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£1 Million For School Libraries Over 3 Year

30th September 2017

The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.

Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.

It will fund projects designed to enhance library provision at schools, as part of a wider approach to improve literacy skills and educational attainment.

Meeting pupils and library staff at Gracemount High School, Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney, said:"School libraries play a vital role in supporting literacy and improving attainment.

"The launch of the School Library Improvement Fund will further strengthen that role - giving school libraries access to additional resource that can improve the service they provide to pupils.

“This could be improvements to the library environment, funding for additional activity to engage more young people to use the school library or projects that will encourage wider engagement with the local community.

“We want to know what school librarians, teachers and education authorities think would work best in their school.

“It is part of a range of new measures to improve and invest in our school libraries -including new improvement guidance and the development of a new national strategy for school libraries in Scotland."

The School Library Improvement Fund will work alongside new guidance from the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), How Good is Our School Library, published earlier this month. Projects will be funded this year on the basis of how well they support the principles outlined in the guidance.

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive, SLIC said:

“School libraries have a huge contribution to make to education and learning. We know from our research that a well-run, well-resourced school library, with professionally qualified librarians, leads to higher educational attainment and positive attitudes to learning among pupils.

“With this new fund, along with the evaluation framework and the new national strategy, school libraries will be able to formalise and cement their role in learning and education.

“A national strategy will allow us to create a consistent approach to service, meaning all pupils across Scotland will have equal access to learning support from a school library."

The fund will be administered by SLIC to support projects in four priority areas - reader development, digital creativity, information literacy and health and social wellbeing.

Details on how to apply are available on the SLIC website: www.scottishlibraries.org/funding/school-library-improvement-fund/

The funding will be split over three years as follows:

2017/18 - £100,000

2018/19 - £450,000

2019/20 - £450,000

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is leading the development of a new school library strategy, and a working group has been appointed to facilitate cross-sector contribution. The strategy will be published in summer 2018, ahead of the start of the new academic year.

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