Highland Libraries Award For Quality Service Provision
25th January 2011
The Highland Council's Library Service has received acknowledgement for their commitment to providing high quality services at the inaugural Scottish Library Excellence Awards.
With public libraries in Scotland attracting over 30 million visitors per year and academic libraries attracting 12.8 million, the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) acknowledged the achievements of Highland libraries.
The Highland Library Service was among libraries from across Scotland that received awards at the ceremony presented by Chair of the SLIC board, Christine May which took place at the Scottish Parliament.
The awards were made following the publication of the latest round of Public Library Quality Improvement Matrix (PLQIM) reports, a peer-reviewed self-evaluation tool where services are rated on a six-point scale to identify key strengths and weaknesses. Report results are used to inform the development of an improvement action plan, to ensure that public libraries provide the services that local people require.
Highland Libraries piloted the PLQIM programme and have carried out the self evaluation process since, performing highly in the provision of reading and the ethos and values category. Assessors return next month to look at leadership.
Commenting on the awards, Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: "Scotland's public libraries are a valuable community resource, providing access to knowledge, learning and culture. They can be enjoyed by everyone and provide a diverse range of services - from reading for pleasure to education courses to wi-fi access - which can have a positive impact on the cultural health of the community.
"These awards recognise excellence in Scotland's libraries and acknowledge the hard work of those involved in reaching such a high standard. I would like to offer my congratulations to all of the award winners."
Elaine Fulton, Director of the Scottish Library and Information Council added: "The provision of library services is crucial to ensure that people have the support they need to develop their skills, realise their aspirations and contribute to the economic growth and wellbeing of the country.
"At a time when services are under scrutiny because of the pressures on public finances, it is important that we celebrate the value they add to communities and individuals.
"These awards demonstrate the commitment of library staff to delivering new, high quality, innovative services to ensure that communities have access to the information and advice that they need."
Libraries remain one of the free universal services for communities where the population can visit as individuals or groups to pursue reading for pleasure, learning or hobbies. They also support the business community, individual and community information needs and are inclusive of all age and social groups, nationalities, genders and religious beliefs.
In addition to the visitors who use general library services, libraries also have over 300,000 registered learners following formal courses and an increasing number, now over 10% of the population, use learning centres in libraries.
The event at the Scottish parliament buildings was hosted by Peter Peacock MSP who specially mentioned the ground breaking work with Social Networking and the use of the Internet that Highland Libraries have developed to provide library and information services for outlying communities to enjoy in the comfort of their own home.
To find out what Highland Libraries have to offer go to -
The Highland Council has awarded a contract to A & W Sinclair for the delivery of environmental improvement works at Dunnet Bay and Dunnet Head. Work on site will commence week beginning 15th February 2016 and is scheduled for completion by the middle of April.
Following the second call for candidates wishing to serve on Highland Community Councils to come forward - a total of 19 Councils attracted sufficient interest to form a new Council. The uncontested community councils in the second round are: •Ardgay Community Council •Arisaig and District Community Council •Balintore and Hilton Community Council •Ballifer Community Council •Bower Community Council •Coigach Community Council •Conon Bridge Community Council •Dulnain Bridge Community Council •Inver Community Council •Kiltarlity Community Council •Kinlochleven Community Council •Kyle Community Council •Lochardil and Drummond Community Council •Morvern Community Council •Muirtown Community Council •Raasay Community Council •Sinclairs Bay Community Council •Strathpeffer Comunity Council •West Ardnamurchan Community Council.
For the first time the Highland Community Planning Partnership have endorsed a Development Plan published by The Highland Council and have agreed to working with the Council in monitoring its delivery. The Proposed Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan), was published for consultation on 22 January 2016 and will run until 18 March 2016.
The Councils Community Services Committee has approved an additional programme of £2.7 million for the coming year 2016/17. £2.3 million will be allocated this coming year to re-surfacing, surface dressing and road markings across the Highland network and £0.4 million to bridges in Sutherland (Kylesku) and Lochaber (A884 Achnagavin).
Highland Council has invited tenders for a contract for a summer ferry service between Cromarty and Nigg. The previous operator terminated the service contract just before the start of the 2015 season due to difficulties with sandbanks building up off the slipways and berthing arrangements.
Council house rents will be limited to a 1.9% rise in order to maintain current service levels. This will mean an increase in the average weekly council rent of £1.35 for all Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rents.
New standards have been set out for grass-cutting across the Council area to meet statutory requirements and achieve savings. There is no statutory requirement that amenity grass must be cut, however, the Council has various duties to maintain public safety, deliver education in accordance to national standards, deliver a burial service, maintain roads and paths in a safe condition and support national play initiatives.
The Highland Council has awarded £1.128 million to Community Transport schemes across the Highlands, spread over the next 3 years. This allocation allows £376,000 of grants to be made available to the listed community groups and organisations each year for the next 3 years, which enables some certainty in the medium term for these initiatives.
The Highland Council is preparing for the implementation of a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) Scheme this year. Remedial works have started, which includes sign and road markings replacement across the council to support of our Application to Transport Scotland for DPE authority.
Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: The option to raise council tax in Highland has been taken away from us. We have been informed, if we raise Council Tax, we will be fined not just the 3% we expected but also other sanctions will be applied around teacher numbers and funding for social care.
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