Wealth of Reading Winner Rewarded

The winner of the Wealth of Reading promotion is Colin Saddington from Lossiemouth. He was presented with his prize, an iPad Air by Moray Councillor Anne Skene at his local library.  

Colin said that the display for the promotion was so inviting, that it was impossible not to be tempted to take a book and staff members at Lossiemouth Library encouraged him to comment on the books which he read.

The Wealth of Reading promotion, which attracted hundreds of entries, ran in libraries across Scotland from July to September and was designed to celebrate reading and the Commonwealth.


New Strategy Aims to Get Scotland Reading

A new strategy designed to encourage and inspire more people in Scotland to enjoy reading has been launched by two high profile Scottish authors.

Alan Bissett and Zoe Venditozzi were at Edinburgh’s Central Library to launch the Scottish Reading Strategy for Public Libraries as part of Book Week Scotland (24-30 November 2014) celebrations. 

To demonstrate their love of libraries, books and reading, the two authors marked the launch of the strategy by delivering their love letter to libraries, a key part of this year’s Book Week Scotland programme.

The Scottish Reading Strategy, which has been developed by the public library services at all of Scotland’s local authorities, The Reading Agency, the Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) has been designed to inspire more people of all ages to read widely, support literacy development, support language diversity and champion the essential role of libraries. 

The strategy maps the current provision of reading activities and promotions, including book clubs, author events and reading challenges for children, identifies good practice and current partnerships and will aim to make improvements to develop a best practice model for Scotland.

Amina Shah, Chief Executive, Scottish Library and Information Council noted:“We are a nation of book lovers and there is a huge demand for reading activities in our libraries.  Research demonstrates that reading for pleasure enhances literacy, life chances, general wellbeing and quality of life.  This new strategy is an important step to ensure we continue to build on the great work in libraries and inspire more people of all ages to appreciate the joy of reading a good book.”

For Falkirk-born author and playwright, Alan Bissett: “Libraries are laboratories for the soul, where people can experiment with words and thoughts and history, without cost.  I can't even imagine what I would be now had I never had access to libraries; they are a place of mental freedom.  A society that doesn't value libraries is one that doesn't value the mind itself."

Alan's sentiments were echoched by Zoe Venditozzi, author of ‘Anywhere’s Better Than Here’ and Reader in Residence at Dundee Libraries (funded by Scottish Book Trust), "Reading is wonderful.  Books show us we're not alone.  They let us travel for free.  They entertain, educate, distract, give comfort.  They can give us a map for living."

Marc Lambert, Director of Scottish Book Trust outlined that “Libraries have played a major part in Scotland’s social, cultural and intellectual life for over four hundred years.  As a nation we must protect and invest in them, reaffirming their role as agents of social opportunity, equality, enlightenment and delight in our communities.  This reading strategy represents an important step forward in this direction and should be welcomed and backed by all – readers, library users, local authorities, and policy makers.”

Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive of The Reading Agency, said: “We were delighted to be involved in helping Scottish libraries to shape their thinking around a new reading strategy and are very much looking forward to working with them on delivering it. The strategy underlines the critical role libraries play as community hubs for reading and is setting out a bold ambition for the future.”

Councillor Norma Austin Hart, Vice Convener for Culture and Sport for the City of Edinburgh Council, added “It is no surprise that all types of users, including Scotland’s authors, have developed a love for their local libraries. Ensuring our services remain relevant and valuable to the communities they serve is essential and the new reading strategy will be useful for libraries of all shapes and sizes.”

SLIC will work with public library services across Scotland to create groups and projects to progress the strategy.  One of the first actions from the strategy is a series of training sessions involving young people to improve what libraries offer for teenagers and to help library staff to work more effectively with young people.

The Scottish Reading Strategy will support the objectives of a new national strategy for Scotland’s public libraries, currently being developed by SLIC with the Carnegie UK Trust, and will support the Scottish Government’s Literacy Action Plan (LAP).


First Carnegie Library Lab Winners Announced

The Carnegie UK Trust has announced the seven winning applications in the first round of its Carnegie Library Lab programme.

