Library staff in Inverclyde hope to write themselves into the history books after making the shortlist for a new national award.
The council’s libraries service is in the running for an honour from the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).
The inaugural 2021 SLIC Award celebrates the talent, innovation, and achievement of library teams throughout Scotland and the contribution they make to support their members.
Inverclyde Libraries was singled out for praise for its ‘Techy Teabreak’ and ‘Digital Advice’ schemes to help residents stuck at home during lockdowns to operate their digital devices and to get online while libraries were closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said:
“Our libraries staff, like employees right across the council and health and social care partnership, worked tirelessly during the pandemic and showed great agility in adapting to the many challenges they faced to ensure frontline services were delivered for our residents.
“This nomination for the 2021 SLIC Award illustrates that and highlights how Inverclyde is right at the forefront of library services in Scotland.
“Just being shortlisted for such an honour is a great achievement and worthy recognition for our libraries service and I wish them the best of luck for the final.”
The local libraries service is up against five others from across Scotland vying for the winners’ trophy as well as a £5,000 cash prize.
Entries had to highlight ‘successful service innovation’ between January 2020 and June 2021.
Describing the reasons for the Inverclyde nomination, SLIC said:
“Inverclyde Library Service has been shortlisted for their Techy Teabreak programme and comprehensive digital offering in response to lockdown.
“Recognising that digital skills would be essential in lockdown, Inverclyde Library Service created a Techy Teabreak programme of videos, launched a Device Advice helpline to offer support to those less familiar with technology, created online discussion groups, and offered an impressive range of online events.
“This entry was particularly noteworthy for the way that Inverclyde Library Service created a team ethos for solving problems, developing their own skills, and creating a platform for future service innovation.”
The winner will be chosen by an independent panel of judges and announced at the SLIC Showcase and annual general meeting on Friday 5 November.
The Award attracted interest from across SLIC’s membership base from public libraries, Higher and Further Education Libraries, libraries in the health sector and special interest libraries.
SLIC Chair Ian Ruthven said:
“What characterises all these nominations, particularly those shortlisted, are 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 describe a range of initiatives and it was particularly welcome to see how many form the basis of future, enhanced library services.
“It has been hard to select only a few services as a shortlist but we believe these exemplify the amazing commitment and creativity of Scotland’s library services. We congratulate all those who were nominated for their inspiring entries.”
For more information about the SLIC Award and the finalists, visit www.scottishlibraries.org/funding/the-slic-award-2021