Minister for Culture and External Affairs announces funding boost for Scotland’s libraries

Monday 1 November 2010

With libraries in Scotland attracting over 30 million visitors per year, the Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, has today recognised the commitment of local libraries to providing high quality services and announced a further £440,200 investment in libraries across Scotland.

The GBP 440,200 investment has been provided by the Scottish Government through the Public Library Quality Improvement Fund (PLQIF) and will fund thirteen local library projects, including GBP 120,000 to Perth and Kinross, Moray, Inverclyde, Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, Glasgow and West Lothian to develop a consortium to implement a system which will improve efficiency in book procurement, to ensure that a wide range of stock is available for library users.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland’s public libraries are a valuable community resource, providing access to knowledge, learning and culture. Our funding of over 400k for 13 projects is allowing libraries across Scotland to develop their services to meet the changing needs of communities in the digital age.”

Ms Hyslop announced the funding following the publication of the latest round of Public Library Quality Improvement Matrix (PLQIM) reports which saw the seven libraries evaluated receive good, very good or excellent ratings for service provision.

PLQIM is a peer-reviewed self-evaluation tool which encourages continuous improvement in public library services, funded by the Scottish Government. The framework was developed by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) to provide a benchmark for quality service provision and looks at seven areas: information, community engagement, reading, learning, ethos, resources and leadership.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian were evaluated for the latest round of reports, with four of the regions receiving an excellent rating for at least one area of the assessment.

Elaine Fulton, Director of the Scottish Library and Information Council said: “The provision of quality library services is crucial to ensure that people have the support they need to develop their skills, realise their aspirations and contribute to the economic growth and well being of the country.

“The PLQIM matrix provides a benchmark for quality and we are delighted with the results of the latest round of reports and the announcement of the PLQIF funding which will help to provide communities with access to the services, information and advice that they need.”

Libraries remain one of the free universal services for communities where the population can visit as individuals or groups to pursue reading for pleasure, learning or hobbies. They also support the business community, individual and community information needs and are inclusive of all age and social groups, nationalities, genders and religious beliefs.

In addition to the visitors who use general library services, libraries also have over 300,000 registered learners following formal courses and an increasing number, now over 10% of the population, use learning centres in libraries.

Notes to Editors

  1. Full details of the awards made through PLQIF have been included below.
  2. The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library matters. For more information on SLIC visit:
  3. For more information on PLQIM and details of the reports visit:


Media contact:

Elise Clayton, Account Manager, Golley Slater

T: 0131 272 2733 E:

PLQIF AWARDS - 2010-2011


GBP 20,000 - Wi-fi hardware to increase customer access to free broadband.

Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, Glasgow Life, Inverclyde, Moray, Perth and Kinross and West Lothian

GBP 120,000 – To develop a consortium to implement smartLINK - efficiency in book procurement, to ensure that a wide range of stock is available for library users.

East Lothian

GBP 5,000 – To implement Accelerated Readers in Public Libraries - promoting reading to young people to develop confident individuals and readers.

East Renfrewshire

GBP 23,500 – To provide self service and RFID facilities in East Renfrewshire Libraries.

Falkirk, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian and Glasgow Life

GBP 19,200 – A collaborative project to establish book groups for the visually impaired.


GBP 3,500 – Towards staff training to improve product knowledge for front-line staff.

Stirling and East Dunbartonshire

GBP 60,000 – To provide a hosted, consortial library management system.

West Dunbartonshire

GBP 21,000 - Digital Information: Driving Community Participation – provision of software for community engagement.

West Lothian

GBP 18,000 – To provide West Lothian with express self service and RFID at Fauldhouse and Armadale.


GBP 90,000 – For Ask Scotland, a new national virtual reference service which provides users with access to library resources and collections.

Scottish reading promotion

GBP 20,000 – To develop a national project to promote reading and support the literacy action plan.


GBP 30,000 – To link PLQIM to local authority Single Outcome Agreements

GBP 10,000 – For PLQIM impact research

13 awards totalling £440,200