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As of January 2013, SLAINTE will no longer be updated and this website will be an archive of joint SLIC and CILIPS initiatives. For current information about the individual organisations, please go directly to the SLIC and CILIPS websites.

News > February

Travelling Librarian Award

The English-Speaking Union (ESU) and CILIP invite applications for the 2011 Travelling Librarian Award, from UK library and information professionals who are personal members of CILIP.

The Award will be about GBP 3,000 to cover flights and some accommodation in the US. The successful candidate will be free to put together their own programme of visits (although help and advice will be available) and, where possible, will be encouraged to take up home hospitality with ESU Members. Normally the visits last about 2-3 weeks and take place during the autumn.

Candidates should apply via email with a CV and a supporting letter to: The deadline is Monday 28 March. All applications will be considered and a shortlist will be drawn up. All candidates will be contacted shortly after the application deadline and shortlisted candidates called to interview to discuss their application further in person. Interviews will take place in London on Tuesday 12 April 2011.

Added: 28 Feb

Stirling and East Dunbartonshire Councils choose Evergreen

Stirling and East Dunbartonshire Councils have chosen the Evergreen open source library management system.

PTFS Europe are carrying out a full implementation and providing ongoing support. The system will be hosted at the PTFS Europe data centre in Maidenhead and is the first Evergreen installation in the UK.

Evergreen was launched in September 2006 in the State of Georgia's PINESConsortium. It is now used in hundreds of libraries across different sectors and in many countries throughout the world.

Evergreen is scalable and has an active community that participates in all aspects of its development. Evergreen supports all core modules; acquisitions, circulation, cataloguing, serials and reports, as well as providing an excellent OPAC capable of searching across a consortium or individual libraries.

Robert Ruthven, Information, Library and Archives Service Manager at Stirling Council said: "This open source solution offers a cost-effective way forward in sharing services at a time of unprecedented financial pressure on local authorities.

"The innate flexibility of the software and the rapid pace of development supported by library services across the globe will allow us to do so much more for less, enabling us to provide an enhanced, adaptable library and information service that meets the needs of our customers."

Mark Grant, Leisure and Cultural Services Manager, at East Dunbartonshire Council said: "Co-operating with Stirling Council through the use of this open source solution offers a practical demonstration of the way in which sharing resources can be mutually beneficial, providing a first class service to the public while reducing costs substantially at a time when all local authorities are facing significant financial challenges.

"Using software with built-in flexibility will enable us to develop our services whilst keeping costs under control, enabling us to meet the changing needs of the users of our service."

Keith Shell, Business Development Manager at PTFS Europe said: "The tough economic climate that we all face is proving to be a catalyst for change as libraries seek to reduce cost and deliver improved efficiency.

"The present climate is also encouraging libraries to consider a shared service approach by establishing consortia. This allows participating authorities to benefit from a combination of excellent software functionality and the ability to significantly reduce costs."

Added: 24 Feb

Nine year old schoolgirl plans ‘sleep in’ at local library to protest against closures

Nine year old schoolgirl, Jessica Trueman, is planning a ‘sleep in’ at her local library in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, to protest against its closure. Jessica has already taken her protest to Downing Street demanding a meeting with David Cameron, but she was told that the Prime Minister was “too busy to help.” She has also approached the Government’s Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who told her to write to her local council.

It was this response that prompted Jessica to get in touch with children’s newspaper, First News, which this week has supported her campaign on its front page.

Jessica is currently planning her ‘sleep-in’ at her local library in Buckinghamshire with her sister and friends so that it can’t even close for the night, let alone for good. The schoolgirl has continued to gather signatures from 80 children in her school saying “We do not want our libraries to close.” She wants children from all over the UK to give the Government the same message “so that they have to listen.”

Jessica commented on her campaign to stop library closures: “I love my library and I am not letting you [David Cameron] and the council shut it down...I am really angry about this. If libraries close, where can we go to get books? Not everyone can afford to go and buy them. No one is listening to children’s views. “Books are special. You can read amazing stories and learn about history and different places in the world. I use two libraries to help me with my homework and both are being shut down. I hope you understand that you are making a big mistake. I won’t let this drop so please sort it out.”

