Grant to help libraries better serve isolated communities

​Culture minister Neil Gray announced funding for eight projects as well as the Every Child A Library Member scheme.​Culture minister Neil Gray announced funding for eight projects as well as the Every Child A Library Member scheme.
​Culture minister Neil Gray announced funding for eight projects as well as the Every Child A Library Member scheme.
A trailblazing Angus outreach project which aims to take public library services to isolated locations in the county has been awarded funding from the Scottish Government.

The £11,530 grant for the ‘Using the Mobile Library to Grow Community Library Services’ project was announced recently by Culture Minister Neil Gray as part of a raft of funding for library initiatives across Scotland from the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF).

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), which distributes funding on behalf of the Scottish Government, selected eight to receive grants, supporting sustainable development and innovation within Scotland’s public libraries.

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The Angus project will target those who are geographically isolated and unable to travel to and engage with libraries in the county’s main burghs.

Allowing users to enjoy the same quality of services remotely by offering information, support and group activities, the initiative aims to combat social isolation and increase the health and well-being of people in rural communities.Mr Gray highlighted the role libraries play in closing the attainment gap, reducing social exclusion and promoting equality of opportunity and reading.

He said: “Public libraries are at the heart of our communities and this year’s awards will go towards a range of projects to further enhance the services they provide.

“I’m also pleased to see that many of the eight projects receiving a share of the £200,000 from the Scottish Government funded Public Libraries Improvement Fund will be delivering their programmes in partnership with other organisations.”

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Mr Gray also spoke about Every Child a Library Member - a new drive to encourage parents across Scotland to introduce children to reading and library use from an early age, while highlighting some of the initiatives under way at public libraries across Scotland.

It focuses on library membership at key stages throughout early childhood - birth registration, nursery, and primary school enrolment - to support improved language, literacy and social skills while ensuring that every child in Scotland has access to the valuable learning resources available in public libraries.

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC, said: “The Public Library Improvement Fund allows services across Scotland to enhance their offering to provide support which benefits the communities they operate in most.

“It allows libraries to lead the way in enriching the sector’s offering and with people, place and partnership at the heart of this innovation, the advantages of library use for people of all ages has never been more clear. And that’s why we’re supporting library use from as early an age as possible with ECALM.”

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For more information on the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), visit: and to find out more about ECALM, visit