CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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#LibrariesAreEssential Policy Responses – the Scottish National Party

As part of our #LibrariesAreEssential campaign in the run-up to the May 2021 Scottish Parliament elections, we asked the main parties standing for election in Scotland to answer a short series of questions about how their policies meet the needs of Scotland’s libraries and librarians. Below are the responses we received from the Scottish National Party.

What commitments can your party give to support libraries and librarians over the next parliament?

Libraries and local government play an absolutely vital and trusted role in our society – providing access to ideas, knowledge and information for everyone in the community, no matter their circumstances or background. Public libraries continue to be one of the few local spaces which offer a range of services at the heart of the community that are free of charge. The SNP is committed to ensuring that local authorities have the resources available to fund libraries, so that they can continue to support education, digital and information literacy, health and wellbeing, and access to information.

What steps does your party intend to take to combat misinformation and disinformation and do you see information professionals and libraries playing a role in these efforts?

Disinformation being deliberately spread online is a serious threat to our democracy. Techniques like trolling, bots and online harassment all undermine our political discourse, and create a major threat to our political system. We urgently need to heighten our efforts to combat the spread of disinformation and stop it being spread with impunity. The SNP will support librarians to be vocal leaders in the digital age on access to information and combatting disinformation, and support teachers with materials to teach our young people about the dangers of disinformation, fake news and how to judge sources of information for themselves.

What steps would your party take to ensure that local government has the resources to deliver library services that meet the community needs?

In the Budget for 2021-22, the SNP government committed to providing £11.6 billion for local government, which represents a £335.6 million increase in core revenue funding, including £90 million to compensate local authorities which choose to freeze Council Tax. Every public library in Scotland can also apply for funding through the Public Library Improvement Fund. Projects cover a wide range of different areas such as digital training, health & wellbeing and culture & creativity.

Does your party believe all school pupils should have access to both a school library and a trained professional school librarian?

School libraries play a vital role in supporting literacy and improving attainment, and the School Library Improvement Fund is designed to provide additional resources to help them do that. The SNP is absolutely committed to ensuring every child and young person in Scotland has access to a vibrant school library service.  By recognising the important role school library services play, and by seeking to maximise the positive impact they have, we can ensure sustainable provision in innovative and flexible ways that will benefit Scotland’s young people.

To return to the main campaign page and read the other policy responses we’ve received so far, please click here.

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