grants.

Announcing the initiatives receiving Scottish Government grants during a visit to Danderhall Library in Edinburgh, Scottish Culture Minister Neil Gray took the opportunity to highlight the role libraries play in closing the attainment gap, reducing social exclusion, and promoting equality of opportunity and reading.

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Gray said: “Public libraries are at the heart of our communities and this year’s awards will go towards a range of projects to further enhance the services they provide.

"I’m also pleased to see that many of the eight projects receiving a share of the £200,000 from the Scottish Government funded Public Libraries Improvement Fund (PLIF) will be delivering their programmes in partnership with other organisations.”

Joining children from Danderhall Primary School, Gray spoke about Every Child a Library Member – a new drive which aims to encourage parents across Scotland to introduce reading and library use from a young age.

Available to all public library services in Scotland, PLIF priority was given to applications which are in line with the strategic aims set out in Forward: Scotland’s Public Library Strategy 2021-2025 which focused on “People, Place and Partnership”.

This included an additional support needs training programme in Aberdeen and the creation of “Live Well Health” hubs across Glasgow.

The National: The Culture Minister visited a primary school in EdinburghThe Culture Minister visited a primary school in Edinburgh (Image: Newsquest)

Other initiatives awarded grants included projects which help to overcome social isolation, bridge the digital divide, close the attainment gap and mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis.

They included:

  • Aberdeen City: Building Bridges, Overcoming Barriers
  • Angus: Using the Mobile Library to Grow Community Library Services
  • East Ayrshire: On the Road to Digital Success
  • Glasgow: Live Well Health Information Hubs
  • Glasgow: Connect, Engage, Retain
  • Moray: Digi Bytes and Takeaways
  • North Ayrshire: Off the Page
  • Orkney: Sensory Exploration in Orkney

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC, said: “The Public Library Improvement Fund allows services across Scotland to enhance their offering to provide support which benefits the communities they operate in most.

“It allows libraries to lead the way in enriching the sector’s offering and with people, place and partnership at the heart of this innovation, the advantages of library use for people of all ages has never been more clear."