£40,000 funding boost announced for Fife libraries

Fife’s libraries have been handed a £40,000 funding boost to help them cope with the impact of the pandemic.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Libraries have welcomed the additional funding. Pic: Wullie Marr Photography

The money came from a Scotland-wide pot administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).

Fife scooped £41,800 to help staff understand how users engage with their local libraries which were forced to close their doors at the start of the pandemic.

Fife was among the first to re-open in July only to suffer another shutdown as tighter restrictions came into force.

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The service launched a hugely successful click and collect service, and a range of online initiatives as well as making regular calls to library users to check how they were getting on.

This new funding will help a project called ‘Data Led Library Leadership’, which aims to help the library improve its service and engage with more users by supporting a new approach to data analysis.

The data project will help the service gain a deeper understanding of current, lapsed and potential new users and provide evidence for maintaining and changing services.

June Souter, OnFife's libraries service development manager, said: "We are over the moon to get this funding.

“We have a lot of complex data and we will be able to work with experts in data analysis to get a better understanding of our library users and how they engage with the service”She added:. "Ultimately, the project will help us determine how best to keep Fifers using their library service and make sure what we're offering remains relevant and exciting."

Announcing the funding, Fiona Hyslop, Culture Secretary said: “ We are fortunate to have such outstanding initiatives in our communities, and I look forward to seeing the important work they will undertake to further enhance our library services.”

The funding was also welcomed by Pamela Tulloch, chief executive of SLIC.

She also praised the innovative response of library services to the pandemic.

She added: “Funding like this is vital to finding solutions that will help to deliver new ideas and initiatives in our local communities, but also help to preserve and safeguard lifeline library services for the future.”

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