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The Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund

Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund - working together for people and planet. With white text on a forest green background and icons representing sustainable communities, buildings and technology.

Growing from the success of our COP26-inspired #CILIPSGoGreen collection and our support for CILIP’s Green Libraries Partnership, the inaugural Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund was launched at our 2023 Annual Conference by CILIPS President Richard Aird. The Grant Fund offers small-scale grants to support libraries in Scotland with innovative projects and activities that are designed to grow environmental understanding and action.

On behalf of the CILIPS Trustee Board, we are delighted to announce that the inaugural Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund will be supporting four projects that all advance library-led environmental action.

Selected from an exceptional number of high-quality applications, our Green Libraries Scotland assessment panel have awarded 2023-24 funding to:

Seeds to Success, St Ninian’s High School

This project will support the school’s new Support for Learning space and adjacent garden with Kinder boxes decorated by pupils, for which the children will select books to support their emotional, sensory and environmental needs. Creating a safe and welcoming space for pupils to read outdoors and relax, Seeds to Success will encourage mindfulness and the wellbeing benefits that both reading and nature can bring for young people, staff and parents.

‘I can barely begin to say how much this funding will change the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people,’ says St Ninian’s Librarian and project lead Donna Baird. ‘In assisting in creating and developing a new and sustainable SfL library, the CILIPS Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund will indeed plant the “Seeds to Success” for our students. From a portable library collection, to seed diaries to self-selection and ownership our Green Library will flourish under the careful management of the pupils themselves with minimal guidance from staff. I have been thinking about this project for a number of years and to finally be able to realise it will be quite an emotional journey. Thank you so much to the panel for seeing the value in our scheme.’

Listen to Donna speak about her experience of applying to the fund and hear all about the Seeds to Success project:

CAT Stevenston, North Ayrshire Libraries

This project will focus on providing spaces, expertise and opportunities to engage the community in Stevenston in discussions and activities about climate change and its impact, as well as promoting what action individuals, families and communities can make to encourage taking agency for change. This will include development of a Climate Classroom, featuring author visits and collaborations with local artists, a Seed Library, a Climate Cinema and a #NAonemorething social media campaign encouraging communities to commit to ‘one more thing’ to collectively combat climate change.

‘Stevenston has been selected as one of Scotland’s first Climate Action Towns, empowering the community to come together and engage in collective climate action through focussing on the unique challenges and opportunities facing the area,’ says Literacy and Play Co-ordinator and project lead Mhairi Cook. ‘Our project – CAT Stevenston – will ensure that the library plays a central part in this place-based climate action process, through working with partners to provide a wide range of resources and activities which will raise awareness and engagement within the local area.’

Green Pages: Library Workshops for a Greener World, Renfrewshire Libraries (OneRen)

This project will offer in-person workshops hosted at Renfrewshire’s public libraries to promote information and awareness covering environmental sustainability and awareness around the circular economy principles of reducing, reusing, repairing, and recycling. Themes will include basic bicycle maintenance; sewing and repurposing textiles; reducing food waste; and making seed bombs to enhance biodiversity.

‘Renfrewshire Libraries are thrilled to receive funding for a workshop programme, empowering community members with practical skills and knowledge which help combat climate change, protect the environment, and contribute to Renfrewshire reaching Net Zero by 2030,’ says Information Coordinator and project lead Pamela Logue. ‘This initiative highlights the vital role our libraries play in providing information, raising environmental awareness, and fostering active participation in addressing environmental issues.’

Environmentalist-in-Residence, West Dunbartonshire Libraries

This project is inspired by the Toronto Public Library and British Library EnvIR programmes, inviting an environmentalist to engage with library collections and respond with climate related programmes, campaigns and projects. The Environmentalist-in-Residence will work with local organisations to create a safe learning environment in Alexandria Library, where young people will be empowered to lead local climate action.

