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Forward: Scotland’s Public Library Strategy 2021-2025

Category: Blog, News

The result of a comprehensive research and consultation process, today sees the launch of Forward: Scotland’s Public Library Strategy 2021-2025. The Strategy clearly marks the direction of travel for Scotland’s public libraries, building on strong foundations and the collective desire for a vibrant, sustainable future for Scotland’s public library network.

#ScotLibStrat2021 is informed and shaped by key national policies and priorities, placing libraries at the heart of society’s post-Covid-19 recovery. The strategy aligns with the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework and is rooted in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals making a commitment to a greener and more responsible future.

Three key themes underpin the Forward vision for Scotland’s public libraries:

  • People – Libraries will support people and communities to reach their full potential and celebrate the unique skill set of staff

  • Place – Libraries will be recognised as both valued places and place makers, with community led design at the heart

  • Partnership – Libraries will deliver on local and national priorities through a strategic approach to collaboration and partnership

‘Scotland has a proud history of public libraries dating back to the 1850s,’ notes Pamela Tulloch, CEO of the Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC), ‘and it’s a testament to their evolution that they continue to resonate with the public today.

Forward outlines how libraries will connect with and support communities over the next 5 years. Public libraries have a pivotal role to play in empowering communities to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Libraries help to reduce the attainment gap, improve mental health and wellbeing, bridge the digital divide, tackle social isolation, reduce inequalities and promote economic wellbeing amongst many other things. With a network of around 500 public libraries in Scotland, they play an essential part to empower communities to thrive.

The development of the strategy involved library colleagues from near and far, the public –  both library users and non-users – and key stakeholders. The creation of the strategy was shaped by an Advisory Group, chaired by Jeanette Castle. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to the development of the strategy. This collaboration enabled Forward to reflect what people are looking for, ensure Scotland continues to be at the forefront of library development and pave the way for libraries to assist communities as they rebuild from the pandemic.’

For further information and to download the full strategy, please visit the Scottish Library & Information Council website. Thank you to all the libraries across Scotland that contributed to the consultation process – read the strategy in full to find incredible case studies throughout demonstrating why #LibrariesAreEssential to our nation now more than ever.

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