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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 > January

New evidence published showing success of library funding

With public libraries in Scotland attracting over 30 million visitors per year, the Scottish Library and Information Council has today published new reports about the quality of local library services, demonstrating the success of £500,000 annual Scottish Government investment in libraries across Scotland.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Lothian, Fife, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, Perth and Kinross, South Lanarkshire, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire were evaluated for the latest round of reports, with six of the regions – Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Midlothian, Moray, South Lanarkshire and Stirling - receiving an excellent rating for at least one area of the assessment.

The Scottish Government supports the evaluation process through the Public Library Quality Improvement Fund (PLQIF). In 2011-12 the fund has a particular focus on encouraging digital participation – funding local library projects to help people get online, learn to use digital reference services, support reading promotions and community history projects.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Public libraries are an important part of our culture and education system and are increasingly helping people to get online. They are the ‘living rooms’ of our communities, vibrant social spaces for meeting and engaging, learning and entertainment. That is why I am delighted to confirm that the Scottish Government’s £500,000 Public Library Improvement Fund will continue in 2012-13. This fund is designed to help local libraries evaluate and improve the services they provide, and these reports - in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 - demonstrate the success of that investment.”

The fourteen services evaluated receive good, very good or excellent ratings for service provision. PLQIM is a peer-reviewed self-evaluation tool which encourages continuous improvement in public library services. The framework was developed by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) to provide a benchmark for quality service provision and looks at seven areas: information, community engagement, reading, learning, ethos, resources and leadership.

Elaine Fulton, Director of the Scottish Library and Information Council said: “The provision of quality library services is crucial to ensure that people have the support they need to develop their skills, realise their aspirations and contribute to the economic growth and wellbeing of the country.

“The PLQIM matrix provides a benchmark for quality and we are delighted with the results of the latest round of reports and welcome the Scottish Government’s announcement of the continued funding which will help to provide communities with access to the services, information and advice that they need.”

Libraries are at the forefront of combating the digital divide and have a crucial role to play in ensuring that no one in our society gets left behind by new technologies. The latest round of PLQIF funding includes library learning initiatives designed to keep users up to date with mobile technologies, smartphones, tablets and e-books.

Libraries remain one of the free universal services for communities where the population can visit as individuals or groups to pursue reading for pleasure, learning or hobbies. They also support the business community, individual and community information needs and are inclusive of all age and social groups, nationalities, genders and religious beliefs.

In addition to the visitors who use general library services, libraries also have over 300,000 registered learners following formal courses and an increasing number, now over 10% of the population, use learning centres in libraries.

Added: 31 Jan

Ann Cleeves still tops with Shetland library users

For the fourth year in a row, Ann Cleeves took top spot for the most-borrowed book from the Shetland Library.

Borrowing statistics for 2011 show that Blue Lightning, the fourth book in Cleeves' Shetland quartet of crime novels, is the most-borrowed book - as it was last year. Other top fiction authors are Lyn Andrews, Tess Gerritsen, Clive Cussler and Stephen Leather. The final book in Stieg Larsson's extremely popular crime trilogy also made the top ten.

The top ten general non-fiction books are dominated by celebrity biographies including those by Jo Brand, Pauline Prescott and Fern Britton.

Local publications still lend very well, with Robert Johnson's Da Wye I Saa It coming in as the top Shetland book, almost out-lending Cleeves. Also very popular is the audiobook of James W. Irvine's Lay Hold on Life, which was published by the Soond o' Shetland charity project. Simon King's Shetland Diaries continues to lend well, as does Lerwick's Waterfront History by Douglas Sinclair.

Heavily featured in the junior statistics are perennial favourites Star Wars and Harry Potter. Local author Janice Armstrong's The Grumpy Old Sailor still makes the top ten though, and a Scots language book, James Robertson's Katies Year is still lending very well to younger children.

Added: 20 Jan

Divided City Creative Writing Competition

To mark the Citizens Theatre's production of Divided City, 2 - 4 February, school pupils are being offered the opportunity to take part in a creative writing competition, with the chance to win tickets and signed copies of Theresa Breslin's novel.

Entrants are challenged to write four more sentences to continue the story after the end of Chapter One of Divided City, a novel which deals with the problems of sectarianism in Glasgow and racism against asylum seekers.

The first prize is four tickets to see a performance of Divided City at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow at the beginning of February. Runners up will receive a copy of the book signed by the author, and every pupil who takes part will receive a signed bookmark.

How to enter: Teacher or Librarian to choose the top three entries from their school and email them before 5pm on Wed 25 Jan to:

Added: 18 Jan

New mobile service for Angus

Photo of the new mobile library

A new service to deliver library books and information to people in rural Angus was launched on Friday 13 January.

Angus Council has invested 269,000 in the new mobile service, which includes two new vehicles and a smaller transit van to take services to people in rural areas of Angus. The new service replaces two mobile library vans.

Staff will be able to use the internet on the vehicles at certain points on the route, where they can search library catalogues on line, access other council information or log messages with the ACCESS office on behalf of those using the mobile service.

One of the new vehicles will have a consultation area where a council officer can meet with a member of the public, by prior arrangement, to discuss specific issues.

The new timetable and routes are now available and registered users of the mobile library service are being contacted directly by the council.

The new service is being introduced following a consultation exercise relating to routes and services to be provided by the new vehicles. Sessions were held in rural locations to hear the views of people using the mobile library services and more than 100 people filled in questionnaires.

Speaking following the launch of the new service at Birkhill the vice-convener of Neighbourhood Services, councillor Colin Brown said: "We listened to the views of the people who live in the more rural areas of Angus and who use the mobile library services, and found out what they would like to see in the new vehicles.

"The new service will be of great benefit to the people who live in our rural communities. Our partners, Tayside Police and Tayside Fire and Rescue, will also be welcome to use the vehicles for consultations or information distribution."