The winners are:

 ·        David Hayden, Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services

·         Ben Burhouse, Kirklees Libraries

·         Eileen Russell, Libraries NI

·         Claire Lewis, Monmouthshire County Council Libraries and Information Service

·         Aude Charillon, Newcastle Libraries

·         Helen McMahon, South Dublin County Council Libraries

·         Anish Noble-Harrison, Swindon Libraries

Each of the participants will receive funding of between £5,000 and £15,000 to develop an innovative project in their library service. They will also have access to a new programme of online learning material to encourage innovation and leadership, be provided with a mentor and have the opportunity to take part in networking and learning events. The impact of the Carnegie Library Lab programme is to be independently evaluated by social research company Blake Stevenson Ltd.

Further information of each of the winning participants can be found here. 


Can you spare a couple of hours to shape the future of Scotland’s libraries?

Whether you regularly use your local library, haven’t been in a while or have never used it, your views on the library service are really important.

Scotland’s libraries are changing and so are what people want from them. We need the public to tell us what they think about public library services and what they would like to see libraries offer in the future.

Can you be part of shaping a new National Library Strategy for Scotland? No prior experience is needed, just a willingness to share your views at one of our focus groups.

The event will be fun and interactive and
your comments will be entirely anonymous. Refreshments will be provided and the Scottish Library and Information Council is offering all participants £15 as a thank you for taking part.

Focus groups will be held at the following times and locations.  If you wish to sign up to any of these groups please do so here

Bathgate Partnership Centre – 14 Nov, 10am-12pm                                                                                        

Inverclyde Central Library, Greenock – 18 Nov, 4.30-7pm

Dundee Central Library – 19 Nov, 1.30pm-4pm

Elgin Library – 19 Nov, 2-4.30pm

Dingwall Library – 20 Nov, 10am-12.30pm

Dingwall area mobile - 20 Nov, 2-3pm

Helensburgh Library - 24 Nov, 5.30pm

Duns Library - 25 Nov, 10am-12.30pm

Atholl Centre, Pitlochry - 25 Nov, 10am-12.30pm

Breadalbane mobile - 25 Nov, 1-2pm                                                                                          

Bridgeton Library, Glasgow - 26 Nov, 2-4.30pm


Another First for Carnegie Library

You can now get wired in for free at South Ayrshire Council’s Carnegie Library in Ayr where for the first time free Wi-Fi connection is available to all library members.

£20,000 of joint funding was provided by SLIC (Scottish Libraries and Information Council) and the Scottish Government to enable a Wi-Fi service to be provided in Carnegie library. The installation was managed by the library team who worked with IT colleagues, Boston Networks and Lorensbergs to bring the project to fruition.

Councillor Bill Grant, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “South Ayrshire Council library members can now use wireless enabled laptop or mobile devices within the Carnegie Library in Ayr.

“Our libraries are evolving all the time, continually changing to meet the modern needs. Installing Wi-Fi will improve the service for our existing library members and I am sure encourage more people to use the facilities at Carnegie library in Ayr. We currently have over 22,000 members who enjoy all the library facilities.”

Library users can access the Wi-Fi in Carnegie library from their web browser which will automatically direct them to the Wi-Fi log in screen then all they have to do is enter their membership number and your PIN code. Library members can access the system for two hours and visitors for one hour each day. The Wi-Fi system is safe to use as it has the same filter system on it as all Council computers.

Amina Shah, Chief Executive of SLIC (Scottish Library and Information Council) said: “Introducing free Wi-Fi into South Ayrshire Council’s Carnegie Library means that more people can access harness modern technology while having easy access to other facilities in the library. This is another great example of how libraries meet the needs of the people.”

Councillor Bill Grant added: “We will continue to work to ensure that our libraries remain an outstanding example of how to embrace modern technology and changing ways of consuming information and literature. We led the way with introducing ebooks, and they have been a resounding success”.  

To find out more about this and the wide range of other library facilities available in branches, online and in many other ways log on to