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 welcomed a visit from Jeane Freeman MSP, Minister for Social Security, on Thursday 20 October. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the Scottish Welfare Fund and Universal Credit and the visit presented an opportunity for senior members and officers to demonstrate best practice in Highland and to put forward views towards the consultation on devolved Social Security in Scotland.
The Highland Council is anticipating it may have to make savings of £47 million to £72 million over the next 3 years, with a budget gap of some £26 million next year (2017-18) The financial environment is very challenging, with an unprecedented degree of uncertainty which makes planning very difficult. There will be a very short timescale to react and provide options for budget savings once the Scottish Government settlement is made known on 15 December.
Dornoch is the only Scottish finalist in the Great British High Street Awards and local Councillor Jim McGillivray is calling for people to cast their vote to give the Sutherland village a chance of winning. He said: "Across all fourteen categories of the awards, Dornoch is the only Scottish finalist, and we're up against Leominister and Stockton on Tees in the Rising Star category, both of which have much larger populations than we do.
The Redesign Board of The Highland Council will recommend keeping Catering, Cleaning and Facilities Management/Janitorial Services (CCFM) in house within the Council. Options for the future management of Catering, Cleaning and Facilities Management/Janitorial Services (CCFM) were considered by the Redesign Board today.
The Highland Council is asking people in the Highlands - ‘Are you ready for winter?'. The Council is again supporting the Scottish Government's Ready Scotland campaign at www.readyscotland.organd urges people in the Highlands to take some time to get ready for winter and all kinds of severe weather.
Trish Robertson has been elected as Culloden and Ardersier Ward Member for Highland Council. The by-election for a councillor to serve the Culloden and Ardersier Ward (No 18) on The Highland Council has been won by Trish Robertson - Scottish Liberal Democrats.
The timing of the Scottish Government's 2017-18 Budget has been confirmed to Parliament. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has told MSPs that, subject to Parliamentary approval, the Draft Budget 2017-18 will be introduced to Parliament on 15th December 2016.
Voluntary organisations and personal licence holders who obtain occasional licences for the sale of alcohol under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 for events they are organising may shortly also require to obtain a public entertainment licence under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 for the same event. Premises with a premises licence or an occasional licence for the sale of alcohol under the 2005 Act have both up till now been exempt from the requirement also to hold a public entertainment licence ( PEL) under the 1982 Act.
Business cases totalling a value of around £48 million have been submitted as part of the City-Region Deal. If approved, the money will be drawn down so that work can start on progressing a number of exciting projects in the Highlands.
Speaking after the first meeting of the Islands Strategic Group co- chaired by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands and Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, the Highland Council Leader, Margaret Davidson (Independent) said: "I was delighted to take part in this first meeting of the Islands Strategic Group as it meets to consider the strategic issues affecting all the inhabited island communities of Scotland. I am keen that we help identify and design solutions to the unique needs and challenges these communities face.
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