SLIC Innovation and Development Showcase

Paul McCloskey from Edinburgh City Libraries and Information Services started the Innovation and Development Showcase with a presentation on the extraordinary Paul Hamlyn Foundation-funded Reading Champions Project. Colm Linnane produced some inspirational case studies about the impact of the initiative on the lives of looked-after children and young people. It was heartening to see the success recognised by Children and Families and Services for Communities as they worked together to secure 3 years funding for the post. The report of the independent evaluator will be published in early 2010.

Next up was the SLIC-funded Virtual Enquiry Service at Carnegie College and Napier University. There’s a lot of help guidance on the website, including software comparative data and guidelines for setting up services. It was disappointing to hear that the survey of 130 establishments found that there are not as many virtual reference services in operation as you might think and that staff resistance is a major barrier to the development of services.

LLUK’s Marian Healy talked about their role in workforce development. The 2008 National Occupational Standards, in her view, were not what the sector need and she will follow up to see what can be done to take matters forward. SLIC is supporting the case for introducing Modern Apprenticeships into the sector and that means that suitable NOS are vital, as they are the building blocks for the new SVQs, essential to Modern Apprenticeships.

SLIC Director Elaine Fulton gave an update on progress with the Ask Scotland virtual reference service for Scottish queries. She encouraged organisations and individuals to get involved by contacting Gillian Hanlon at SLIC

Finally, Liz Moffat of Stirling Council returned to the theme of social inclusion with her presentation about the work of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation-funded Reader-in-Residence projects at HMP Cornton Vale. Two other prisons are involved HMP Perth and Polmont Young Offenders Institution. Richard Smith discussed some of the reading based activities he’s introduced at Cornton Vale and the feedback from the readers. These are truly inspirational projects with a huge impact on the self esteem, skills and confidence of those involved.

The presentations are available from


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