Support our Libraries: Government offers up £400,000 to support innovate projects

More than 30 public and school libraries are to benefit from £400,000 in Scottish Government funding to deliver a range of innovative projects – including initiatives to tackle climate change.

The Public Library Improvement Fund and the School Library Improvement Fund are annual awards set up by the government and administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

Sustainable projects backed by the Public Library Improvement Fund include East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s The Root Cause Project, which received £14,240 to transform an outdoor space at Thornliebank library into a sustainable community allotment and multi-functional space.

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Support our Libraries: Scotland on Sunday campaign launch
Around £400,000 has been awarded to libraries across the country. Picture: Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty ImagesAround £400,000 has been awarded to libraries across the country. Picture: Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty Images
Around £400,000 has been awarded to libraries across the country. Picture: Mikhail Tereshchenko\TASS via Getty Images
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Funds for school libraries were awarded to projects championing anti-racism and anti-discrimination.

These included Prestwick Academy Library and Ayr Academy Library’s project Read Woke Primaries to curate a wider range of contemporary fiction written by, and about, people from minority groups.

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “Libraries play a key role in our communities and our schools and projects funded through these awards will help to improve the services they can offer.

“Promoting sustainability is integral to our Net Zero ambitions to tackle climate change and our public libraries are an important focal point for conversations and taking action.

“And as part of our wider approach to creating anti-racist environments in school, it is great to see school libraries engaging our young people on the importance of belonging, inclusion and social justice.”

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive at SLIC, added: “As we begin to rebuild our society following the pandemic, school and public libraries are an essential part of the recovery process to ensure our future social and economic well-being.

“We’re particularly proud to provide funding awards to projects that promote sustainable development in public libraries and champion anti-racism and anti-discrimination across school libraries as examples of how libraries can make a valuable contribution to Scotland’s social fabric.”

Funds have been awarded annually to public libraries since 2006 through the Public Library Quality Improvement Matrix which became the Public Library Improvement Fund in 2014. The School Library Improvement Fund was launched in 2017.

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SLIC is the advisory body to the Scottish Government and its role is to support and promote the social and economic development of Scotland’s communities. The total amount for projects from the two funds comes to £398,142.

Message from Catherine Salmond, Editor, Scotland on Sunday

In 2021, we made a commitment to fight for the future of Scotland’s libraries – to stand up for their vital work, tell the stories of those who use and rely on them and push for their futures at every turn.

Throughout 2022, that pledge remains and today I am delighted to see financial backing for so many of our libraries come from the Scottish Government.

Our campaign has gathered a lot of attention and support from industry experts and prominent literary figures who, like us, believe libraries should be put at the heart of Scotland’s post-pandemic recovery.

No greater has the need been for access to reliable information and IT for the thousands of Scots attempting to navigate themselves – financially and emotionally – out of the pandemic and the challenging circumstances it has placed so many of us in.

Ian Rankin wrote last year that the closure of libraries during the pandemic was “a bitter pill”.

Assurances have been given by the Scottish Government that those remaining closed libraries will reopen their doors in 2022. We welcome this and will push for this to be as prompt as possible. Libraries are, after all, essential to the fabric of society.

Public Library Improvement Fund awards

Leisure and Culture Dundee - Libraries

Fintry Tool Library

Amount awarded: £1,404

East Lothian Libraries

Libraries at Play

Amount awarded: £5,500

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure – Libraries

The Root Cause Project

Amount awarded: £14,240

High Life Highland – Libraries

Books and Beats

Amount Awarded: £5,500

Inverclyde Libraries in partnership with Barnardo’s

Play Together

Amount awarded: £17,600

North Ayrshire Libraries

What’s Your Story – 22 for 22

Amount awarded: £29,800

Culture Perth & Kinross – Libraries

Culture & Heritage Connections

Amount awarded: £14,800

South Ayrshire Libraries

Jock Tamson’s Bairns

Amount Awarded: £9,200

South Ayrshire Libraries

Climate for Change

Amount Awarded: £26,610

Stirling Libraries in partnership with Stirling University

Making a Difference

Amount Awarded: £46,568

West Dunbartonshire Libraries

Towards a Sustainable Future

Amount Awarded: £21,435

West Lothian Libraries in partnership with Heriot Watt University


Amount Awarded: £6,000

Total: £198,657

School Library Improvement Fund awards


School: Dyce Academy

Project: Hear a Story / Tell a Story

Award: £4,000

School(s): Aberdeen City Libraries / Harlaw Academy with

Holocaust Educational Trust Erika's suitcase

Award: £8,000


School: Arbroath Academy plus others

Project: OPEN – a book, your eyes, your world

Award: £1,630


School: Arbroath Academy plus others

Project: OPEN – a book, your eyes, your world

Award: £1,630

School: Eyemouth High

Project: Get Woke

Award: £8,150

Dumfries and Galloway

School: North-West Community Campus NWCC

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Project: Bringing Diversity, Racial Equality to the NWCC Young adult Book Group

Award: £8,150

East Lothian

School: Musselburgh Grammar

Project Award: Digital Storybag

Award: £4,900

School: Lethams Mains Primary with EL Council

Project Award: The Borrowers Bus

Award: £9,000


School: Bonnybridge Primary

Project: Bonnybooks: For a’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns

Award: £24,940


School: Bell Baxter Cluster

Project: Racial Equality Transition Project

Award: £9,000

School: Carleton Primary

Project: The Same Page – connecting families to promote diversity and equality.

Award: £5,500


School: St Albert’s Primary School & Barrowland Ballet

Project: We can be Heroes

Award: £11,120

School: Barmulloch Primary & ALN

Project: Digital and Family Learning Hub

Award: £13,000

School: Lourdes Secondary

Project: Inclusive Storytelling for Healthy Minds

Award: £15,870


School: Forres Academy

Project: Equality, Inclusion, Diversity, and a Mentally Healthy School

Award: £3,750

North Ayrshire

School: Auchenharvie cluster and Strathclyde Uni

Project: Keep the Heid’n’Read Even Mair!

Award: £16,400

Perth and Kinross

School: Breadalbane Community Library/Breadalbane Academy

Project: Read It Racism

Award: £4,220

South Ayrshire

School(s): Prestwick Academy Library and Ayr Academy Library (in collaboration with 9 primary school libraries)

Project: Read Woke Primaries

Award: £44,000

South Lanarkshire

Schools: St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High

Project: Equal Voices using anti-racist and diverse texts in extra-curricular group discussion

Award: £5,125

Total: £199,485



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