SLIC CEO Appointed to the Board of NLS

Amina Shah, CEO of SLIC is one of five new Trustees appointed to the National Library of Scotland. The appointments were announced by Fiona Hyslop, Scotland's Culture Secretary.  

The other new Trustees include SLIC's Vice-Chair, Helen Durndell, along with William Shields Henderson, Carmel Teusner and Ian Marley.

The National Library of Scotland is one of the world's leading research libraries and one of Scotland's premier cultural institutions. It is governed by a Board, whose members are responsible for the overall vision and strategy and for ensuring public accountability.


New Chair for SLIC

Gordon Hunt, Head of External Engagement at the University of the West of Scotland, has been appointed as Chair of SLIC, succeeding Fiona McLeod MSP following her appointment as Minister for Children and Young People.  

Gordon has worked at UWS since 2008 and was appointed to his present position in August 2014. Previously, he was Director of Customer Services at the National Library of Scotland and has also held posts at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, Westminster College of Higher Education, Oxford and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Professor Peter Reid, Head of the Information Management Department at Robert Gordon University has also been co-opted onto the SLIC Board.


Barrhead Foundry Open for Business

The new Barrhead Foundry gives local residents access to a first-class library, enhanced sports facilities, digital hub, café, business centre and free wifi. The centre will provide a members only area for local business people or those looking to start their own businesses, where they can get support and advice.

There are also flexible meeting spaces for local organisations and community groups, and a soft play area for children.

Locals are invited to drop-in and take a first-look at the new multi-million pound facility and see how they can benefit from what's in store. There is an extensive events and activities programme.

For general enquiries, bookings for meeting rooms and sportshall please email


SLIC announces ‘Every Child a Library Member’ Pilot

To coincide with National Libraries Day (Saturday 7 February 2015), the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) has announced details of a new library pilot scheme to make every child in Scotland a library member.

Fifteen local authorities across Scotland have signed up to support the ‘Every child a library member’ project, which will be funded by the SLIC-administered Public Library Improvement Fund, which is provided by the Scottish Government to support improvement and innovation in public library services across Scotland.

According to Amina Shah, Chief Executive of SLIC,“Libraries open up a world of learning and potential through access to information, books and other resources.  They are a free and accessible environment for people of all ages to learn. Our research shows that libraries impact positively on learning outcomes for pupils.  We also know that more children are using their local library through the Summer Reading Challenge.  What we want to do is increase this engagement by reaching more children and making sure more children are library members. 

“Through this project, we will aim to engage with families and communities to encourage more children to use and enjoy their local library and to enjoy reading for pleasure, helping to give them the best chance to learn in early years.”

Research shows that school library and public library services impact positively on the educational attainment of pupils and literacy levels among communities.  The ‘Impact of School Libraries on Learning’ report  found that schools with school libraries and librarians achieve higher exam scores leading to higher academic attainment; higher quality project work; successful curriculum and learning outcomes; positive attitudes towards learning and increased motivation and self-esteem among pupils.

In addition, statistics compiled by The Reading Agency show that increasing numbers of children in Scotland are engaging in their annual Summer Reading Challenge, which challenges children to read six books during their school summer holidays.  Participation in the challenge has increased every year since 2011, with an overall increase of 18% from 2011 to 2014.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs stated that, “Libraries have a vital role to play in developing literacy, supporting attainment and encouraging the people of Scotland to develop a love of reading. This project, supported by the Scottish Government through the Public Library Improvement Fund, will encourage Scotland’s children and their parents to enjoy books from an early stage. This builds on the government’s existing commitment to encourage reading and improve literacy standards through initiatives including the PlayTalkRead campaign, Book Week Scotland and our newly announced Read Write Count initiative.”

The Pilot Project was welcomed by Marc Lambert, Chief Executive, of the Scottish Book Trust,“Scottish society is taking a huge step forward with the news that a number of local authority library services have enthusiastically agreed to pilot this initiative, which aims to ensure that every child is automatically enrolled in, and becomes an active member of their local library. This not only speaks to the early and decisive contribution libraries made to the character of Scottish society, but also provides for a strong future where children and their families can enjoy, for free, the benefits, advantages and pleasures that flow from the libraries in their community, and which are so critical to successful outcomes in later life." 

For further information, contact Amina Shah,


Happy 100th Birthday Langside Library!

Celebrations were the order of the day recently at Langside Library, where staff and the local community celebrated the centenary of the building.

At a special party, Lord Provost, Sadie Docherty cut the birthday cake and the actor Gary Lewis gave an enthusiastic speech about the importance of libraries, “They are a tremendous community facility. I’m passionate about libraries, even when I’m travelling and working abroad on films, I go to them.  As a father, I think the love of reading is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children."  

Congratulations were also offered in the Scottish Parliament, led by local MSP, James Dornan, “I want libraries to continue to inspire people—young and old—as much as they inspired me when I was younger. Langside library is just one example of a library that has had a stellar history, but is modernising to ensure that it has a strong future ahead of it.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, added her own best wishes, “I wish Langside library a happy 100th birthday. It is wonderful that, after a centenary, the library is still going strong and bringing new services and sessions to its community that range from practical support from Macmillan Cancer Support and Citizens Advice Scotland, through local political engagements via surgeries with councillors and MSPs, to more leisurely pursuits such as storytelling sessions, coffee mornings and a knitting group. The ethos of libraries has always been equality of opportunity, and that is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago. Libraries offer crucial support to help people to help themselves. They support literacy, digital participation, learning, employability, health, culture and leisure. They improve the quality of people’s lives and support them to engage in the democratic process.”

Langside Library is the busiest community in the South Side of Glasgow, with more than 150,000 visitors last year. For further information visit