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The impact of Scotland's libraries

Scottish Book Trust is undertaking independent research into the value and impact of public and school libraries in Scotland in partnership with the National Library of Scotland (NLS), the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS)

Gray fabric padded rolling armchair near bookshelves

Scotland's school libraries have no national mandate for adequate library provision. Scotland's public libraries, though they do face a national mandate for adequate library provision, have no enforced standard for what that must offer. As a result, across the public and school library sector, Scotland's communities face a lack of equitable access.

Scottish Book Trust is undertaking an independent research project, led by our Research and Evaluation Manager Éadaoín Lynch, to report on the value and impact of our public and school libraries – and showcase how they are intrinsic to removing inequity across many intersections of Scottish life.

We work across every local authority, striving to offer an opportunity for all people to tell their stories; as such, we are uniquely positioned to bear witness.

Methods include:

This hub serves as a platform to share findings and resources throughout the research project. Key findings and reporting will be published here at the close.

Preliminary findings – Public librarian survey

Following the surveys circulated in autumn/winter 2023–24, Scottish Book Trust has prepared a preliminary findings report on Scotland's public libraries.

(Preliminary findings arising from primary and secondary school librarian surveys will be published over summer 2024.)

These findings showcase the pressures faced by the library sector, the successes delivered by indefatigable library workers and the profound impact that libraries have on their communities in terms of digital inclusion, reading for pleasure, learning opportunities and active citizenship.

Surveys for Scotland's library usersnow live!

Whether you are a daily library-goer or have only just registered at your local branch, we want to hear from you!

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and it will be open until the end of June 2024.

Please spread the word and tell us what your library service means to you!

(this link will open in a new window)Complete the library users survey

If you wish to read through all the survey questions before participating, download the Word document below.

For hard copy submissions, please feel free to print out the Word document and the following PDF for your Freepost label.

Find out more

If you're interested, why not begin with reading our research article on Why libraries are important?

Or, if you're a librarian or a library user, and you'd like to take part in this research, please feel free to contact the Research and Evaluation team at [email protected](this link will open in a new window).