Two college libraries in the north and north-east have been awarded a total of nearly £9,000 to combat the impact of Covid-19.
North East College in Aberdeen and Lews Castle College in Stornoway are among the four projects in Scotland to receive grants from the Innovation and Development Fund (IDF).
Distributed by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), the scheme aims to help libraries at further and higher institutions develop creative and experimental approaches to deliver their services.
It’s part of a nation-wide funding package designed to support the sector through the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
North East College library secured £3,600 for its project “Stories, Crafting, Creative, Adventures”, which helps to reconnect the library community and build relationships through monthly virtual meet ups for staff and students.
Taking place across 12 sessions, it aims to help young people address issues in adversity through author talks, motivational speakers and a series of creating writing and craft sessions.
Meanwhile, the Lews Castle College Library has been awarded £5,000 for Highlighting the Hebrides – a collaborative project with the University of the Highlands and Islands, which is designed to improve the availability of and access to literature for island communities.
The project is also focused on building knowledge and understanding of local heritage and history by establishing the library as a repository for scholarly resources relating to all the Hebridean islands.
Pamela Tulloch, chief-executive officer at SLIC, said the additional funding will give libraries a much needed boost to implement innovation and creativity in the delivery of their services as they emerge from the pandemic.
She said: “It has been a particularly difficult year for libraries, and it was really important that this round of funding supports the transformation of services as they adapt to a new, virtual landscape and the transition out of lockdown.
“Library services have shown outstanding feats of ingenuity and resilience in the last year, and this year’s IDF applications have been highly reflective of that.”
SLIC chairman, Ian Ruthven, added: “With disruption to learning across the board in further and higher education, the role played by Scottish libraries has never been more important.
“Over the last year we’ve seen how creativity and innovation can help libraries support services users with their learning and development.
“We’ve also witnessed the rise in digital, and congratulate Scottish libraries, who have shown incredible adaptability in making their offerings accessible to a virtual audience.
“Through the IDF funding, we hope to build upon this progress and support the evolution of services so they can continue to assist our local communities.”