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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 > March

Visually Impaired Reading Groups In Libraries

VIRGIL (Visually Impaired Reading Groups In Libraries) recently featured on Insight Radio and Mary Greenshields of Glasgow Life discusses the progress made so far and group members speak of the impact this has had on their lives. The group are seeking to encourage book groups for the visually impaired and sharing of resources to ensure social inclusion and an equitable service across authorities. VIRGIL is a collaborative project funded by the Scottish Government’s Public Library Quality improvement Fund and run by the library services of Falkirk, East Dunbartonshire and East Lothian Councils and Glasgow Life. This is a two year pilot to establish best practice, sot effectiveness and to assist reading groups who may have access to fewer resources.

Added: 28 Mar

University of Aberdeen Word Festival

Aberdeen school children will demonstrate the ‘power of Word’ today as one of Scotland’s most popular literary festivals announces its 2011 line-up. Word – the University of Aberdeen writers festival – will once again welcome some of the biggest names in the literary world to the Granite City with newscaster John Suchet, and novelists Ian Banks and Margaret Atwood topping the bill.

Suchet will talk about his book My Bonnie: How dementia stole the love of my life, an honest and heartfelt account of his wife’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s four years ago and the years he has spent caring for her.

The festival, which will run from May 13 to 15, will also welcome Neil Forsyth, best known for creating the character of Bob Servant in Delete This at Your Peril, Helen Warner, Head of Daytime TV for Channel 4and author of RSVP, and Britain’s most famous skipper, and star of BBC TV series Trawlermen Jimmy Buchan.

Stephen Robertson - one third of the Doric comedy act Scotland The What? Will share the story of their extraordinary success, while Sir John Lister-Kaye, one of Britain’s best-known naturalists and environmentalists will talk about his work at the world-famous Aigas Field Centre in the Highlands, and Dennis Canavan will discuss his 33 year career at Westminster and Holyrood.

The 11th festival will see Word enter its second decade and in that time it has gone from strength to strength – attracting more than 11,000 visits last year.

Since its inception it has grown in scale and diversity and now incorporates a successful science strand which will see Dr Chris Smith, author of The Naked Scientist, lay bare the science behind some of the puzzles of everyday life, and recently published authors including Bruce Hood, Michael Brooks and David Shukman talk about their work.

For 2011, Word is branching out further with events to appeal to anyone with an interest in history and Tom Weber – the author behind Hitler’s First War, which seeks to ‘set the record straight’ on the Dictator’s First World War service record, will be on hand to discuss his research and Isobel Murray, will unveil her latest book Scottish Writers of the Second World War.

Word will also feature events in all of Scotland’s languages, with Gaelic and Doric prominent, and there will be special celebrations of the work of two of Scotland’s finest poets whose centenaries were marked recently, Sorley MacLean and Norman MacCaig.

Continued sponsorship by Talisman Energy (UK) Limited and Wood Group has enabled Word to keep ticket prices low and to reach out to new venues including Aberdeen’s Café Drummond, which will host a David Bowie Night with biographer Paul Trynka, and the Grassic Gibbon Centre in Arbuthnott, south of Stonehaven.

The Marathon Oil Schools’ and Children’s Festivals will againrun alongside themain festival with a fun packed programme sure to fire young imaginations.

To launch the festival programme and to celebrate Word’s continuing strength, school children from St Peter’s Primary School in Aberdeen will combine science and literature in a tug-o-war with a difference – attempting to pull apart two books held together with only the power of friction.

Professor Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen said: “Word is now into its second decade and has long established itself as one of Scotland’s most exciting, dynamic and diverse literary gatherings. The programme for this year’s festival once again offers a broad spectrum of events for all ages, as well as attracting some of the major figures in contemporary writing.

“The Festival is also an important part of the University’s commitment to the wider community. We’re very proud to be the only UK university that organises a literary festival and one that has become such a highlight of the cultural calendar of the North.

