The Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF) supports creative and innovative library projects throughout Scotland. Awarded every year, the Scottish Library and Information Council administers the Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Since its inception in 2006 PLIF has played a significant part in transforming Scotland’s public library landscape. Millions of pounds has been invested in a wide range of pioneering projects which in turn has had an enormous impact on both individuals and communities alike.    

PLIF also has a key role to play in helping library services achieve the vision set out by Scotland’s strategy for public libraries, Ambition & Opportunity.

PLIF Awards

Each year every public library in Scotland can apply for funding through PLIF. Projects can cover a wide range of different areas such as the creation of homework clubs, the introduction of maker spaces or digital training.

Currently, every project has to have a direct link to one or more of the six strategic aims of the Scottish public library strategy. For instance, successful PLIF Awards in 2016 focused on areas such as economic wellbeing, digital inclusion and reading, literacy and learning. By showing clear links with the strategic aims, projects were also able to contribute to the overarching national outcomes of the strategy.

Libraries can also submit more than one application if they are planning multiple projects. However it’s important to remember that awards are made on a case-by-case basis. For more information please read our PLIF Guidelines before you apply for PLIF online or download a PLIF Application Form.

PLIF 2016 Awards

Nearly £250,000 was awarded through PLIF in 2016, helping to support a wide range of creative and innovative ventures. This included robotics workshops, coding courses and projects inspired by WW1. Funding was also awarded to two national initiatives which benefited all 32 local authorities.

You can find out more about the individual projects funded by PLIF by visiting our PLIF Awards page.

Alternatively, if you would like more information on the PLIF Award process or help completing both forms please refer to SLIC’s PLIF Guidelines.

PLIF Evaluation

In 2015 SLIC commissioned a team from the Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University to review PLIF. Professor Peter Reid and Caroline Whitehead produced an Evalutation of PLIF which highlighted the importance of PLIF and recommendations for the future.