Added: 22 Feb

24/7 libraries and no more fines

photo of the E book launch

East Renfrewshire Council Libraries are delighted to offer a new service to encourage local residents to download ebooks and audiobooks for free. Top Scot’s crime writer, Caro Ramsay, whose debut novel Absolution propelled her writing career into the spotlight, launched the simple to use, Overdrive service at Giffnock Library on Valentine’s Day.

East Renfrewshire’s Community Services Convener, Mary Montague commented: “I am delighted to see that East Renfrewshire is launching this service. I believe we are the third local authority to do so in Scotland.”

Crime writer, Caro Ramsay said: “This service means the library is now accessible 24/7. It is the height of convenience to access a vast array of literature from home…including my own books of course. There is a huge children’s section and it’s ideal for silver surfers too. It also means no more library fines. The more technological readers amongst us can use their own portable devices such as ipads, iphones, Blackberry’s etc, making it perfect for people commuting to and from work.”

Added: 22 Feb

It's murder in the library!

The Scottish public's love affair with crime writing continues as the Public Lending Right's latest lending statistics for libraries in Scotland features 10 crime novels.

Interestingly none of the Top 10 most borrowed titles contains a Scottish writer, although Scotland is renowned for its crime writers, including Ian Rankin, Denise Mina and Quintin Jardine to name but a few. US writer James Patterson, who was today revealed as the Most Borrowed Author in libraries across the UK as a whole for the fourth year running is a huge hit with Scottish borrowers and the late Steig Larsson also features twice in the Scottish top 10.

  1. Sail by James Patterson
  2. Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross
  3. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  4. Divine Justice by David Baldacci
  5. Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay
  6. The Broken Window by Jeffery Deaver
  7. Keeping the Dead by Tess Gerritsen
  8. 8th Confession by James Patterson
  9. Bones by Jonathan Kellerman
  10. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

When asked about the appeal of crime fiction to reader, SLIC Assistant Director Rhona Arthur said: "Crime novels are so successful in topping these charts each year because they appeal to a wider readership. Chick lit, well-known brands like Mills and Boon and family sagas remain very popular with library readers.

"Libraries lend over 25 million books per year and we have a range of different formats e-books, audio, MP3, large print, etc. Its also good to see that the highest number of children's writers to appear in the Most Borrowed Authors Top 10 since PLR records began over twenty years ago helps to demonstrate just how important libraries are in efforts to encourage children to read. Initiatives like Bookbug and the Summer Reading Challenge are excellent at encouraging babies, children and young people to develop early literacy and develop to become lifelong lovers of reading, irrespective of format."

Added: 21 Feb

Love Scottish Libraries

As financial constraints and budget cuts cast shadows over the future of library services, the professional body for librarians in Scotland is urging the Scottish people to show their love for libraries, and make their voices heard in support of library services.

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS) has developed a new website – – which aims to harness the support of the Scottish public to show politicians and policymakers just how much libraries are valued within our communities.

In the last year, there were nearly 30 million visits to Scotland’s public libraries, and millions more to libraries of other types, like in universities, schools, colleges, or even the health service and other specialist information centres.

Financial constraints and budget cuts will affect libraries in all sectors, and this at a time when people will need their libraries more – to help with job seeking and retraining, to access the internet, or to skim money off the household budget by borrowing that expensive text book or latest best-seller.

Bucking the trend of declining visits being reported elsewhere, visits to Scottish libraries are actually increasing, showing just how important our services are to cultural life and economic development in this country.

To keep enjoying access to libraries and their services, CILIPS is encouraging people to please make their voices heard for libraries by entering a comment of support in an online guestbook, or by signing an online petition, which has already gained the support of top Scottish authors Theresa Breslin and Quintin Jardine.

President of CILIPS, Alan Reid, said: "The Love Scottish Libraries website has been developed to let people express their support for libraries and to recognise the need for professional and well-trained staff.