Alan Spence, Word creative director, added: “The Word Festival moves into its second decade with another sensational programme. There’s the usual heady mix of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, readings, performances, discussions, exhibitions, music, a club night and events that just defy categorisation and the science strand gets stronger each year.

“Thanks to our many public and private funding partners - especially our joint title sponsors Talisman Energy and the Wood Group - we’ve been able to keep our ticket prices low, with increases kept to a minimum and many events still, amazingly, free. It promises to be an absolutely fantastic weekend.”

Talisman Energy (UK) Limited Senior Vice President Geoff Holmes said: “We are delighted to once again support the Word festival. The programme is diverse with something for everyone and having a strong Canadian link through Margaret Atwood’s participation is the icing on the cake for us as a company with its headquarters in Calgary.”

Allister Langlands, Chief Executive of Wood Group added: “Wood Group is delighted to again be joining Talisman in supporting the Word Festival and look forward to this year’s exciting programme.”

The full word programme can be found at and tickets for all events are available from Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122 from Monday March 28.

Added: 24 Mar

England faces possible demise of public library legislation

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched a review of the statutory duties placed on local government in England. The DCLG is inviting people south of the Border to comment on the duties and to challenge government on those considered burdensome or no longer needed.

The DCLG have identified 1,294 statutory duties that central government places on local authorities, including three which apply to public library services in England. All three of these duties are held by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport under the Public Libraries & Museums Act (1964).

This legislation does not apply in Scotland as libraries are a devolved matter. Local authorities in Scotland are statutorily required to deliver adequate services through the 1887 Public Libraries Consolidation (Scotland) Act and subsequent Local Government Acts in Scotland.

The Scottish Library and Information Council, as advisory body in Scotland, has been working proactively with local authorities and Scottish Government to assist in self evaluation of services through the Public Library Quality Improvement Matrix since 2007. Elaine Fulton, Director of SLIC commented: "We are pleased with the success of the Public Library Quality Improvement Matrix processes to demonstrate how well our services are doing to deliver statutory services."

CILIPS, the body which represents library and information professionals in Scotland, has just recently launched the Love Scottish Libraries website as part of a campaign to allow the Scottish people to make their voices heard about the future of the country's library services.

As more people in Scotland visit their local library than attend football matches each year, CILIPS believes that it's about time that the power of the Hampden Roar is harnessed for libraries!

Alan Reid, President of CILIPS said: "Free access to books and information is at the heart of the Scottish education system. We will monitor events in England and work with Scottish Government and other key stakeholders to ensure that free and equitable access to library services is secured in Scotland.

Added: 17 Mar

National Librarian appointed Honorary Professor at Robert Gordon University

Martyn Wade

Martyn Wade, the National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland (NLS), has been appointed an Honorary Professor at Robert Gordon University’s Department of Information Management.

As National Librarian, Professor Wade has overseen the reinvention of NLS as a focal point for Scotland’s cultural identity. He played a pivotal role in the purchase of the John Murray Archive, one of the world's most significant literary and cultural archives from the past 250 years, and the development of a new and innovative visitor centre to improve accessibility to the Library and its collections.

Professor Wade started his career in Northumberland libraries where he worked from 1973-76. He held a variety of posts in England before moving north in 1999, when he was appointed Head of Libraries and Archives in Glasgow, before moving to the National Library of Scotland in September 2002.

During his career, Professor Wade has had wide experience of public sector management and leadership and has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the library profession. He serves on a wide variety of public bodies and committees and has particular involvement in many aspects of the creative industries, including the Edinburgh World City of Literature Trust and the Scottish Poetry Library.

Professor Peter Reid, Head of the Department of Information Management at Robert Gordon University, said: “We are delighted to have Martyn as one of the Department’s Honorary Professors. This appointment recognises the enormous contribution which he has made in the leadership of library and information services in Scotland.”

Professor Wade commented: “It is a wonderful honour to be appointed an Honorary Professor at Robert Gordon University. The Department of Information Management is very highly regarded and I am looking forward to working with colleagues there in the future.”

