Libraries receive final funding boost for Covid relief

Seven libraries in Scotland are to share more than £200,000 from the Public Library Covid Relief Fund.

Scottish libraries receive final Scottish Government funding boost for Covid relief iStock

Seven public library services are to share more than £200,000 to help them reconnect with their readers in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas.

The sum is the last tranche of awards to be made from the Scottish Government’s £1.25 million Public Library Covid Relief Fund administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council.

The fund has supported a total of 30 library community projects since it was set up in October last year.

Library services sharing the final funding include South Ayrshire, for its Friendly Faces Cafes to tackle social isolation and Dundee’s Miners, Modellers, and Makers project, which will create eight STEM clubs to improve the “digital divide” – the gap between those who have access to new technology and those who do not.

Culture minister Neil Gray said: “This project funding shows the important part libraries play in our aspirations to drive our cultural Covid recovery.

“So I’m delighted that this latest tranche will support more libraries to reconnect with their communities.

“Libraries are about much more than books and I’m pleased that they are continuing to widen their services to local communities.

“These latest wellbeing projects in particular will benefit the most vulnerable people in our society.”

Chief executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council Pamela Tulloch said: “Libraries are an essential part of Scotland’s social fabric, supporting and inspiring people to fulfil their potential.

“Improving mental wellbeing, tackling social isolation and closing the digital divide are some of the key aims of public libraries and the Public Library Covid Relief Fund will allow local libraries to reconnect with communities, and offer these much-valued services.”