CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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CILIPS Research Fund

The CILIPS Research Fund logo, with a magnifying glass and a blue blurred background showing text reading 'tackling climate change', 'combatting child poverty' and 'challenging the cost of living crisis'.

CILIPS Research Fund 2023-4

The CILIPS Research Fund offers a unique opportunity to support research that contributes to Library and Information Sector advocacy in Scotland. The Fund was launched at our 2022 Annual Conference and makes available up to £10,000 per year in funding for researchers, practitioners, activists, students and other interested professionals whose work seeks to advance library advocacy.

Following the success of the first year of the CILIPS Research Fund, we are delighted to announce the two recipients of our 2023-24 funding:

Libraries as Agents of Sustainability Thinking in Scotland (LASTS) from the University of Strathclyde will explore the role of libraries in promoting sustainable thinking initiatives amongst Scottish school and public library users. Building on the findings of the ongoing SLIC Innovation and Development Fund project ‘Libraries for a Sustainable Future’, LASTS will develop an action plan and a toolkit for developing environmental literacy and sustainability. Aiming to promote user awareness, especially environmental literacy and sustainable thinking, LASTS intends to align the everyday lives of those living in Scotland with new knowledge in these areas, providing a structure that can be built on for the design and development of context-specific environmental literacy and awareness programmes in Scottish public and school libraries.

Also supported by the CILIPS Research Fund 2023-24, The National Library of Scotland plan to research, review and adapt the Carbon Literacy for Museums toolkit to create a tailored Carbon Literacy for Libraries Toolkit. The toolkit will provide a comprehensive introduction to carbon literacy: empowering library staff to take action to reduce the carbon footprint of their service through a one-day training course and standalone resource that, under creative commons licensing via the Carbon Literacy Project, can be cascaded to the wider library sector. The collated resources will empower library staff to make informed decisions on practical measures that support a sustainable working practice. The combination of the toolkit and training will allow library professionals to advocate for changes required across the sector to help us all tackle climate change.

Many congratulations to our 2023-24 recipients! Please see below for further information on the CILIPS Research Fund application process. The Fund will reopen to applications in early 2024.


  • The lead applicant must be a CILIPS member and applications are welcome from both individuals and larger groups.
  • Your application must include a letter of support from a relevant supporting organisation, such as a university or library service.
  • Applications must include a clear proposed timescale for completion, although this can be flexible according to arrangements with CILIPS.
  • Part funding of a piece of research is possible, including for aspects such as marketing or infographics. Applications should make clear the source(s) of any additional research funding, and whether this funding is applied for or confirmed.
  • Funding bid outputs can take a range of formats provided they stick to the overall criteria set out below.
  • A clear dissemination plan must be included in your application – e.g. your plans to share your findings at events or through infographics. All successful funding bids will involve a blog write up for the CILIPS website and a presentation at a CILIPS event.


  • Applications will be assessed by the CILIPS Finance and Staffing Committee, plus an active researcher from a LIS school.
  • A key criteria for assessment will be that the research proposed makes a clear contribution to library advocacy, and in particular to our key advocacy themes for the coming year.
  • For 2023-24, our priorities were how libraries can help to tackle the cost of living crisis, child poverty and climate change.


  • Evidence of how funding has been used and updates on research progress will be provided to the CILIPS Board at pre-agreed times.
  • As part of the funding process, CILIPS will offer all applicants training in advocacy best practice and in using Canva for creating research infographics.

For further information or to discuss any accessibility requirements connected with future applications, please contact us at

CILIPS Research Fund 2022-3

Following the first call for the CILIPS Research Fund, we are delighted to announce that we have provided funding for two advocacy related research projects.

The first project the CILIPS Board has provided funding for is (REVEAL) Reinforcing Ethics and Values for Effective Advocacy for Libraries from the University of Glasgow. This project will underpin library advocacy in Scotland by providing a professional development framework for the engagement with and dissemination of the ethics and core values of the profession, developing a free to use evidence-based training programme and infographic materials for the library workforce and other stakeholders to utilise.

‘I’m honoured and delighted to be among the first recipients of the CILIPS Research Fund,’ says lead researcher Dr David McMenemy. ‘The importance of effective advocacy for the library and information profession is hard to overstate, and the materials produced in the REVEAL project will be designed to be usable and accessible to people working in libraries as well as those advocates from outside the profession who understand the importance of effective library provision as a vital component of strong and vibrant communities across Scotland, and beyond.’

The CILIPS Board has also agreed to fund a second project, A beacon of hope: visioning libraries for the future, from Glasgow Women’s Library. Following on from recent research into GWL as a Transformative Space (highlighted in the CILIPS #LibrariesAreEssential – Scotland’s Stories advocacy campaign), this project will move beyond libraries in ‘survival mode’ to explore them as thriving hubs of activism that can change the world, challenge inequality and offer solutions to our climate crisis. GWL’s Net Zero Handbook will form a practical basis for a collaborative ‘visioning the future’ of libraries in dialogue with people that use library spaces both locally, digitally and in wider communities of interest.

‘Libraries are one of the only surviving commons. They are accessible, diverse spaces that allow people to imagine different futures, gather together, and nourish and share ideas,’ notes GWL Librarian Wendy Kirk. ‘We are thrilled to be able to ‘vision the future’ of libraries in dialogue with people who use our digital and physical spaces. Our research aims to move beyond the view of libraries in ‘survival mode’ to explore them as thriving hubs of activism and change. Thank you to CILIPS Research Fund for supporting our project.’

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