The Department of Information Management has a strong reputation in both teaching and research in library and information management disciplines. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, it was rated as the top performing department in Scotland in the field.

Added: 14 Mar

CILIPS Annual General Meeting

CILIP in Scotland AGM The Annual General Meeting of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland will be held on Wednesday 8th June 2011 at13.45pm in the Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow. Notice of motions should be sent to the Director, CILIPS, First Floor, Building C, Brandon House, Leechlee Road, Hamilton, ML3 6AU, not later than 31st March 2011. The agenda for the meeting will be circulated to members and will be posted on SLAINTE.

Added: 14 Mar


A new set of National Occupational Standards for Libraries, Archives, Records and Information Management Services LARIMS NOS have recently been approved by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) in February 2011. These define the competencies required to carry out the functions of the sector's workforce. The standards do not represent qualifications but are the basis for the development of qualifications. SLIC Director Elaine Fulton said 'SLIC warmly welcomes the new NOS for the sector. They provide a high level strategic overview of the skills and competencies shared by those working in library and information roles.'

LARIMS NOS Final Approved Feb11

Added: 14 Mar

Brenda Moon

Sadly, Brenda Moon former University Librarian at the University of Edinburgh has passed away. The committal will be on Wednesday 16 March, 10.00am at Mortonhall Crematorium, followed by a service of celebration and thanksgiving for Brenda's life, 11.30am at Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge.

All Brenda's friends are warmly invited to both services or one (neither is intended to be private), and to the refreshments that will follow the service at Augustine.

Added: 10 Mar

World Book Night at Shetland Library

Shetland Library is hosting a special event to celebrate reading on World Book Night, Saturday 5 March. World Book Night is a National book promotion being organised by the Reading Agency.

Borrowing the theme of a new BBC2 programme, the Library’s event is called My Life in Books and will feature local guests reading from some of the books that have meant most to them in their lives.

The many speakers will include Kat Brack, Gordon Dargie, Morag Nicolson, Jordan Ogg, Donald Anderson and Kate Sidra Ali. The books they have chosen are as wide ranging as Eustacia goes to Chalet School, Silas Marner and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There will also be musical performances on the night, organised by Shetland Arts.

As well as the events being organised around the country this weekend, part of World Book Night is ‘book giving’: one million free books have been printed and are to be given away – in unexpected places - by volunteers round the UK. Library staff Morag Nicolson and Karen Fraser are two of Shetland’s ‘book givers’. Morag plans to give away her copies to passengers departing on the Northlink ferry, and Karen is going to distribute copies of Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories around the pubs of Lerwick.

Betty Fullerton, interim Chair of the SIC Services committee, said: "This is a good opportunity to promote books and reading, and I am very glad to see the Library at the centre of it."

Added: 3 Mar

SLIC FE Survey launch

The first SLIC survey report on further education libraries carried out in partnership with the JISC Scottish Regional Support Centres is now available.

The report discusses findings from the national project carried out in autumn 2010 when all college library services were invited to participate in an exercise aimed at scoping the Scottish FE library landscape.

Both the report and the aggregated results are available as PDFs.

Individual colleges will receive a copy of their own results and the aggregated report from the JISC shortly. Colleges can obtain further information on the survey from or

The next SLIC survey is due to take place in autumn 2011.

Added: 3 Mar

Website to support Scots speakers complete census

In the census on 27 March people in Scotland will be asked for the first time to say if they can speak Scots.

Many people will be uncertain about what the question means and won't be sure if they are Scots speakers. The website has been set up with the purpose of helping people work out how to answer the question.

The website features information about defining Scots, as well as audio clips of voices from around Scotland.

Added: 3 Mar

Social Media: a guide for researchers published by the Research Information Network

The report aims to provide the information needed by researchers to make an informed decision about using social media and select from the vast range of tools that are available.

The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes, rather than examining the many other uses that social media is put to across society. Free to download at

Added: 1 Mar

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

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