Orkney Libraries Shortlisted for Library of the Year Award

Orkney Library and Archive Service have been shortlisted in the Bookseller Industry Awards. They face competition from Claude Ramsey Library, Greenwich, Dudley, Exeter, Sunderland and Wigan Libraries for the mantle of "Library of the Year".

Scotland has good form in the competition with Dundee, Edinburgh and Midlothian picking up the top prize in previous years. The winner will be announced on 11th May at the Hilton, Park Lane in London. Fingers crossed for Gary Amos and his team in Orkney! 


Aberdeenshire Libraries Wins Gold Award

Warmest congratulations to Aberdeenshire Libraries on scooping a Cosla Excellence Gold Award in the Achieving Better Outcomes category.

Aberdeenshire Council Library and Information Service joined with the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) in March 2014 to begin providing a ground-breaking local library service in the new HMP & YOI Grampian in Peterhead.

A new approach to local authority library provision within HMP Grampian was part of the construction of the new prison building following evidence that access to reading, learning and literature contributes to reducing reoffending rates.

It is designed to operate like a local library, offering the same services. Belonging to the prison library enables library users to use any of the Aberdeenshire libraries when they return to their home community.

Congratulating the library service on their award, Cllr Isobel Davidson Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education Learning and Leisure Committee said: “There are several innovative aspects to the project. Not only is the partnership approach between SPS and the council unique but in particular the integration with the larger community serving Aberdeenshire Libraries and Information Service is truly innovative.

“This is the first library in a prison in Scotland which offers an integrated service. Individuals are registered to the wider Aberdeenshire Library services on release to enable them to use their local library facilities.  The positive habits and behaviour learned in prison are supported to continue after release.”

Mr Jim Farish, Governor of HMP YOI Grampian, said: “We are delighted to have won the award with our partners for the excellent library facilities offered to offenders within the establishment.

“The library and the additional services have been extensively used and we will continue to encourage offenders to access the service.”

You can watch a short video about the project here


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