In 2014 the Scottish Library and Information Council awarded over £185,000 through our Public Library Improvement Fund. Successful projects ranged from Lego Literacy Clubs to pop up Community Libraries. 

Public library services in Scotland can apply to PLIF on an annual basis. Up until 2017 services could submit multiple applications. SLIC has revised this policy and now only accepts a maximum of two bids per library service. If you would like to find out more about applying to the fund please read our current PLIF Guidelines.    

Since the introduction of Ambition & Opportunity: A Strategy for Public Libraries in Scotland 2015 – 2020, PLIF awards are now directly linked to the key aims of the strategy. However, to help services applying for PLIF in the future, individual projects from this year have been aligned with the Strategic Aims from Ambition & Opportunity.

PLIF 2014 Awards Public Libraries

Lego Literacy Clubs

AWARD: £8,483

This scheme introduced monthly Lego Literacy Clubs in every public library in Angus for primary school aged children. The one-hour sessions promoted hands-on learning and experimentation in early literacy and were facilitated by professionally trained staff. The project links well with strategic aims 4, 5 and 6 of Ambition & Opportunity: A strategy for public libraries in Scotland 2015 – 2020.

Use IT! What can IT do for me?

AWARD: £46,940.11

The Use IT! Project explored the full potential of ICT in meeting modern library user needs. An Engagement Officer was recruited to coordinate volunteers to help people strengthen their IT skills and develop training materials for both library staff and members of the public. Throughout the duration of the project regular skills surgeries were held in local libraries to enable library users to complete everyday tasks such filling out forms online. This project would now link well with many of the strategic aims of Ambition & Opportunity including Social Wellbeing, Digital Inclusion and Excellent Public Services.

The Lockerbie Disaster: Preserving Sound & Vision for the Future

AWARD: £7,363

Dumfries and Galloway Libraries digitised the audio/visual recordings of the Lockerbie Disaster Collection to ensure their preservation. Focusing on NHS video footage and audio cassette recordings, the library service catalogued the resources using specialist equipment. They will also now be able to add to the collection in the future. This project links well with strategic aims 1 and 6 of Scotland’s strategy for public libraries.

Dundee Dementia Information Service

AWARD: £10,000

Dundee Libraries set up a dedicated space within its Central Library providing people living with dementia space to access targeted, high quality dementia-related resources. The service was also available to their carers, family members and people working in dementia care. This project relates well to Strategic Aim 1: Reading, Literacy & Learning, Strategic Aim 4: Social Wellbeing and Strategic Aim 6: Excellent Public Services in Ambition & Opportunity.

Green Screen Literacy & Learning

AWARD: £7,117

This innovative project aimed to enrich Reader Development by allowing children and young people to ‘step into’ their stories through the use of Green Screen technology. Staff were trained in how to operate the new equipment before touring primary schools in the East Dunbartonshire area. The project enabled children to experience their books in a new way and to create their own backdrops. At the same time, young people were given the chance to learn more about the technology and how it is used in the filming industry. This relates well to strategic aims 1, 2 and 6 of Scotland’s strategy for public libraries.


Health Pop up Library

AWARD: £13,300

Focusing on Health and Wellbeing, this scheme delivered a portable health collection to community venues - such as leisure and third sector centres - throughout the East Dunbartonshire area. The pop up library service offered health information and bibliotherapeutic resources, increasing awareness of the public library offer and signposting users to other local health and wellbeing support groups. This project would now link directly with strategic aims 4 and 6 of Scotland’s strategy for public libraries.

All Aboard: Researching Our Resources Together

AWARD: £18,000

This initiative engaged with the local community, working with a school and local history group to create an app built around Inverclyde’s extensive cultural heritage collections.

To help celebrate the year of Homecoming, Inverclyde Libraries created an emigration themed digital ‘topic box’ app. Local pupils created the digital content through the digitisation of microfilms, local history books and recorded oral history sessions. The project then contributed to the educational programming at the Watt Library in Greenock.  


AWARD: £9,482

Encouraging children and adults of all ages to explore a range of ICT programmes, apps and devices was the main aim of North Ayrshire’s APPtitude project. The initiative offered ICT based activities for children, young people and adults which focused on building up their technical skills. Drop-in and Continual Personal Development sessions were also carried out. Focusing on digital participation, social wellbeing and excellent public services this project corresponds well strategic aims, 1, 2 and 6 of Ambition & Opportunity.  

Health and Wellbeing Information in Libraries

AWARD: £7,028

The main aim of this initiative was to promote public library services to health and social care professionals in local communities across Ayrshire and Arran. The project was part of a larger three-year health information strategy which spanned from 2013 – 2015. Linking directly to Social Wellbeing and Excellent Public Services, this would now relate well to strategic aims 4 and 6 of Scotland’s strategy for public libraries.   

Get On – A Digital Participation Project

AWARD: £29,693

Renfrewshire Libraries developed a network of digital volunteers throughout its library network to help library users with any IT queries they may have. The focus was on providing a friendly, approachable service to make sure members of the public got the most from their library visits. As part of this scheme a Volunteer Co-ordinator was employed. This linked directly to strategic aims 2, 3 , 4 and 6 of Scotland’s public library strategy.

Keep the Home Fires Burning – the Scottish Borders Stories

AWARD: £8,820

The focus of this project was to raise awareness of World War One amongst primary school pupils in the Scottish Borders. The library service used a combination of new and existing resources to explore the history of the Great War before producing a play and organising musical sessions. Combining themes of Reading, Literature and Learning as well as Culture and Creativity this project would sit well with strategic aim 1 and 5 of Ambition & Opportunity.

Shetland’s War

AWARD: £6,229

This timely project produced an online collection of primary resources aimed at both schools and the wider public. The collection features servicemen’s letters home which describing their war experiences. The resources have now been integrated into Shetland’s library provision. With a focus on Digital Inclusion, Reading, Literacy and Learning this initiative would fit well with strategic aims 1 and 2 of Scotland’s Strategy for Public Libraries.

Dr You: Self Help Information on Libraries

AWARD: £13,746

The aim of this project was to ultimately improve the mental health and wellbeing of communities throughout the Western Isles by building on the existing range of health resources held in community public libraries. Western Isles Libraries worked closely with the NHS and other health organisations to ensure the resources created were both informative and relevant to the needs of local communities. This relates well to strategic aims 1, 4 and 6 of Ambition & Opportunity.