A collective voice for literature and languages in Scotland

Scots Makar leads pledge support for Keep the Heid and Read!

Keep the Heid and Read! online totaliser launched to capture Scotland-wide support

Scotland’s Makar, Kathleen Jamie, is one of the first people in the country to pledge their support for the Keep the Heid and Read! campaign, which launched today (Mon 11 Apr).

Joining some of the country’s most influential individuals and organisations, including the Institute of Directors and the SPFL Trust, in pledging to take part in the ‘national reading moment’ on Wednesday 11 May, the Makar was happy to help drive awareness of the project.

The Scotland-wide initiative, led by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and with support from Baillie Gifford, aims to inspire and encourage people of all ages and abilities to read every day to boost their mental health and wellbeing – starting with a pledge to read for just six minutes on11 May.

Research shows that reading for six minutes a day can reduce stress by 68 per cent – in people of all ages.  With the national reading moment due to take place during Mental Health Week 2022 (9-15 May 2022), the campaign signals the perfect opportunity to take stock and establish a regular reading habit.

Kathleen Jamie, the national poet for Scotland (2021-2024), said: “Our local libraries are full of great reading material – books of course, but also comics and pamphlets of poetry, so they are the perfect places to release the imagination, whatever your ability and interests.

“Reading for pleasure can have a huge impact on our wellbeing.  I read every day, often early in the morning to set me up for the day, so I’m glad to support the Keep the Heid and Read campaign.  I’ve pledged my six minutes of reading on 11 May and would encourage everyone else to do the same.”

An online totaliser, capturing the number of reading minutes pledged towards the national reading moment, is available at: www.keeptheheid.scot.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the Keep the Heid and Read! campaign, Pamela Tulloch, chief executive at SLIC, said: “This campaign was designed to promote the positive and easy-to-implement changes which can help increase mental health and wellbeing, and highlight the part local libraries can play in that process.

“We believe starting with a simple pledge to read for just six minutes on 11 May will help inspire people to take forward these good habits in their everyday lives.”

Working in partnership with Scotland’s 32 public library services, SLIC hopes the free to use services across Scotland will encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the Keep the Heid and Read! campaign.

Pamela added: “Libraries play a valuable role in reconnecting communities and with the majority of libraries now reopened across Scotland after the pandemic – all with an abundance of free reading materials available – we hope these services will allow people all over Scotland to take part in the national reading moment.”

Individuals and groups, such as schools and workplaces, are invited to sign up now to get involved at www.keeptheheid.scot, and add to the totaliser count. Gaelic translated ‘Na bi ga do chall fhèin, leugh!’ campaign materials are also available in full.  Keep up-to-date and share your support using #keeptheheid on social media.


For media enquiries please email SLIC@3×1.com or call  0141 221 0707.

Reproduced from the SLIC press release.




April 11, 2022

SLIC seeks new Board Members

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is seeking to appoint new members to its Board. The appointments are for three years and will run from November 2019.

Information about the Scottish Library and Information Council

SLIC is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information related matters. It is a registered charity and an independent company. It is also a membership organisation representing the interests of public, academic, FE College and special interest libraries within Scotland. The organisation has been going through a period of growth, delivering a range of projects and initiatives on behalf of the Scottish Government and partner organisations.

Board Responsibilities

The Board meets four times a year in addition to the AGM. Board members may be required to serve on a sub-committee which would involve a commitment of up to another three days. Board meetings alternate between Dundee and Glasgow.

The Board provides strategic direction and oversight. Major policy decisions are made at Board level drawing on information provided by the Chief Executive and senior management team. The decisions of the Board are actioned through the Chief Executive and senior management team of the organisation.

Further information about SLIC can be found on its website. 

Please note the appointments are on a voluntary basis.

Expressions of interest

SLIC particularly welcomes expressions of interest from individuals with experience in education, business, digital or entrepreneurial skills. Applications from groups which are currently under-represented including, disabled people and those from black and minority ethnic communities would be particularly welcome.

Expressions of interest should take the form of a CV together with a brief statement outlining the reasons for your interest and what you would bring to the Board. Interested parties will be asked to complete a short skills matrix to assist with the selection process.

Informal enquiries about Board membership can be made to Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive on p.tulloch@scottishlibraries.org

Expressions of interest should be emailed to Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive on p.tulloch@scottishlibraries.org no later than 12 noon on Friday 23 August 2019.

August 2, 2019

ICYMI: Watch the #ThisIsIt2017 videos

If you didn’t make it to the Literary Cabaret 2017 on 23 November, or to watch the speakers again, here are the videos.

Please share your comments with us @LitScotland using #ThisIsIt2017.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scotland’s Culture Secretary opens the show.

“Words matter, writers matter…Scotland is a country of the word. You are guardians and nurturers of that word. You are creators of that word. Thank you.”


Francis Bickmore, Publishing Director of Canongate, on publishing:

“Novels are literally a crash-course in empathy…Books can not only make us care but they can also give us hope.”


Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of Wigtown Book Festival on book festivals:


Pamela Tulloch, CEO of Scottish Library and Information Council on public and school libraries:


Award-winning poet William Letford on writers:


Best-selling author Louise Welsh on international perspective:

December 4, 2017