A pilot for a single card that can be used in any library has been launched in the north east.
Five local authorities, including Aberdeenshire Council, are taking part in the scheme, which will be rolled out to the whole of Scotland if successful. The pilot aims to encourage more people to use libraries, by removing barriers between services.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop launched the ‘One Card’ pilot at Aberdeen Central Library. The pilot will test how well the card improves access to libraries across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Highland, and Perth and Kinross. Ms Hyslop was joined by representatives from the five authorities and the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC).
The single library card pilot, a Programme for Government commitment, has been supported by £15,000 from the Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF), a Scottish Government fund administered by SLIC to support creative and innovative library projects.
Ms Hyslop said: “We place great importance on public libraries and believe everyone should have access to library services. If successful, this pilot will pave the way for a national library card, which will make it easier for people to take advantage of library services wherever they are in Scotland.
“As well as traditional services like book lending, libraries are also places where people can access free wifi, use a computer and socialise. Libraries can empower communities, helping tackle inequality, reduce isolation and boost the local economy.”
Councillor Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, added: “I welcome any initiative which makes it easier for library users in Aberdeenshire.
"The One Card will allow our customers to borrow, return and renew books, as well as use Wi-Fi, PCs and attend events in libraries in a number of local authorities in North East Scotland in addition to Aberdeenshire simply and easily.”