SCOTTISH school libraries will receive a funding boost for projects supporting anti-racism and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

The School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) opened its applications today for all state-run nurseries, primary schools and secondary schools in Scotland.

The funding is worth £200k and will prioritise project applications which support anti-racism and racial equality.

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There is no minimum or maximum amount that schools can apply for.

The SLIF is a national funding programme supported by the Scottish Government, Jenny Gilruth MSP, Education Secretary, has said that she was “delighted” to be able to continue the programme.

She said: “School libraries play a vital role in the learning experiences of children and young people across the country.

“They are also places where positive values can be celebrated and developed, which is why I am delighted to continue our support for them through this fund.

“I am determined that inclusion, diversity and representation will be at the heart of our education system.

“This fund’s focus on developing anti-racism resources will help ensure that children and young people understand the harmful consequences of racism and discrimination, and encourage them to actively challenge it wherever it occurs.”

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The funding programme for 2023/24 will build on much of the anti-discrimination work achieved in school libraries over the last year, such as Ross High School in Tranent’s ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ project, which created a digital resource to celebrate diversity in school libraries across East Lothian.

The Scottish Government has said that the latest funding boost brings the total amount invested in the School Library Strategy to £1.7m.

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) which administers the fund on behalf of the Scottish Government, said: “School libraries play a central role in helping children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for learning, life and work.

“They ensure every young person has the chance to fulfil their full potential, so it’s great to see this level of Scottish Government funding pledged.

“From physical and digital resources to collaborative workshops and initiatives, SLIF grants can help school libraries improve and expand the services they offer for their pupils, staff and the community around them.

“As we continue to put a focus on projects advocating for anti-racism and anti-discrimination, we would encourage every nursery, primary and secondary school to consider how they can help lead the way in developing our services and apply for funding today.”

Applications for the School Library Improvement Fund 2023-24 will close at 12pm on September 20.