Building on the existing infrastructure and experience of Football Memories, Memories Scotland was developed in partnership with Scottish Libraries, supported by the Scottish Government’s Public Library Improvement Fund administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council. So far, twenty-three regional library services have signed up to the project, sharing resources from their local studies collections and working to develop Memory Groups within their venues. The partnership is managed by a Steering Group under the leadership of North Ayrshire Libraries, with representation from East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, Falkirk Community Trust, Glasgow Life, South Ayrshire Libraries and South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Trust as well as the National Library of Scotland and both the Chair and Football Memories lead of the Scottish Football Museum. A Library Development Officer provides support to services in populating the website and establishing Memory Groups.
As well as demonstrating the critical role of libraries in alleviating isolation and loneliness within our communities, this project showcases libraries’ fascinating social history collections. Sharing resources on the broad themes of Working Life and Social Life, the library collections complement the original sporting archive, consolidating the relaunched Memories Scotland website as a rich resource for Memory Groups across Scotland. We look forward to working together to build a sustainable programme of reminiscence activity that brings people together in communities across the country.