Fiona Dakers, Acting Libraries Manager, welcomed the new vehicles, saying: "I'm really proud of them!"

Added: 17 Jan

LILAC 2012 Information Literacy Awards

Nominations are being sought for the three prestigious information literacy awards that will be presented during the forthcoming LILAC Conference, which takes place 11 - 13 April at Glasgow Caledonian University.

There are two awards being sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group, which is a sub group of the Community Services Group (CSG). The Information Practitioner of the Year award recognises an outstanding individual contribution to information literacy, and the winner will receive GBP 500 for personal use as well as GBP 500 for a nominated charity.

The CSG Information Literacy Group is also offering a Student Award: Sponsored Place at LILAC covering conference registration, travel and accommodation for a student registered on a UK study programme.

In addition, Credo Reference is also offering a Digital Award for Information Literacy to a digital resource, programme or service which has made a significant impact. The winning group or individual will receive GBP 500 for personal use and GBP 500 for a nominated charity.

More information about these awards, including eligibility criteria and closing dates, can be found on the LILAC Conference website.

Added: 16 Jan

Environmental Sustainability Conference

The Welsh Government via CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales is working in partnership with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales (AC-NMW) to host a conference on sustainability in museums, archives and libraries. There will be two events, one in South Wales at St Fagans National History Museum on Monday 5 March 2012 and one in North Wales at Llanberis National Slate Museum on Friday 9 March 2012.

The theme of the conference is environmental sustainability. The conference will include speaker presentations and workshops discussing the following:

  • the importance of striving for environmental sustainability;
  • current thinking and approaches to environmental sustainability;
  • case studies from various institutions, including current environmental sustainability initiatives in the sector (examples of high spec projects and smaller initiatives);
  • the way forward - how to implement ideas and measures, and
  • cost effective ideas and solutions.

The keynote speaker will be Clive Bates the Director General for the Sustainable Futures Directorate of the Welsh Government.

The conference is an opportunity to share ideas and pick up tips for expanding and improving your approach to sustainable practice.

To reserve your place please send a non-refundable payment of GBP 25.00 plus VAT (= GBP 30.00 in total), payable to Amgueddfa Cymru, to Mrs Karen Harrison, Office of the Deputy Director General, Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP. Please confirm your name, position and organisation and address as well as an e-mail address.

There will be a limited number of bursaries available to enable colleagues from smaller institutions to attend. For more information on the bursaries, please contact CyMAL at:

Added: 16 Jan

Learning through libraries

Aberdeenshire Libraries have produced an advocacy document, Learning Through Libraries, to promote the way their school libraries make a difference. Recognising that school libraries are central to effective learning and teaching, the booklet explains the ways in which the Aberdeenshire Network Librarians work with teaching staff to develop young peoples skills for learning, life and work; and to nurture a lifelong enjoyment of reading. It has been compiled by library staff and has a rich range of good practice.

Aberdeenshire Libraries are a fully integrated service supporting both schools and communities. The booklet cover 24/7 services like the online catalogue and information resources, Glow, reading for learning and pleasure, skills for learning, resources for learning, improvement planning and examples of good practice.

Added: 11 Jan

Local history in the spotlight

Photo of staff with the award

Local history volunteers were in the spotlight in East Renfrewshire recently, as the Heritage Service was presented with the Volunteer Friendly Award, a quality standard that recognises good work with volunteers. The Heritage Service is the first department in East Renfrewshire Council to achieve the award.

Jenny McGhie, Heritage Project Officer, was presented with a certificate and trophy by Diane Risbey and Harry Balch of Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire, at a celebration held in Giffnock Library. Afterwards, volunteers and other guests enjoyed refreshments and a display which highlighted all the work they have contributed to date.

By adhering to the simple principles set out by Volunteer Friendly, not only can organisations can receive recognition for their good work with volunteers, but individual volunteers can be assured that their needs and efforts are being recognised by the organisation at all times.

The award was given to the Heritage Service for its work with volunteers on the Museum Artefacts project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. You can read more about this on the projects blog.

Photo (L to R): Diane Risbey, Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire; Convener for Community Services, Councillor Mary Montague; Jenny McGhie, Heritage Project Officer and Harry Balch, Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire.

Added: 11 Jan

In brief

Dagger in the Library

Nominations are being invited for the 2012 Crime Writer's Association (CWA) Dagger in the Library, which recognises an author's body of work rather than one particular title.

Library users are asked to nominate thier favourite crime writers and the winner is selected by a panel of librarians. This year's panel will be chaired by Karen Fraser, Executive Manager at Shetland Library.

All nominations must be entered by Saturday 31 March.

Added: 20 Jan

RFID Survey 2012

The fourth annual survey of UK libraries' use of RFID is now underway. The information gathered is used to provide a snapshot of the spread of technology and allows users to gain information about their supplier's performance and other user's experiences.

The survey will be open until the end of January and the first returns will be published during February, and made available free of charge.

Added: 16 Jan

Captain Scott NLS exhibition

The story of Captain Scott's fateful expedition to Antarctica is being told at the National Library of Scotland (NLS). Documents on display show the struggle to raise money for the expedition which had to be funded privately.

The diary entries, newspaper cuttings and books written by expedition members tell of the hardships endured and the final tragic outcome.

Scott's last expedition runs until Sunday 25 March in the George IV Bridge building and entry is free.

Added: 13 Jan

Online renewal

CILIP has launched an online membership renewal service which will help to save time and effort compared to the paper returns. Members should log in to the CILIP website to access the system, and those paying by credit or debit card can complete the entire renewal online.

If you want to pay by invoice or cheque, the online renewal process allows you to update your details, including choosing your special interest groups and rate.

Added: 11 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