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Moray library service awarded Public Library Covid Relief Fund cash for Digital Explorers Club

By Lorna Thompson

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MORAY'S library service has been awarded more than £15,000 in Scottish Government funding for an after-school STEM club.

Innovative projects have received more than £1 million in funding through the Scottish Government's Public Library Covid Relief Fund.

The Moray Digital Explorers Club is one of 23 projects around the country being supported through the fund to re-connect communities with their libraries, support reading and STEM education programmes.

The club, which has an accompanying learning and support programme for parents, guardians and family members, has been awarded £15,540.

The local library service will work with Moray Council's education department to identify families in need and those that are struggling to digitally connect with schools, particularly in the Seafield and New Elgin Primary catchment areas.

It will also work with third-sector organisations, such as Moray Women's Aid and Quarriers, to help identify families that would benefit.

The Moray library service's Digital Explorers Club has been awarded Public Library Covid Relief Fund cash.
The Moray library service's Digital Explorers Club has been awarded Public Library Covid Relief Fund cash.

Applications were made to the fund through the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and all library services across Scotland were invited to apply.

Priority was given to projects which support deprived areas and communities.

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: "These funding allocations will support public libraries across Scotland. Libraries that closed because of the pandemic will re-open and others will be able to widen the services that they offer their local communities.

"Libraries are so much more than a place to borrow books. This fund will see the provision of community-centred projects aimed at, among other things, reducing social isolation, promoting mental wellbeing and reducing the poverty-related attainment gap.

"This funding is part of the government's wider aspiration to drive a cultural recovery for our communities."

SLIC chair Ian Ruthven said: "Public libraries are an essential part of Scotland's social fabric, supporting and inspiring people to fulfil their potential for over 150 years.

"Improving mental wellbeing, tackling social isolation and closing the digital divide are some of the key aims of public libraries."

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