Council wins the inaugural SLIC (Scottish Library and Information Council) Award

East Lothian Council Library Services has won the inaugural SLIC (Scottish Library and Information Council)  Award for ‘a sustained, imaginative, and ambitious response to the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic’.

‘The judging panel were impressed by the verve and commitment shown by the East Lothian team to understanding the needs of their local communities and the passion and creativity with which they met these needs.’

Ian Ruthven, Chair of SLIC and the judging panel, said: “We saw a thoughtful and comprehensive set of initiatives from East Lothian Council Library Services which included a pop-up library, a fascinating range of new digital activities, insightful support for vulnerable library users, and even dedicating library books to children born during the pandemic.

“What was clear from this entry was a strong emphasis on experimentation and that those working in East Lothian Council Library Services felt empowered to innovate and act.”

As winners of the SLIC Award 2021 East Lothian Council Library Services will receive a cash award of £5000 to enhance their current library services and will also receive a trophy to help commemorate their achievements.

Cllr Jim Goodfellow, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, added: “Our Library Service has been both innovative and responsive to our local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They maintained connections with our library users throughout by utilising a range of digital resources and introducing ‘Click and Collect services as restrictions began to ease. Our branches are invaluable hubs in our communities and it is wonderful that the dedication and commitment of our staff has been recognised in this national award and I would like to add my congratulations and thanks.”

The judging panel, which consisted of SLIC Chair Ian Ruthven, Carnegie UK Trust CEO Sarah Davidson, and Journalist Alan Taylor, were very impressed with the high standards of Award entries. The Award attracted interest from across SLIC’s membership with entries showing a range of outstanding initiatives and an ongoing commitment from library staff in all sectors.

Six library services from across Scotland were shortlisted for the SLIC Award, introduced to celebrate the talent, innovation, and achievement of library teams throughout Scotland. East Lothian Council Library Services, Falkirk Community Trust LibrariesGlasgow Libraries with Business and IP Centre GlasgowHigh Life Highland LibrariesInverclyde Library Service and Shetland Library all demonstrated superb originality and exceptional dedication in meeting the needs of their community during unprecedented times.

Ian added: “What characterised all the nominations, particularly those shortlisted, is the willingness of library teams to find solutions, to put their communities first, and to throw themselves at a challenge.

“So many of the nominations described a range of initiatives and it has been amazing to see how many form the basis of future, enhanced library services.”

Published: Friday, 5th November 2021