“Libraries have attracted increased media attention in recent months, highlighting the passion which many in Scotland share for their libraries, and the rising tide of concern about what the current public service financial cuts will mean.

“We encourage everyone to lend their support for libraries of all kinds by visiting and making their voices heard for libraries!”

Added: 17 Feb

Minister publishes her response to Literature Review Group

Fiona Hyslop, Culture Minister published her response to the Literature Working Group with a strong focus on the role of the newly appointed Makar Liz Lochhead.

She is to take on the responsibility of promoting Scottish Literature throughout Scotland and internationally. A second recommendation is a feasibility study for a National Book Week to be held in 2012.

The Minister rejected calls for a Scottish Academy but is clear in her support for writers through a Creative Futures programme.

She said: "Scotland's distinguished literary culture is a notable part of our national identity. We have produced more writers per head of population than any other artform. It is now time to ensure this rich legacy is maintained and strengthened in future years. We will work with Creative Scotland to ensure that happens."

Added: 11 Feb

Authors plan Parliament protest

A group of authors will gather at the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 5 February to protest at cuts to library services in parts of the country.

In a statement to be handed in to the Parliament, the authors argue: "The cuts to book budgets, library opening hours, mobile services, branches, and the drastic and unnecessary deletion of professional posts strike at those most in need of a library service and those least able to protest against the cuts in that service - the less affluent, the elderly, the frail, people who are challenged mentally and physically and their carers, those who look after babies and toddlers and, crucially, our children - who are our future."

The statement also recognises the breadth and diversity of the librarians' role: "In addition to the promotion of knowledge, literacy, and information retrieval skills, a professionally delivered library service embeds the joy of reading in our young people, building self awareness, articulate self expression, confidence, validating their life and culture, and leads to social and emotional literacy."

Authors attending the protest include Julia Donaldson, Theresa Breslin, Lari Don, Nicola Morgan, Liz Holt and Keith Gray. Members of the public and library staff are also encouraged to join in the protest, which will begin at 11am.

President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS), Alan Reid, said: "All support for libraries and recognition of the need for professional and well trained staff is welcome. It highlights the passion which many in Scotland share for their libraries and the rising tide of concern at what the current public service financial cuts will mean. I am sure there will be many more protests of this nature in the next few months."

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is currently working on a campaign to celebrate Scottish libraries and their achievements. This follows on from the recent Scottish Library Excellence awards, which were hosted by Peter Peacock MSP at the Scottish Parliament last month. SLIC has also published a policy briefing on libraries, Libraries connecting people and communities, which emphasises the important role that libraries play across society.

Added: 2 Feb

CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award entries close soon

The award highlights outstanding partnership work involving library staff and information services that have changed lives. In these tough times it’s more important than ever to celebrate your successes.

CILIP welcomes entries from any sector of the library and information world. They can be reading projects, learning projects, or projects that promote information.

The winning entry will receive national recognition, enhanced credibility with fund holders, the opportunity to celebrate success with staff, users and partners, and prize money to contribute to the ongoing success of the project. Both small partnership projects and corporately funded ones are encouraged to apply.

To enter online, watch videos of past shortlisted projects or view entry criteria visit: Or to discuss your potential entry call the CILIP Marketing team on: 0207 255 0650.

Added: 1 Feb

An evening of paperbacks and passion

Craiglockhart Campus of Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University will hold the Scottish premiere of a new feature-length documentary, Guilty Pleasures, on Monday 14 February at 7.30pm - 9.30pm at the Craiglockhart Campus.

The film looks in a light-hearted manner at the authors, publishers, models and readers of Mills and Boon fiction. This is the University's second charity premiere after the successful showing of The Hollywood Librarian two years ago.

The event is in aid of Book Aid International. Admission is free but a voluntary collection will be taken.

For further information, or to reserve a place, please email

Photo from flickr by pixelsandpaper.

Added: 26 Jan

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© Send comments, suggestions and queries about SLAINTE to Gillian Hanlon. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK: Scotland License 08-Jan-2013