‘We are really grateful for this opportunity,’ says Eleanor White, Sustainability Coordinator and project lead. ‘As an increasingly important approach to understanding our place in the world – in a global climate emergency, in one of the most nature depleted countries in the world – we believe that ecological literacy should become integral to all library services, and this project will work to investigate, develop and embed sustainable practices. The EnvIR is fundamentally a creative climate justice project and overall we hope for this progressive and aspirational project to support our young people reach their full potential and become climate leaders.’

The Fund

Inspired by the Green Libraries Grant Funds in England and Wales, the Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund supports small-scale exploratory programmes, activities and knowledge-sharing within Scottish libraries that seek to improve overall understanding and take actions to demonstrate environmental responsibility. With thanks to the CILIP Scotland Trustee Board, we have been able to extend Fund eligibility beyond exclusively public libraries and libraries of all sectors in Scotland are welcome to apply. The grants support successful applications up to a value of £2,500 per organisation.

The Application Process

  • The deadline for applications was 4pm on Friday 7th July 2023. 
  • A selection committee including representatives from CILIPS, CILIPSGoGreen collaborating organisations and sector experts reviewed all the applications received and assessed them using the criteria below.

Assessment Criteria

  1. The project demonstrates innovation in how it focuses the role of a library service in Scotland addressing environmental understanding and action. This could include:
  • Research and exploratory activity
  • Practical environmental solutions relating to building, procurement, and staff
  • Community awareness & engagement activity
  1. The project demonstrates feasibility and the ability to deliver activities within the timescales provided.
  2. The project will bring value to the library service and the community that it serves.
  3. The project demonstrates awareness of climate justice and engagement with local communities, particularly with underrepresented groups.
  4. The project includes actionable ideas on how to build/follow-up on the activity longer-term.
  5. The application demonstrates the ability to communicate results and learnings to the local community and wider sector, contributing to raising awareness about the role of libraries in local environmental efforts.

For more information, please read our application guidelines or email Membership Officer Kirsten MacQuarrie at


  • The grants are available for library services of all sectors in Scotland. We particularly welcome applications from library services with little or no prior experience of applying to similar grant funds.
  • You may submit your application as a single library authority or as a group of services. If you are working as a consortium, it must be clear who your lead service will be.
  • Applications must be completed by a member of staff in the relevant library service.
  • The application does not need to be completed by the Head of Service but must be approved by them before submission.
  • You may work with non-library service partners for your proposed project (for example, a local environmental organisation or community group) but the application must be made by a library service.
  • Successful applicants are expected to present a progress update at the annual CILIPSGoGreen online conference during Scotland’s Climate Week. This output can take the form of a presentation, a workshop led by the grant recipients, creation and discussion of an infographic or an equivalent means of dissemination agreed in advance with CILIPS.
  • On completion of the project, you will be required to write a case study for the CILIPS website sharing a summary of and insights from the work. This must be submitted within four weeks of project completion.
  • For more information, please read our application guidelines.

Key Dates

Progress update (via presentation, workshop, infographic or other output): Friday 29th September 2023

Projects completed by: Friday 31st May 2024

Submission of case study for CILIPS website: no later than Sunday 30th June 2024

Key Contacts

For further information about the Green Libraries Scotland Grant Fund, including accessibility requirements relevant to your application, or to join the Green Libraries Network, please contact CILIPS Membership Officer Kirsten MacQuarrie by email at or via the contact details here.

Contact Scotland BSL information: 'contact us via an online Sign Language Interpreter'.

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact CILIPS via an online BSL/English interpreter – please click here to learn more about Contact Scotland, to make a call online or to download the free Contact Scotland BSL app.


For inspiration to support future applications, please visit the growing CILIPSGoGreen collection.

Find out more about the successful recipients of the Green Libraries Grant Fund for English public libraries on the Green Libraries Partnership website, via the first Green Libraries webinar and via slides and videos from the first Green Libraries Conference.

Learn more in Welsh and English about the projects that successfully received funding from the Green Libraries Wales Small Grant Fund, supported by the Kathleen Cooks Panel.


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