The North Ayrshire Libraries team picked up a prestigious industry accolade for their work to tackle problematic alcohol and drug use in the community.

The organisation was presented with the Project Excellence award at the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) Awards in Glasgow on Friday, November 3 in recognition of their work to support those recovering from problematic alcohol and drug use.

The project, co-designed with addiction specialists to repurpose library spaces, upskill and train library staff, and promote library services to new customers, was described as “brave, empathetic and visionary”.

The judges were particularly impressed by the care and attention provided to both library staff and clients in creating this bold project, which in turn encouraged those taking part, and their families, to engage with the wider library services.

The judging panel was led by SLIC Chair, Professor Ian Ruthven, who will step down later this month at the end of his six-year term in office.

It also included Marion Sinclair, CEO of Publishing Scotland and Marc Lambert, chief Executive of the Scottish Book Trust.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Lisa Morton and Mhairi Cook from North Ayrshire Libraries accepted the SLIC 2023 Project Excellence winner’s awardLisa Morton and Mhairi Cook from North Ayrshire Libraries accepted the SLIC 2023 Project Excellence winner’s award (Image: North Ayrshire Libraries)

 Professor Ian Ruthven said: “We have again seen an incredible range of innovation, thoughtful interventions, and inspiring local leadership from Scotland’s library services.

“As well as providing core library services, Scotland’s libraries continue to offer ambitious responses to the big issues facing our local communities, including tackling climate change, mitigating the cost-of-living crisis, improving attainment and supporting health and wellbeing.”.

The awards recognise the outstanding levels of commitment, creativity and value libraries offer people and the communities they serve, acknowledging those demonstrating exceptional innovation and service design between the period from June 2022 to this year.

East Lothian Council Library Services (who were highly commended), Orkney Library & Archive and West Dunbartonshire Libraries were also shortlisted in the category.

The awards were open to all SLIC members, with the winners receiving a trophy and cash prize for their success.

For more information on the SLIC Awards, visit