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Announcing the winner: Learning Professional Award 2023

We are delighted to announce that Renfrewshire duo Julie Paterson and Gail Abraham have been chosen as the joint winners of the Scottish Book Trust Learning Professional Award 2023!


Julie Paterson (Literacy and Languages Development Officer) and Gail Abraham (Social Work Practice and Process Development Co-ordinator) were recognised for their outstanding efforts to develop early literacy and ensure access to books for children and young people across Renfrewshire – including their inspiring work with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which has seen more than 63,000 books gifted to children across the local authority in the last two years. Their work resulted in Renfrewshire becoming the only Scottish region to offer monthly books to all 2–4-year-olds through the Imagination Library, in addition to the local authority's existing programme for care-experienced children.

The Learning Professional Award, now in its seventh year, is a national award that recognises the hard work learning professionals do to bring the magic of reading to young people. The winning duo will also receive a prize of £500 worth of books from the award's sponsor, Browns Books.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: 

'Many congratulations to Gail and Julie on winning the Learning Professional Award. The panel were so impressed by their achievements and the positive impact this will bring to many children and families. Our thanks to Browns Books for making this important award possible.'

Highly Commended

This year, the panel wanted to recognise two additional nominees whose incredible work has been inspiring Scotland's young people to develop a life-long love of reading and writing.

Haley Milne, South Ayrshire School Librarian

Vicky McCauley, Dunfermline Class Teacher

Browns Books

Scottish Book Trust would like to thank Browns Books (this link will open in a new window)who sponsor the Learning Professional Award. Browns Books is the UK's leading supplier of books, eBooks and DVDs for schools, colleges, universities and businesses.